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.

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.


Franz was a very happy man in the snow, with this zander, when we tackled the Trent.


I WENT fishing last Saturday – the day after the snow caused the whole country to grind to a halt.

I won’t lie – I was as excited as a small child, as I had not hit the banks since early December, mainly down to hideous floods and man-flu (it elevated to Manthrax on Christmas Day, woe is me!).

In fact when I went to pick my bait up from Harrison’s in Lincoln, the owner, Stewart Miller, looked at me like I was some kind of nutter!

“You’re not going fishing today are you? You must be mad!” he said.

As I explained to him, my mission was to get myself a nice snowy fish pic. Not for any reason at all really other than I have not got one – and people think I only fish in the sunshine. Oh, plus the fact that I was dying to go fishing!

It was purely self-indulgent I know – and probably worthy of a few jibes from Angler’s Mail cover star Stephen Collett in the future (he has got far more Facebook friends than me), but I really don’t care!

As has been the case on a few recent trips, I was accompanied by the excellent tea maker, and master of the ‘run kettle’, Franz Evert.

I am sure this will come as no surprise to anyone, but the banks were absolutely empty. In fact we elected to fish one of the most prolific and popular day ticket stretches of the River Trent in the country. And there was not a soul around.

I am quite fortunate in my role as marketing manager for Marukyu and Ecogear in that I have access to some of the best baits on the planet. But today, and I don’t know why, I elected to fish deadbaits… dead roach in fact… for the mighty Trent zander.

As I had not fished this area of the river before, and with absolutely no knowledge of what I was doing – I plopped two baits in two likely looking spots… and then, like any bad angler, left them there while brewmeister Evert sorted out the run kettle. I’m not entirely sure how long the baits were out there as we stood in the freezing Nottinghamshire wastelands, but I do know that absolutely nothing happened!

By this time Franz had decided he was bored and set up a lure rod. As he um-ed and ah-ed about what to put on it suddenly dawned on me that I had a few packets of a brand new Ecogear BTS shad sat in my bag – and that is what I was supposed to have been using myself!

The BTS – does the biz!


What follows is a true and accurate recollection of the conversation:

“Try one of these,” I said, offering him a selection of colours.

“What colour do you think I should use?” replied Franz.

Takayoshi Orimoto – Ecogear Japan pro staffer and one of the finest lure designers in the world!

“No idea!” I replied. “They were sent to me by Taka Orimoto in Japan – and he is a legend – if he sent them to me, they’ll work!”

“I like this lime green and silver one, I’ll take that!” said Franz.

“Be my guest!” I replied.

“Why do they smell like Marmite?” said Franz.

“Ah….” I said, “can’t tell you that!”

He then proceeded to walk about 50 yards downstream and cast half way across the river with the said lure.

“Think I’ve just had a take!” he shouted. I didn’t believe him. As if a fish would be sat mid-current chasing lures in this weather!

Two minutes later….

“I’ve got one!”

I looked round, and true enough, there he was, beaming with excitement, playing a fish in the snow! Two minutes later, up popped a lovely and very welcome zander. Franz’s first ever in fact. A quick snowy photo pic and we put the fish back. I walked back to my swim, quickly set up a lure rod, and retrieved my two deadbaits.

On went a BTS shad. Completely ignoring all protocol, and mainly because Franz had snaffled the green and silver packet and I’m too lazy, I put on a black and gold one.

At least blogger Nick Marlow’s dog, Oskar, enjoyed himself!

I had acres of water to play with, and I still don’t know why, but I dropped the shad exactly where one of the deadbaits had been.

No sooner had the lure hit the bottom than it was fish on! I shouted to Franz and then realized that this was a proper lump that was not going anywhere fast – but then, almost as soon as it was on, it was over… two big solid thumps and the hook came out.

I was gutted. So I packed up! I won’t lie… I won’t make excuses, it was bad angling – failing to set the hook – unexcusable.

So there we have it… end of a day… massive lesson learnt (never assume anything, ever!)… never give up… and most of all… make sure you set the bloomin’ hook!

Hopefully next time I’ll have caught something… or Franz can write the blog instead!



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Beat the cold with this week’s Angler’s Mail – there’s loads of tips and tricks to keep you catching!