Bloodworm: The revolution?
Has any bait produce ever come close to matching the angler frenzy of bloodworm?
CARPology: What are your earliest memories of using bloodworm pellets?
Shaun Harrison: “Jason Callaghan collared me at a carp meeting one night, saying he had a liquid which could be useful for my rehydration methods that I was writing a lot about at the time. Naturally interested in anything different, I got chatting and before I knew it I was armed with the said liquid as well as some pellet he insisted I try.”
CARPology: There’s a quote from you on Jason’s first magazine advert, promoting the pellets… “I was amazed to witness the most competitive and instant feeding responses I have ever seen.” Can you give an example of just how effective they were?
Shaun Harrison: “That was taken from a text message I had sent the following morning before I ever used the stuff and it ended up on the labels on the buckets! I had returned home from the meeting, dropped some in one of my carp tanks and the carp went silly for them, ripping the gravel up well after the pellet had gone.”
CARPology: The whole industry went bloodworm mental. Virtually every bait manufacturer was producing it. Did you find it lost its effectiveness very quickly when everyone jumped on the bandwagon?
Shaun Harrison: “I was only really fishing The Mangrove back then and the pellet was only really a very small part of my baiting as I was heavy on the liquid-filled boilies at the time and chillied hemp. I rarely rely on one form of stimulant in my swim so can never really be sure what is having the biggest effect.”
CARPology: Can you think of a bait product before or after which has had such an effect on fishing market? Like we’ve just said, virtually every bait manufacturer was producing something bloodworm-related at that time.
Shaun Harrison: “Hemp, sweetcorn, there have been plenty.”
CARPology: What about all the sub-products that went with the pellets - did you use those much?
Shaun Harrison: “It was the liquids I was most interested in and messed around with. I never actually used them for long. The carp ate the baits I added them to but I never felt they were better than what I was already using.”
CARPology: Previous CARPology columnist, Pete Regan used to be very vocal about his dislike for bloodworm-based products. “What are all these bloodworm products about? If you were fishing for sheep, would you try and catch them with a handful a dead grass when they are surrounded with lovely fresh live stuff would you? I bloody wouldn’t. Don’t take the lake on, go in with a good bait and let the lake take you on.” Being a bait buff, what are your thoughts on that statement?
Shaun Harrison: “I totally agree but I don’t think the carp really see it as bloodworm they are eating. It is simply just another food source that they either enjoy eating or they don’t. A sweetcorn flavoured boilie is not mistaken as sweetcorn and the freshest fishmeal baits available rarely get picked up by pike. They simply do not resemble what they started off life as.”
CARPology: Finally, how do you reflect on the last 15 years as a whole? Overall, has your fishing style, thoughts on rigs, bait, baiting, and the like, change that much?
Shaun Harrison: “Not a lot has changed in my angling approach over the last 15 years other than now being able to manage my time better. No longer do I have to set-up and pack up in the dark like I used to have to.”