I’ve been lucky for the past 13 years to be with Poacher Baits as a tester and more importantly a great friend of Gary Bainbridge (Mr Poacher Baits.)

Over the years Gary and I have worked very closely combining his hard work and brilliant bait mind and my feedback, captures and food industry knowledge to give the company the best opportunity of developing market leading and unique carp baits that give the angler the best chance of banking their target and providing unrivalled nutritionally balanced food source.

In the winter of 2012 Gary and I discussed a special new carp bait profile. We worked on 3 or 4 varying mixes to start testing with and eventually settled for our first version for a select few anglers to try out.

We named it SV1, simply named after a water us three anglers were testing it on. For obvious reasons, I can’t go into the complete ingredient list of the test bait, but with a wonderful blend of top quality fishmeals, milks and with no artificial flavours we were dead set on creating a food source that they wanted to come back for time and time again.

The bait is a natural brown colour and once in the water, becomes very pale quite quickly. It’s a soft bait, almost pastey, but that’s the way I asked for it to be, it can easily be boiled for longer or dried for longer, but for me over the many years I’ve been carp fishing, I’ve had better results on softer baits.

Vince Cripps, Mark Smallwood and I started our campaign in the April of 2013.

That year, the winter had been long and fairly harsh with cold northerly winds bringing snow and lots of cold rain to the Valley and Spring arrived later than normal. The carp were quite late this year to wake up and in late April Vince and I planned to do 4 nights. I managed a take within 20mins of arriving, thereafter, it was dam hardwork! Vince managed 2 carp on the 4th morning as we were about to pack away, maybe we left too early or picked the wrong week to go but all I know is the bait hadn’t had anytime to even scratch the surface.

May soon arrived and the water temps increasing to near normal levels and the bait…well, it came into its own. I would love to write about all our captures but to be honest; there were too many special moments for us all to cover in a short article.

What I can say is between the 3 of us we landed over 140 carp from the one water. I personally landed over 48 carp with the highlight being a new PB UK common of 43lb 6oz, add to that the 10 x 30+ carp and I didn’t fish most of June and any of July.

Mark also had the most wonderful year, landing over 40 odd fish including three, YES THREE 40+ carp.

Vince again did fantastically and was really un lucky not to have one of the “most wanted” list fish of over the magic 40lb barrier, he was so close with a 39.14 common and 9 fish over 30lb

We fished well as a team, constantly baiting, not huge amounts but very often and not in a few spots we did it all over the lake (only when other anglers were not present, so not to interrupt with their angling)

What we also found was that the fish weights were up considerably and the pit had a new record in September of 46.10 and the other carp were mostly up in weight, proof the bait was hugely beneficial to the fish.

On a slight downside, the bait did appear to “fill” the carp up towards the end of the year, now I might be wrong, but it didn’t fish aswel as previous September’s and Octobers.

With that new found information, early this year (2014) Gary and I sat down and figured out that we should maybe reduce certain aspects of the bait, making it a little more digestible, and little less “heavy”.

The results so far have been impressive…!!

Vince is already on 35 carp, landing 16 carp in one 48 hr session with 3 x 30’s on the bounce!!...the rest of the attending members stood and watched!

Marks not been quite so often so far this year but he’s on 14 carp to 34lb, I’m sure it wont be long before he gets into them again

Myself….26 carp in 9 sessions including 3 x 30’s and a stunning 42lb mirror.

As the season progresses we will monitor fish weights, capture rates and feeding regularity and compare them to last year.

I took the test bait to France, The lake is a tricky venue but I managed 4 fish to an impressive 70.4 and 3 x 40’s.

I often get asked “What’s the best bait” and it’s always an awful question to try and answer…There is NO golden boiled bait, but as anglers we have our favourites which are generally based on previous captures and sadly price, but my personal favourite since 2006 has been Poacherbaits TnM….it blows my mind how many carp fall to this bait in so many different waters across the UK and abroad, but the SV1 (now SV2) I feel is something a bit special. Only time will tell hey.

I’ll keep you all posted

Joss Faulkner





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Poacher Baits by Lee Jackson
Poacher Baits by Lee Jackson

I’ve known Gary Bainbridge of Poacher Baits fame for something like 30 years now, just one of the many acquaintances that I made on the banks of Dartford lakes whilst plotting the downfall of its famous old carp, and in mine and Gary’s case, the conversation in all probability blossomed due to our mutual interest in carp baits and the ingredients used in order to formulate them.

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