The Jason Trought Interview

  • Posted: 25th December 2018
  • Author: Paul Mallinson

Paul Mallinson: I’m looking forward to doing this interview, Jase, and getting to know a bit more about the man behind DNA Baits. Even though I’ve been using DNA products for a lot of years now, and known you even longer, I can still think of loads of things I am keen to find out, and hopefully others will be too. 

To kick things off, can you tell me how it was you got into carp fishing? I can’t imagine there were many blokes out there specifically fishing for carp in North Yorkshire 30-odd years ago when you started?

Jason Trought: To be honest, mate, there was a lot more around than you think! There was a handful of guys on my local, Staveley Lakes, who I always thought looked intriguing when we visited the lake. I wouldn’t say I thought they looked cool, but they definitely sparked something in me. I guess nowadays they would be the epitome of carpiness! Two matching rods on single sticks, floppy hats and a grumpy demeanour fishing a couple of chunks of floating crust up against the island reedbeds.

I always class 1986 as the year I started fishing properly for carp, but that is because it was the year I managed to cobble together a two-rod set-up. I had done a couple of years before that wandering around my local lake with a cheap old Silstar rod catching the odd single figure fish, but struggled really. So, it was ’86 when the bug really got hold, and later that same year when I caught my first reasonably sized fish at 16lb. It came on float-fished luncheon meat fished under the rod tip in a reedy corner of the lake.

My first double, a 16lb mirror, falling to a piece of luncheon meat when I was 16 years old

Paul: A big fish for the time in North Yorkshire! At that time, other than the aforementioned luncheon meat, what else would you be using for bait? Were there any boilies commercially available? I’m guessing that knowledge and understanding of bait was in its infancy, and if you were targeting carp, one of the biggest areas where you could develop an edge to help you catch more fish would have been to experiment with different baits and push the boundaries?

Jason: We have to remember I was still 16 at this time, so pushing boundaries was not really on the agenda. I had, of course, read a few things. Not from books, as such, as I didn’t have the money to be buying carp books, but I always got the Anglers Mail, which then led me eventually to getting Andy Little’s Big Carp Fishing book for a Christmas present, I believe. This opened my eyes massively, as I’d not really seen gear like this before – custom rods, Baitrunners, bivvies, etc. These were all beyond my means, but I spent many an evening poring over the book. It became my bible for a while. That, of course, brings us to bait, as this was really the first time I’d also come across boilie recipes. I’d seen the boilies in the tackle shop by now and had even bought some of the Duncan Kay ones in the 300g bags. Never caught a bloody thing on them, by the way! This obviously sparked a young man’s imagination and it wasn’t long before I was raiding my mum’s cupboard for bits and pieces to see what I could rustle up for my next trip. My first concoction was made using flour and salmon paste. It smelt horrific and looked awful, but it did account for my first carp caught on a home-made special. In winter as well!

Paul: I can remember doing similar with my brother, making up boilies in the kitchen made with bread paste with cocoa powder. We never caught on those, though, and it wasn’t worth a repeat of the telling-off we got to make any more! How did your carp angling progress from there? There are a few history waters in the North Yorkshire area and I know you fished quite a few of those in your early years. Was it daunting fishing those waters? I can’t imagine there was much help or advice on offer at the time for a budding young carp angler?

Jason: I wouldn’t say it was daunting as such, as we didn’t really know any better. To us they were just waters with bigger carp in. Perhaps the larger waters like Knaresborough Lagoon, A1 Pits, etc., were daunting in a different way, as we weren’t geared up for them to begin with. We soon adapted, though, and enjoyed our time on these types of lakes. We were never phased by the smaller waters such as Selby 3 Lakes, though, as that kind of fishing was something we were already used to.

Paul: What would you say was your first proper carp water, then? Did you target one particular water at a time or flit about around different places?

Jason: The water I grew up fishing was Staveley Lakes, which is now on the Bradford AA book, but it was day ticket back then. I caught my first carp there as a kid around 1980/81 whilst learning to fish with my stepdad and mum. Because it was quite close to home, it ended up being the water I spent a vast amount of time on as a young man and ended up catching my first double from there aged 16 in 1986, as mentioned above.

A Staveley double

Paul: Not long after that you must’ve moved on to the waters mentioned before, I guess? Ripon Racecourse, Knaresborough, Selby, etc. Historic waters for the area. You must have some fond memories of those days?

