Tag Archives: musselberry Reds

Thirst for Knowledge, at Blakemere

I talk to a lot of anglers and it fascinates me to hear so many variations and approaches to carp fishing.  I genuinely get a lot from just chatting ad hoc and I typically see the passion ooze out of people when we talk fishing.  I guess it’s what anglers all have in common, but with my thirst for knowledge ever greater, a few conversations have stood out recently and I have really stepped back and taken on-board some inspiring comments.


Danny Stone, a friend, a carp angler and fishery owner really validated for me that my fishing approach and my mind-set is absolutely how I need it to be, I face things sideways on , and never to change that.  Danny always says it how it is and I respect that.  A great chat around the KD Rig and he explained all aspects of it to me.  I always enjoy chats with Danny and I plan to do more of it.

Andy Grover, a team member encourages me to keep my match style head on when it comes to feeding, something I now consider since this chat  with him.  Simple words but Andy absolutely believes a match style approach can be as effective and piling in bait on the right venue.  A great thinking angler is Andy and generous to a fault …. Thanks for the leads Andy.  For the record when I saw Andy’s bait boat at Larford the theme tune to the love boat always came into my head!  #ruined

Gav Astley, owner of Beechwood Baits simply tells me I can.  And he genuinely tells me it will happen “your water shot is inevitable, but enjoy the journey, if I can help, shout me”.  Gav simplifies things for me.  Can’t beat that can you.  Gav is time poor, with work, family life and constantly making bait, but he is friends rich, and always has time for his fishing buddies.  Enough said!

Denis Ryan, a team member has a knack of using comparisons  in match fishing to make his point in carp fishing, so I understand.  Really simple but very effective and it hits home.  Denis will always demonstrate as well as coach me which is excellent.  And for the record, he doesn’t fish in Ireland 🙂  see my video here if I’ve lost you on this one!

Neil Thomas, is a ball of energy and simply inspires me.  It’s plain to see he gets a lot out of coaching and passing on knowledge and he has gone that extra mile to help me and Brian Coakley on our last outing to Blakemere.  It speaks volumes about him and no wonder he is the team captain…..Apparently he’s not  a bad angler either 🙂

So if you whack all of them guys together you have one seriously super carp angler !!!

How lucky am I !!!!


So after all of the above the question is :do I feel closer to the water shot?


Absolutely yes I do ………..and here is why .

Since my last blog on “The water shot” I have learned so much, and loved every minute of this next step in my journey.  I have learned and practiced at Blakemere :

  • Multi rigs/KD rigs /standard hair rigs/chod rigs/maggor rigs
  • Bait floss
  • Pva tape
  • Captive Back leading
  • Measuring sticks
  • Casting technique
  • Bite alarm set up
  • Rod pod set up
  • Leads and their uses
  • Bivvy essentials

I didn’t catch at Blakemere but my spirits could not be higher, I am a better angler for the experience and loved every second of being with the team on the bank putting things into practice.

So what sticks out …. What are my hurdles?

Rigs ……. Its 4 letters, a little word…………. but in carp fishing it is one of the most essential part of catching besides sighting fish.

I am a novice at rigs but I know this …….. in order for me to fool the craftiest of fish my bait has to act natural, and this is all down to rig and hook choice so I need to practice, change, be different, see how it sits in the water, invent my own, do things different, research, experiment, keep thinking and not sit there and wait.

Rig with a 16mm Mussleberry Red and PNBA Adjusta plug


I cannot wait for my next trip out, and hopefully will be on the bank in Feb with Denis and Andy who I know will gladly share all their vast knowledge with me………… I am gonna glean so much.

Now I have my head well and truly stuck into end tackle and the part it plays, I know how important this is and I need to get it right.

I know Neil will keep pushing me and telling me “cast again” hit the spot and keep at it until you hit the spot every time.

I know Gav will be there to help me with anything I need.

Two other people I have not mentioned but need no introductions are  Brian Coakley and Stewart Rusling who are my brothers in this team.

Brian is on the journey with me and a great support because we talk and help each other along the way (and he snores like a right one), and Stew has so much to offer with carp angling.

This blog chapter has really demonstrated how we roll at Beechwood Baits and it has occurred to me that every step forward I make has been at the hands of good friends and closer to that elusive “water Shot”.

Roll on my next trip out.




The Musselberry Reds, a closer look – By Gav Astley

You may well have heard me mention the Musselberry Reds in the past, and indeed they feature in two of my previous blogs, second only as stars of the show to the fish they banked.  On our trip to Brie, and The Quarry, they proved they are superb single baits to cast at showing fish.  On both of these occasions it was a single show that was enough to cast the bait at, and subsequently land fish.

The Dolphin at 30lb 11oz, a magnificent old creature that made the mistake of sticking his nose out and getting a Musselberry Red with PNBA plug dropped in front of it!

So what is it?  What is it that the Musselberry Reds have that’s so special?

Well, for a start they’re built on an outstanding base, The Musselberry.  A really accomplished bait, technical in its inner workings, yet simple it its application for the angler.  It was the first bait we released commercially at Beechwood, and its gone from strength to strength ever since.  It’s been available now for over three years, and it continues to regularly bank PB’s and lake records, and will continue to do so.  It’s HNV as you’d expect from Beechwood, and genuinely unique, especially in its liquid makeup.

We have The Musselberry Hard Hook baits, which match the rest of the bait range perfectly, so why not just stop there?  Especially given how good the bait is!  Quite simple really, options and edges.  We wanted to add a hook bait to the range that gave anglers a real ‘chuck anywhere and still have a chance’ option, built on The Musselberry as a base.

The now legendary ‘Musselberry Reds’

So we ripped open The Musselberry formula, re-analyzed it, dissected it, put it back together and turbo boosted some of the carp signals to epic levels.  As an example, the GLM content in the baits has been boosted massively, and now sits way above what is considered the normal levels.  Another classic ingredient which was given the super boosted treatment, was the amino liquid Minamino.  Without going into too much ‘tech’ detail, we focused heavily on the amino signals, and along with liquid amino compounds we also tweaked the added single aminos in the bait.

After all the tweaking, testing and developing, we achieved our aim, and the resulting Musselberry Reds are just what we wanted, amazing hookbaits you can cast anywhere, anytime with total confidence.  Over large beds of bait they are still singled out, equally fished as stand alone baits they are superbly accomplished.

The only fish caught during daylight hours during our trip to Brie, again one show, a Musselberry Red with a PNBA plug and its game over!

Now, without question, my No1 go to single hook bait option is a Musselberry Red with a PNBA Adjusta Plug if I’m fishing singles.  The immense power and durability of the Musselberry Red, made into a neutrally buoyant hook bait with the added PNBA attraction into the bargain, I’d almost be happy casting it into a tree and expect to catch!  Almost!!  If you cast this bait option at fish, and they are even remotely in the mood for a feed, you will get good, confident takes.

The actual bait that caught The Dolphin, a Musselberry Red with PNBA plug

If your interested in this Adusta Plug option for your hook baits, check out the link here, and video here.  They open up a world of possibilities for all hook baits, and I’ll write more in-depth about them in a future blog.

So, there you have it, the Musselberry Reds, essentially turbo boosted Musselberry Hard Hookers, which are so good they have become lots of anglers go to hook baits.  We have had lots of comments such as ‘they are my number one’, ‘quite simply the best hook baits ever’ and ‘just awesome’.

The Musselberry Reds – mission accomplished.