I first took up fishing in the early 1960’s, in the Lee valley just north of London. I soon caught the carp-bug however. This was a pioneering time when carp fishing was first really popular and boilies had never been invented. By the age of 15, I was incredibly keen, but I did not realize I was to become so heavily involved in the future of carp bait. In 1978 I went on to start one of the first UK bait companies, called Bait’78. I scoured the world for ingredients and learned by trial and error. I went on to supply some of the leading carp anglers of the day as well as advising many new bait firms. I was an early member of the BCSG (British Carp Study Group) and Regional Organiser of the Carp Angling Association (CAA).
In 1991, I launched John Baker Baits, where I formulated some special HNV carp bait recipes incorporating newly emerging ingredients such as fish protein hydrolysates and krill extract. The ideas I used in formulating these recipes still holds good today and I firmly believe that the key to consistent bait is the base mix recipe. In this regard I think I have taken the development of some recipes to the pinnacle of performance. My Bio Shellfish, Taste-F2 and Supermilk mixes are the sort of baits that would fit into this category and are incredibly effective.
When I used carp bait technology on the rivers for barbel, it naturally led to my development the first ever commercial barbel bait and I went on to publish a book on the subject called ‘Modern Barbel Baits & Tactics’. After a long professional career in finance and running a busy brokerage, I now enjoy the bait business as a hobby. I also get a great deal of pleasure running my own carp fishery, which I was fortunate enough to acquire 15 years ago. Although its hard work running a fishery, it’s also a great venue for testing bait and has taught me a great deal about fish behaviour.