Jason: Yes, I think it was 1989/90 when we first set foot on Ripon Racecourse and although we didn’t do a lot that first year, as we started quite late in the season, it certainly got under our skin and we spent many enjoyable years there after that. Aside from my own winter fishing on Staveley as a young man, we always went piking in the winter, so it was rare we did any carping after October. This meant it was the next season when we started to get our teeth into it. I wasn’t driving at that time either, despite my mum being a driving instructor (don’t ask!), so I would always have to tag a lift off either Brent or Richard, my fishing buddies at the time. This meant it was always a joint decision as to where we went, but we had some great times travelling all around Yorkshire whilst pike fishing each winter. We didn’t always catch, but we were certainly triers! Our bible at that time was Stillwater Angling in Yorkshire and it was this that led myself and Brent (my fishing partner) to fish Selby 3 Lakes one chilly spring day. We had, of course, also read about it through Julian Cundiff’s columns in the angling press, so we were very excited to give it a go. Strangely enough, when we got there late one Friday after work, it was Jules himself who was the first person to come and say hello, even offering us advice on spots to fish, which we thought was very generous. Most of the other anglers were the typical secretive types who seemed a bit aggrieved that we were fishing on ‘their’ lake.

Ripon Racecourse’s Split Fin

Paul: Good on Jules; you can’t really imagine anyone taking the time out to do that these days, and even less so back when carp fishing was even more secretive. How did you get on with the fishing on Selby and what would you say fishing that lake taught you? Did the three of you manage to trip up some of the larger residents from 3 Lakes?

Jason: Indeed. What made it most awkward, though, was I caught the Male, which was the largest fish in Lake 3 at the time off one of the spots Jules had suggested! I believe it was his target fish at the time, too. Whoops! I did thank him personally many years later and he told me he remembered it well. I don’t think it hurt quite as much then. We didn’t actually do that much on there really whilst it was day ticket and still actually three lakes. Maybe three or four sessions, and I think I caught just the one more fish, which was probably the smallest fish on the complex. Karma, I think that is called. Brent caught quite a few more than me though, but that was just normal practice! We did get the opportunity to join the syndicate, though, but unfortunately I had to turn it down as the price was well out of my price range being a poorly paid apprentice. That said, 3 Lakes did still figure quite a lot in our later fishing, as we often made trips there throughout the years of it being day ticket, catching some lovely fish along the way.

The Male from Selby 3 Lakes off a spot Jules had suggested!

Paul: Moving on then, what about Ripon Racecourse Lake? I know that was a bit of a circuit water back then, and I think I am right in saying you were fortunate enough to have Lucy, the famous leather carp, from the lake. How did that come about and how did your time pan out on there?

Jason: Yes, we fell in love with Ripon Racecourse as soon as we set eyes on it. Although I wouldn’t class it as a big water nowadays, 15 acres certainly was a huge expanse of water to us then and it looked slightly daunting. I believe the first session we did was either September ’88 or ’89, I can’t quite recall. What I do remember, though, was we only had one bivvy between the two of us and it was blowing an absolute hoolie and we set up right in the teeth of it. I can picture us now, hanging on to the brolly pole for dear life when out of nowhere the screech of an Optonic absolutely ripping off sounded. I stayed in the bivvy holding on to it whilst Brent proceeded to land a cracking 20lb-plus mirror which looking back, must have been one of the lakes larger fish. We were both ecstatic with it and it certainly ignited something that kept us there for quite a while. We didn’t do any more sessions on there that year though and it was the spring the following year before we were back down for a proper campaign. From there the Racecourse was more or less where we did all our fishing for the next five or six years. We caught some absolutely stunning fish during those years, but neither of us caught Lucy in that time even though between us we had all the lakes known biggies, some a couple of times. It wasn’t until I went back on there for another go in 2005 that I eventually caught her.

The early days on the Racecourse

Paul: During those years of the late 80s and early 90s, when you were on the Racecourse Lake, how did your fishing progress? Was it a case of learning your trade, or more a case of moving with the times and the progress that was being made in the wider world of carp angling? I guess there must be quite a number of captures from that time which stand out in your memory. What are your fondest memories from that period of angling?

Jason: Although we were aware of what was happening in carp fishing elsewhere in the country, it didn’t really influence how we fished. By a young age we were already quite accomplished all-round anglers, so we put this experience to good use straight away growing as carp anglers very quickly, just by doing our own thing. One thing that does stick in my mind, though, and changed the game slightly, was seeing a picture of Pete Springate’s Wrasybury brace in the early 90s. It became a hot topic of conversation between us and we threatened to make the trip to Wraysbury to try it for ourselves, especially after seeing fellow northerner Dave Moore doing well on there. However, this never happened for some reason or another and as often happens with these kinds of plans, it just became pub talk, and we continued our carp fishing quest fairly locally, something i regret in hindsight.

