Marukyu Groundbait and Nori Pellets
Ian Welch gets his sticky fingers on a couple of Marukyu products which might just have serious applications for barbel fishing.
Despite being relative newcomers on the UK bait scene Marukyu are the largest bait company in the world and after a century or so of existence their products finally made the journey from their Japanese homeland to the UK – I’m sure The Silk Road was never that slow in the old days but anyway...
Unsurprising perhaps, given the importance of fish to the Japanese economy, the company utilise a large team of fishery scientists at a huge and technically advanced research facility where the teams are continually experimenting with literally thousands of products to create baits which stimulate fish to feed.
By utilising natural products which are both fish and environment friendly, low in protein and highly soluble in water the company reckon they are able to create complex baits with highly responsive feeding triggers; not quite the ‘ultimate bait’ but certainly a giant step up from the plain brown crumb of my childhood if the hype was to be believed!
John Loftus at Marukyu kindly sent me through a few bits which he thought might be useful for my barbel fishing and I took the first couple of them up to the Kennet for an outing last week on a day which, it has to be said, was far from ideal for barbel fishing with rising barometric pressure, constant bright sunshine and a temperature in the mid 20s!
The first of the products I had was a bag of EFG151 - EFG standing for Explosive Formula Groundbait. The re-sealable packaging had detailed mixing instructions and a lot of information on how it could be applied for cupping, catapulting, method fishing etc. So many anglers can’t mix groundbait properly that it was nice to see it laid out in measured idiot proof steps!
Typically I chose to ignore the lot and did my own thing but top marks to Marukyu for the info which is clear, concise and spot on.
Opening the bag I found a relatively large particle-size groundbait with a terrific yeasty/seaweed smell which certainly lived up to the ‘Ocean Attractants’ label on the bag. I liked it straight away and emptied the entire 900g bag into my bowl and added a can of hemp, a can of tuna, a double handful of boilie crumb and a small handful of rock salt. There was just enough hemp juice and tuna brine to create a slightly dry mix which would sit perfectly in my cage feeder but I would dampen it slightly if it got too dry.
Whilst the groundbait was resting I opened up my second packet – 10mm Nori Pellets. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t come in a re-sealable pouch or even a small pot but it was easy enough to tip them into a bait box but that was the only disappointment as I found the pellets to be a total revelation.
The seaweed smell was intense – I tasted one and it was rich, salty, yeasty – almost Marmitey – with a seaweed tang to it and I just knew they would catch. At 10mm they were perfectly sized for barbel, they were soft and didn’t split when I pushed a baiting needle through them but best of all they were soft enough to mould into a slightly sticky paste.
I had a rapid change of plan, attached a leger stop to my hair and moulded half a Nori Pellet around it – it looked perfect. The paste wrapped around a boilie perfectly and I even found I could mould two or more pellets together to form larger balls of paste – and a paste sticky enough to survive a decent cast too.
In a test cup of water the paste appeared gave a quick release of particles and flavour but retained its integrity long enough to see out a cast; immediately active but resilient in the longer term – just how a good paste should be!
With the groundbait slightly moistened and re-worked after its rest I packed it into the feeder and spent a couple of hours dropping a feeder across the river to a far bank glide every five minutes or so to get some bait on the deck and establish a decent scent corridor.
Shortly before midday I attached my hooklength, moulded on a bit of Nori Pellet and cast out in anger. The bite took about ten minutes to come and was a nice barbel of around the 9 to 10lb mark – an absolute joy to see in the middle of a scorching hot day!
I had another one of around 8lb a couple of hours later and a third, slightly smaller, late afternoon quickly followed by a ‘nuisance’ chub (I must use longer hairs!!) I wasn’t able to stay on until dusk but left shortly after the Chevin more than pleased with my result.
One session doesn’t make or break a bait but I liked what I saw and I caught first time out on a venue where nobody else to my knowledge troubled the scorers in the prevailing conditions. The groundbait is versatile and attractive and will have massive stillwater potential for carp, tench and bream but the Nori Pellets in particular look to be a little bit special and I’ll certainly be looking at Marukyu with a little more interest as a consequence.
Both of the products I used are available from Marukyu stockists with a full list and details available at Marukyu.co.uk
A 900g bag of EFG151 retails at £6.99 and a pack of SDP 10mm Nori Pellets at £3.99
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