The Hook Bait Company/wpSpecialist baits for the discerning anglerFri, 03 Aug 2018 07:50:55 +0000en-UShourly1/?v=5.6Chub Fishing with Dave Binns & the Hook Bait Company/wp/?p=1584Fri, 03 Aug 2018 07:41:23 +0000/wp/?p=1584Fantastic video the team member Dave Binns fishing for chub on a small local river, The Original FlakeyandPop up Flakey doing the business

July & August 2016 Roundup/wp/?p=1343Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:09:48 +0000/wp/?p=1343Well where has the last 2 months gone!! The Hook Bait Co. team and our customers have been busy on our rivers and lakes putting our bait to good use with big barbel, chub, carp and even roach finding it hard to resist.

Here’s a brief summary from July and Augusts posts on our Facebook Public Group if you’d like be in with a chance of wining a kilo of your favourite HBC hook baits the please share your captures by joining our Facebook Public Group and post them up there or email the details and photos to

July 2016

Stephen & Jamie Hall 6lb 8oz Chub and 11lb Barbel River Dove HBC Spicy Meat Pro, well done on making the angling press and promoting the Hook Bait Co.


Next just to prove the small species have good taste here’s Simon Varela Roach on the HBC Spicy Meat Pro


Team member and field tester Lewis Gaukrodger with an immaculate Trent Barbel on the HBC Test Bait


Duck face Grazy Roberts with a Teme Tiger barbel on the HBC Spicy Fish Pro


Charity auction winner David Gough with his Dove double on the HBC Spicy Fish Pro


Bob Beal on the Trent with a barbel of 8lb 12oz on the HBC Amino Crustacean


Team member and field tester Andy Sliwa with a Teme Chub on the HBC 3Bs


August 2016

Rob Hill with a 10lb 2oz barbel on the HBC Spicy Meat Pro


Kyle Binns 10lb 4oz barbel and new PB on the HBC Spicy Meat Pro


Dad Dave Binns with his own new PB 12lb 6oz barbel also on the HBC Spicy Meat Pro


John Hoyle with a nice barbel from the river Don on the HBC Spicy Fish Pro


Jamie Armitage with a lovely middle Trent barbel caught on the HBC Stiminol pellets


Jamie Armitage with a lovely Tidal Trent barbel caught on the HBC Stiminol pellets blessed with holy water no less!!


Jared Huish with a new PB 12lb 10oz Warwickshire Avon barbel on HBC pellets glugged in stiminol


Dave Varnam with a barbel on the HBC Barbel Proactive


Bob Beal with a 6lb 11oz barbel on the HBC Amino  Crustacean


And finally Grazy with another Dove double on the HBC Spicy Fish Pro


If you’d like be in with a chance of winning a kilo of your favourite HBC hook baits the please share your captures  by joining our Facebook Public Group and post them up there or email the details and photos to

Tight Lines,

The Hook Bait Team.

New Improved Spicy Fish Pro – Bait Sorted!!/wp/?p=1313Tue, 06 Sep 2016 09:18:19 +0000/wp/?p=1313Hook Bait Co. owner Darren McCann has recently tweaked the mix on the already successful Spicy Fish Pro range which has already helped put a significant number of specimen fish on the bank so far this season. Darren said “I have added Atlantic Salmon to it plus a couple of inducers as well but that’s not to say the original Spicy Fish Pro won’t do the business because it’s still a top quality bait”

Dove 03-09-16 12lb 8oz

Field tester Grazy Roberts was sent the first batch of bait this week and has just returned from a session on his favorite river Dove in Derbyshire, Grazy takes up the story…

I’ve had a great start to my season and used no other bait apart from the Spicy Fish Pro. So far this season the original bait has resulted in 25 barbel consisting of 4 x 11’s, 4 x 10’s and the remainder good back up fish to 9lb 12oz as well as 31 chub to 4lb 15oz. I was quite excited when Darren said he’d tweaked the latest batch and even more so when the courier arrived with the parcel just in time for my latest trip.

Along with my team shirt the new bait was discreetly packaged and the Spicy Meat Pro was a gift for my good friend and angling partner Bruce who was already on the river Dove and had 3 barbel through the night to 10lb 10oz on his favorite Hook Bait Co. River Secret.