Paul: Such an iconic shot, and for me, two of the greatest carp to ever have lived. It wasn’t only Dave Moore from up North either was it, as Richard Skidmore was also fishing down there around that time, showing what a travelling angler could achieve on some of the most difficult waters of the time! Getting back on topic slightly (I could happily talk about Wraysbury from that era all day and all night), how did you end up back on Ripon in ’05, and can you share with us some details of what must have been a special capture, that of Lucy.

Jason: Yes, Skiddy was on there too at that time also. All very inspiring to us northern anglers. Regarding going back on the Racecourse, I think it was just the itch you get sometimes when you leave a lake with unfinished business. I could recount an epic tale of how Lucy was the culmination of a brutal campaign, but nothing could be further from the truth really. I got my book in the April, which I think was when they were renewed, but it wasn’t till May when I actually went down. From experience, I knew the Racecourse always started off slowly, so I was in no rush. So, sometime in May, I forget the actual date, I saw a window of weather that looked ideal for the spot I knew she’d been caught off in the past early in the spring and made plans for a couple of nights down there. I can vividly remember the crack when the lead went down on a spot I hadn’t cast to in nearly 10 years! A quick drag back and it was exactly the same smooth spot it had always been. I think it was more a rubbing/cleaning spot than somewhere they found natural food, but we’d had many bites off it in springs gone by regardless. Anyway, long story short, after an uneventful first night, I was awoken by an aggressive take at first light from the rod on the spot and proceeded to play the fish in without too much difficulty. The water was gin clear now due to there being much more weed growth in the lake than when we fished it previously, and when the fish came into the margins it was very clear what fish it was, and the knees started to go a bit! Luckily it didn’t create much drama, though, and it was soon netted. It was like a weight off my shoulders when I got it on the mat and it seemed fitting my first fish back on the lake was the one I really wanted.

The mighty Lucy the Leather at 33lb

There is actually a little addition to this story, as Lucy wasn’t actually the only leather in the lake. There was one that in my absence had grown incredibly well and was by this point equal to or even bigger than Lucy! After sacking Lucy whilst I waited for the guy up the bank to get sorted and come and do the pics, I recast the rod. Shortly after it rattled off again and it was almost a frame-by-frame repeat of what had just happened an hour previously. The fish came in without any trouble, and as had happened with Lucy, a great big leather carp appeared in the margins, plodding up and down! I couldn’t believe it, and if Lucy hadn’t been in a sack down the bank, I would have been convinced it was her again. At the time I didn’t actually know about this other leather, which made it even more confusing! Anyway, that is where the story ends, as the hook popped out shortly after and she just waddled off. I just sat down on the grass, rod in hand, laughing. I couldn’t actually believe what had happened. Later this fish went on to eclipse Lucy’s weight and may have possibly scraped 40lb at one point.

Paul: Incredible stuff, and a fish that will be fondly remembered by Yorkshire carpers over a certain age! Having caught Lucy and by now well and truly finished with Ripon (having fished it previously as well), where did your fishing adventures take you next?

Jason: For the rest of the season I just flitted around fishing day sessions, some locally, some further afield, but certainly the session fishing took a backseat for a year or so.  I was also doing a lot of mountain biking around this time, and with them both being pretty expensive hobbies, something had to give. I was still fishing quite a lot, but just evenings, etc. I was a member of a really lovely little, lily-covered brick pit that was full of tench, so I did quite a bit on there and really enjoyed it. It contained carp too, but nothing of any size really. I think it was a year later, whilst still in the mountain-biking phase, I was made redundant from my job at the time at the printers. In the months that followed, although I was obviously meant to be looking for a job, it did mean I had a lot more time on my hands. I started concentrating on a quiet little club water that I’d heard may possibly hold a forty, a massive fish for Yorkshire at the time! This also coincided with me having quite a bad crash on my bike and having to lay off it until I was fit again. So, I started fishing it a couple of days a week; days only, as that was all you were allowed to do. You also had to book these days in advance, so it made it really awkward picking the best days to go weather-wise. You could also only book three dates at once and until the last date was up you couldn’t book again. There was also a very keen bailiff on there at the time who I won’t say made my life a misery, as I got on with him quite well, but it made it awkward getting anything going on my own terms, as he was there all day, every day. I did, though, after pulling every trick in the book, and it was then I started to go through the stock quite quickly with the bailiff one step behind me.

