Here at Alder and Notaire’s Lakes, we stock Shaun Harrison’s excellent Quest Baits for our Angling Lines clients and also our own use – not that Chris gets much time to fish despite owning 14 acres of lakes! Anglers who come here can pre-order and find their bait ready and waiting, which leaves a bit more space for crucial fishing gear in their van. Or beer. (Anglers who book our lakes will get a link to our bait page with their joining instructions.)
And do our fish prefer Quest Baits? We’d need to ask them to know for definite, but there are plenty of indications that they do. Rahja Spice and Chilli Chocolate would seem to currently be at the top of their list although, we haven’t tried the latest Ghurkka Spice and Ultrabrites.
A couple of Christmases ago, someone sent us some exotic chocolates for Christmas. Amongst these were chocs that contained chilli and other spices. That was the first time I’d come across such a sweet/spicey combination, and despite initial scepticism, I was suitably impressed. I wondered what made someone think of putting them together. So why did Shaun? As he told Carp Talk in 2010:
“As you know, I am constantly playing around with different ingredients; it’s very much a hobby as well as a job. Every once in a while I put a few things together in the right order and the carp go silly for them. The Chilli Chocolate seems to have just ‘happened’. I never set out to produce a bait anything like this, but a string of circumstances has seen me semi-abandon the bait I had in my mind for this totally different change in route. It’s funny how things go. I had been sourcing totally different ingredients when I stumbled across two of the items in Chilli Chocolate, which I really liked straight away and early trials indicated the carp definitely did, too. The ingredients weren’t particularly suitable for what I was working on at the time, but I had another project on the go, talking to a flavour company about producing something utilising a couple of ‘special ingredients’ I had requested. Suddenly everything married up and, before I knew it, we had Chilli Chocolate boilies. Open the bag and you get that lovely rich chocolate smell. Bite into the bait and a distinct chocolate taste starts to mingle with the subtle fish base, followed by a slight chilli bite which the carp simply love.”
And I have just had my first nibble of a Chilli Chocolate boilie, in my pursuit of the truth! And yes, definitely chocolatey, most certainly fishy and undeniably with a distinct spicy overtone. Not such a bad life being one of our carp …