Thursday is our Big Fish Blog and it’s the turn of Marukyu, the Japan-based bait innovators with products specially designed to catch UK fish.

Marukyu are the sponsors of this website’s new Like My Catch gallery.

The words below come to us from their man Nick Marlow (pictured right), the well-travelled former editor of Tackle Trade World.

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Marukyu’s Nick Marlow is in our team of bloggers. With his vast experience of the tackle trade, and products designed to catch quality fish, he is sure to be a good read.




SO WHY is it that every time you show anyone a new carp bait, they insist on breaking it open and tasting it themselves?

Tucking into the meat of baits, with Nick Marlow.

I’ve lost count of the number of people that actually do this… and it got me thinking… why?

Being the curious type of person that I am – I’ve taken to asking anglers why they do it – and to a man they all come back with pretty much the same answer: “If it tastes OK to me – it will taste OK to the fish.”


This got me thinking a bit more. I started looking at a carps diet. Not in great detail. Just the commonsense approach…

So what do fish eat? Hmmm… Snails. Bloodworm. Sometimes joker. Water insects. Daphnia. Sometimes weed. Definitely dead and decaying fish. Raw crayfish. Water shrimps. Leaches. Goose poo. I wonder how many anglers have tasted those? Surely that is what we want bait to taste like?

To be honest, I pushed the question further, and asked people whether they were a fish. Most looked up from munching on half a boilie and added to their comment… actually I am seeing if there is a chemical after taste.

Ah… now we are getting somewhere… people are now linking their bait with chemicals – and coming to the conclusion that they don’t want a chemical taste in their boilies. Not entirely sure where that logic comes from as nearly everything in the human food chain is tainted with chemicals somehow, be that a preservative, a taste enhancer or a chemical flavouring… but hey…

“I only use baits that use ‘human grade’ ingredients.”

You must have come across that before?

“If it’s good for humans then it must be OK for the fish.”


OK: Avocado – kills cats and dogs. Most animals in fact. Chocolate kills dogs. Grapes and raisins – kills dogs. Onions can apparently kill cats.

Think about what carp actually eat naturally…

So, just who has done research on fish and what human foods could harm fish? Well Marukyu and its team of scientists have. In fact it teams up with the University of Tokyo for much of its research also… but to the best of my knowledge no one else has… everyone else works on ‘humanising’ fish and assumption.

In fact one of the first things that we discovered was that most ‘human grade’ preservatives are actually repellent to fish. That’s why we are not using them in our new baits. It beggars belief that no one else has done this research and just pile preservatives into their baits willy nilly doesn’t it?

And don’t assume that your newfangled freezer bait has no preservatives in either… most (not all) that we tested were the same bait – whether frozen or shelflife. Some companies huh?

Anyway, my main point here is that people keep eating carp bait. With this I have no issue at all… if that’s what you want to do – do it! I don’t know a single carp angler that has not tasted bait – and I too am guilty of it! But I do feel I should point out one thing…

During my time in the trade I have visited literally hundreds of bait factories around the world and not all are like Marukyu’s state of the art facility in Japan – where no bait is touched by human hand until the packet is quite literally opened by the angler!

There’s a rat in my bait factory what am I gonna do…?

It’s a sad fact of life that not all bait manufacturers are as clean.

In many, machinery is rarely washed down and cleaned. Employees do not have to wash their hands – by law, and do not wear hairnets, or even wear white coats.

Bait companies are rarely run to the standards of food establishments and do not have to abide to any form of hygiene regulations.

They may make bait from ‘human grade’ ingredients, but do not have to abide by human hygiene laws. Rats and mice running around, and raw ingredients that are not kept in sterile conditions… is more common than you might want to imagine…

So next time you ‘taste’ your bait… just think about it first! It could have been made in premises that would be condemned if they produced food… it might be worth bearing in mind that quite literally you never know what you might catch with it!


This blog is part of National Bait Month – great gifts, and competitions, and tips are inside every issue of Angler’s Mail magazine each week during May.


Don’t forget we have a new fishing blog here every day!


Related posts

All our Big Fish Blogs

See big fish catch pictures in Like My Catch

The great pellet rip-off

Best bait colours and flavours

Our regular match fishing blogger Steve Collett blows apart bait myths inside the brilliant new issue of Angler’s Mail.


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