My best from the club lake

However, I never felt I was close to the big one. I just didn’t think I could catch it the way I was being allowed to fish. There wasn’t any one place in the lake it had come from regularly in the past, so I opted to bait two spots at either end in different depths of water. The lake was a figure-of-eight shape, with a small channel connecting the two sections, one half fairly deep and the other one shallow. The fish would always noticeably be in either one part or the other and became quite predictable. I could just look at the weather forecast before I went and knew where they’d be. During this first summer I only saw the big one once and it looked absolutely huge, all of the 40lb-plus it was reputed to be. It was a really quick sighting and strangely enough it was the only time one of the other lads who was fishing the water then saw it too. Same day and area, but from different angles of view, so we knew that was it. We never saw it again, though. I think it was the first winter when I started to see the odd carcass turn up. I just put this down to natural causes, but in hindsight and with what has happened since, this was the start of the lake’s demise due to the otters. It was also this winter when I found a particularly large gill plate on the bank. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but as time went on without any sightings, every fish I caught I compared it to this and the doubts started to creep in.

Long story short, I kept on fishing the lake for another year and a half and never saw the big ’un again, and it has never been out or seen since then either. It hurts to think I put all that effort in for nothing. Obviously with it being days only and me working again the next season, I had to make the most of the days booked. This would mean getting up at 3.30am, driving to the lake, either baiting up or doing a couple of hours, then going to work to go back again in the evening, fishing till dark, baiting and getting home late. It was very tiring and it cut deep to finish on there without catching that fish. To me, this period of my angling career was easily the most intense I had ever experienced and I think if it was there, I would have caught it. I knew every fish in the lake by both watching them and catching them, and I have never been in tune with a lake like that since then. The only saving grace is that I eventually did accept it was gone and didn’t continue fishing for ghosts. I know a few good anglers who went on after me to no avail.

Ghost hunting

Paul: That must have been a tough realisation, but at least you came to that realisation, whereas others carried on fishing for a ghost. It was around this time you became involved in the bait game, wasn’t it? How did that come about? Was bait something you had always been interested in, as an extension of carp fishing? These days every angler has access to good bait. Was it something you maybe saw as a necessity, a way to make sure you were using the best bait possible, better than those around you?

Jason: It was, yes, but I’ll never forget that period of my angling due to the intensity of it. Yeah, it was around this time I sort of reignited a passion with bait that had been dormant for a few years. I hadn’t rolled any bait for myself seriously for quite a while. I still had all the gear, but because of the widespread availability of decent ready-rolled bait, it wasn’t really necessary for my own fishing at that time and, to be honest, I didn’t really have the time with work, etc. As long as it was decent gear, I would use it.

Around the time I started on the little club water, a couple of good mates of mine had been messing around making baits from scratch for their own fishing, so I ended up testing one of the baits for them. I was out of work still after being made redundant in the spring and skint, so this helped me keep fishing, which was very much appreciated. The first bait they gave me was actually the original version of OceanX, although it wasn’t called that at the time and quite a bit different to what eventually came out commercially.

Fast-forward a few years and OceanX did become commercially available, albeit a different version compared to when I first started using it

I caught well on it, but me being me, it wasn’t long before I was tweaking it for my own personal preferences: certain ingredients added, some taken away, etc. It started like that and it wasn’t long before I was fully immersed in it again, helping roll the bait. It was like meeting an old friend again and I just seemed to take off from where I’d left. This time around, though, we had a wonderful thing called the Internet, so it was far easier to research aquaculture papers, ingredients, etc. It was also much easier to get the ingredients, as there were various people selling in the smaller quantities you needed as home bait rollers or new start-ups. Even from those early days it didn’t take long to realise we were on to something special and the bait started to prick a few ears as we went about our own fishing. From there, Target Baits was born with myself, Mark and Rich all equal partners.

Testing products in the early years

Paul: Would you say that was a bit of a golden era for carp fishing and bait making in particular, what with the Internet making information more readily available?

Jason: To be fair, we were well into the golden era of carp fishing by then, even by Yorkshire’s standards! I wouldn’t have said there was a boom in bait making at that time, though. That perhaps came slightly later when social media took over. We were still in the era where people said, “Thank God I can buy ready-rolled bait now. I can put my tables away!” However, the Internet did help greatly at that time for those who stuck at making their own. There were increasing amounts of interesting papers appearing online that had never seen the light of day unless you happened to be in contact with the writers of the papers themselves, or paid a fortune for the relevant aquaculture literature. One of the best papers I ever found was one on insect pest control, which led to the discovery of the particular rare strain of yeast culture that was used successfully as bait in traps. After many years of trying to find the correct source and supplier, I eventually stumbled across the right company that supplied it branded as something else. That very same product is now used in the Switch and, as far as I know, this is still the only bait on the market that contains this strain, so I will say no more! Needless to say, the Switch is very attractive to naturals and so, in turn, carp because of it. Although it’s bloody expensive for a yeast product, I feel it is worth it.

Paul: From being involved with testing and development, creating the brand and also rolling bait for at the time Target Baits, how did things progress on to the eventual evolution of what became DNA Baits as we now know it? You ended up back at the printing company for a while, I believe, before eventually ending up going at the bait thing full time some years down the line?

Jason: Something had to give and there was only so long I was going to get away with not having a steady income. I heard on the grapevine the printers that made me redundant in the first place were employing again, so long story short, I ended up back there. Due to the bait side starting to take off, I only went back for four days a week, which the company agreed to. Monday was bait-making day and myself, Mark and Rich would get all the orders done and despatched on that day. At the printers, I started back in despatch, where I had started originally 15 years previously, but hey it was a job. It wasn’t long before a position became available in the photography studio and I moved in there, starting with image manipulation/editing which was what i had done when I’d been made redundant previously, and also assisting the photographer. This led to me eventually doing a lot of pack-shot photography myself which i really enjoyed. I mean, what carp angler doesn’t like playing with cameras! This continued for just short of two years or so until the situation of doing both became untenable for me. I had work now insisting that I work five days a week (fair enough, I guess!) but the bait side was also getting really busy. Along with that, I also was trying to get a night a week on the lake as well. Realistically, at this point I had resigned myself to pack it all in. I couldn’t physically do everything and it was unfair to expect the lads to do my share for me and me still be a partner. Out of the blue, a random phone call from a local bait company that had a shop we sold bait in gave me another option. I remember it very clearly, as we were on a location shoot at a Bradford-based performing arts school, and I took the call while standing at the school gates as we loaded up after finishing for the day. The phone call was from Nick, who at that time owned DNA Baits in Thirsk. The guy who had made the bait for them, Alan, had left, leaving Nick in the lurch and he needed someone to come in and help, quickly. I had a very difficult decision to make! Morally, I couldn’t be involved with bait as poor as the ones they currently made, and believe me, they were poor, but I did see the potential for DNA as long as I could recreate the range in my own way and that was exciting. After long phone calls with the lads, heart to hearts and much umming and ahhing, I took the position. The lads agreed that opportunities don’t always come along like this to do what you really want in life so go for it. So, Target Baits was no more, we’d already realised it couldn’t really continue as it was anyway, as we’d just been prolonging the inevitable. Mark and Rich graciously agreed that I could take the couple of baits we currently had with me and add them to the DNA range. So, a new chapter of my life had begun!

Myself, Mark (far right) from Target Baits, and Terry (centre), a lovely guy who helped out in the shop occasionally

Paul: A major change for you. It’s funny how these things work out when you look back, the twists and turns of life that lead you down certain paths. You sort of mentioned it there, but DNA was run by three guys at the time, David, Nick and Alan, and this was the source of the name of the company. A nice little anecdote I am guessing not many people will be aware of! So, with this major change in your life, you taking up the position with DNA Baits as the ‘bait mind’, there must have been a fair bit of stress and worry about how the company would progress, and I know it wasn’t all plain sailing in the first few years. In fact, Dave and Nick also now no longer have anything to do with DNA Baits, I believe. How did those first few years with the company play out, both in terms of the bait-development side of things and the actual company?

Jason: Yes, the name DNA actually came from the guys you mention: David, who was a rep for the company, Nick (sales) and Alan (bait). I quite liked the scientific connotations of the name so we actually stuck with it. At first there wasn’t too much stress and we just ticked along quietly. The unit had a little tackle shop attached to it, so I was helping with that as well as rolling bait every day.

Bait rolling in the early days after the takeover

It was really enjoyable at first, but as I was the only fishing-minded person there, it started to become a little too much to deal with for me. What with social media starting to take off and people wanting to talk about bait constantly through many formats, I felt I was doing everything to push the business without much help, then still having to produce it all. By this time it was only me and Nick. Nick was a nice guy, but by his own admission knew nothing about bait and the angling industry, so it could be frustrating getting across some of the ideas I had sometimes. The bait side was the easiest bit for me and that was where I was always happiest. I have always said I’m not a businessman so am never comfortable portrayed in that role. Even now with more experience under my belt, I am much more comfortable on the shop floor with the lads knocking bait out than I am discussing spreadsheets, targeted sales and the like. I do have a bit of a creative side, though, and I think all bait makers do at heart, as it’s an art in my eyes. This means I have always had input into the media side, which I still keep involved with where I can.

Anyway, soon the range had been bolstered by the SLK and Nutta-S baits, and Secret 7 was beginning to be tested. None of the old DNA stuff was even available now and we started to gain popularity quickly locally. This is when things started to go a bit tits up. Cash flow! An issue all growing businesses encounter and one that either makes or breaks a company. For us, it looked like it was going to break us. In the bait game, and even more importantly the quality-bait game, you need to be buying in certain quantities to get any kind of profit. I’m not meaning ‘Fred in the shed’, where what you make you put back in and have no overheads. A bit like we did with Target, I guess, in Mark’s garage. Now there was rent, rates, wages, van hire, electric, water, gas and all the usual bills we all have. One thing I have never compromised on is the quality of my bait. I know what I want in the bait and to buy it in the quantities needed it was a small fortune and one we struggled with. Of course, I could have always just cheapened the baits or changed them, but anyone who knows me will tell you that wasn’t an option. I was at a loss as what to do and, to be honest, I was done with it. Communication between myself and Nick had broken down at this time and something needed to change. This was the point in my life when my other half stepped in. A major flaw I have is that I will never ask for help when I need it. Just a stubborn git, I suppose. Unbeknown to me, she spoke to Steve Carrie, who at the time was a good customer and friend who I’d met a few years previously. She asked for Steve’s help, something I would never have dreamed about doing, but for my own sanity I’m thankful.

Steve was initially a customer and a good friend

Paul: We are now getting to the point where DNA Baits developed into the bait company we all know today. I think I am right when I say that Steve and yourself effectively bought the company, moved premises and then set about building the firm to its current position? Steve’s more of a business man than a bait man, but he does seem to have certain areas of knowledge and expertise within the food industry that have helped in pushing the company forward as well. What were the aims when the two of you set out together to push DNA forwards and how has the working relationship developed between the two of you? From the outside it certainly seems like you are well matched as business partners of DNA Baits? 

Jason: In a nutshell, mate, yes, that’s pretty much how it went. Steve has pretty much left me to my own devices over the years regarding the bait side of things. He understands and believes in my ethos regarding quality, so that part has never been questioned. As I said before, I’m not a businessman and have had a fairly steep learning curve over the past few years. Luckily, it’s also good to have someone around who has dealt with most issues you come across when running a business. Around the same time as DNA started to grow, so did Steve’s main business, which is an organic waste-recycling plant. What this did was open doors into some of the largest food and feed producers in the world who were looking for ways of dealing with various waste streams from their manufacturing processes. Steve’s plant basically takes all forms of waste food and eventually, through different types of fermentation and handling, allows it to be used to produce gas that then goes back into the national grid. This is where Steve’s knowledge of fermentation comes from, along with the fact the Maltings has legal requirements to have its own team of scientists overseeing all of these processes. Of course, we can also tap into their knowledge when required. Pretty impressive stuff really, and this is why we keep banging the sustainability drum. It is everyday life for us and when you see how some products get reused back into either animal feed or as gas, it is incredible. In turn, the companies Steve deals with in his day-to-day working life deal in hundreds of thousands of tonnes of ingredients worldwide, maybe even millions collectively, so dealing with them as a bait company wouldn’t even get us an email reply normally. These large companies now need to be seen as having strong green strategies so are willing to work with us due to the services the Maltings supplies them. We now have access to some incredible ingredients that are years away from being widely available. Sustainable protein sources that are having millions of pounds of government money pumped into the projects, etc. Many of these are still in scientific trial stage, but these are the future, make no bones about it. Fishmeal use is in its dying throes, I’m afraid. The world is changing and we as a bait company have made sure we are at the front of the queue to enable this transition.

Steve and I share the same ideals and have a love for fishing for all species, not just carp

Where do we want DNA to go? I don’t know; we always set out to do it our own way. We let the quality speak for itself, and I think it’s done that. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s a fact. It has organically grown year on year and continues to do so, with 2018 being our best year yet in what was regarded as a poor trading year industry-wide. We will just keep on doing what we do, making people happy catching tonnes of fish and sleeping well at night knowing we’ve done it ethically and the right way.