Bait Sorted

I arrived mid afternoon on the Saturday and setup alongside Bruce who’d had a few dropped runs from chub. The river was still up a little on normal levels and had a good colour to it so with 3 barbel the night before we were optimistic for the following 24 hours. The new bait was dispatched into the swim in moderation, half a dozen dumbells broken in half and a small amount of the Hook Bait Co. 6mm salmon pellets loose fed over each spot. My usual micro pellet in a blockend feeder was tried but the lack of flow meant I retrieved an almost full feeder after 20 minutes so instead I swapped to a 2oz grippa lead plugged with a little paste to slow release into the swim and hopefully draw the fish in to investigate.

We spent the afternoon chatting and drinking tea, it was my birthday the day before and Bruce had brought the cake so ‘Tiffin‘ was the order of the day.

Dove 03-09-16 (34)

Late into evening and still no sign of a bite for me, Bruce had a couple of chub plucks but the swim seemed devoid of life, a disappointing start but still my hopes we’re up and I decided not to recast again until the morning hoping that a fish would find the single hook bait on it’s own merit.

At 6am the following morning a short bleep on the upstream rod had me hover over it waiting for a further sign, if it was just another sneaky chub I’d have to re-bait and disturb the swim. The isotope glowed in the early morning dawn and the disappeared as the rod strained to stay put on the alarm, I lifted in and felt that very reassuring resistance, this was definitely not a chub!!

It headed for the snags to my left but cautious of last weeks hook pull I applied a little pressure and managed to turn it back into open water. When it eventually surfaced I could see it was a good fish by the size of it’s mouth ‘big enough to swallow an orange’ as they say but having had it’s first gulp of unfamiliar fresh air it lunged back down to it’s watery home and this time seemed even more determined to escape. I tightened the clutch a click at a time and after a further three very powerful runs it surfaced again, I pushed the net towards it and it flipped as the net cord brushed it’s side, the line started to whine under stress but I stayed focused and after another minute she was mine!!

Resting in the net was a very broad set of shoulders so I secured the landing net handle and setup the weighing gear and camera, Bruce was on hand to assist and gave me the thumbs up from the bankside, could this be my next step after 4 x 11’s and a PB of 11lb 10oz on opening night?

Dove 03-09-16 (2)

After 10 minutes resting in the margins I lifted her out of the water and I knew straight away it was a very decent fish, the first glimpse of it’s depth told me I had a new PB but Bruce wasn’t sure, “a good double mate” he said “probably an eleven”.

The Avon scales were zeroed again and checked by both of us, Bruce lifted the fish up the needle spun around to 7lb, what the? It was still on the mat as Bruce inquired on how the Avons registered a double, it’s 10lb for a full revolution I said so he lifted all the way and we both watched as it flew past 10, 11 and 12 and then settled on 12lb 8oz, wow a new PB and the most perfectly proportioned barbel I’v caught to date.

I’ll leave you with the photo’s and declare this field test a massive success as I moved swims later that day and had a further 2 barbel and plenty of chub including another new chub PB of 5lb 8oz. Spicy Fish Pro – Bait Sorted.


Dove 03-09-16 (4)Dove 03-09-16 (14)Dove 03-09-16 (18)Dove 03-09-16 (20)Dove 03-09-16 (22)Dove 03-09-16 (29)Dove 03-09-16 (64)Dove 03-09-16 (84)Dove 03-09-16 (86)

The Tidal Trent Addiction/wp/?p=1306Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:31:31 +0000/wp/?p=1306By Lewis Gaukrodger

The Tidal Trent in appearance can be daunting- from is bleak sand bank stretches to its boulder lined rugged bends. It can have the most competent anglers questioning their sanity in angling with 6oz leads rolling up stream as the water comes back up the river on the turn of the tide. In certain conditions an eerie, droning siren can be heard that will appear to get closer overlapping with other sirens as the village flood warnings are triggered. Picturing the scene I was sat on the outside of a sweeping Tidal bend last summer as sirens echoed for miles around, thinking the world was coming to an end or the Russians had done something really stupid the sirens were drowned out with a roar of noise as the water pulled away from the bank…the aegar wave rolled powerfully around the bend and upstream filling the river by another 3 feet as it crashed into the banks on either side.

Moody at the best of times the river and it’s features can be a real tackle cruncher but with selective swim choice, watercraft and knowledge of certain stretches there is something about the Tidal Trent which gets under your skin and becomes ever more addictive. What is certain about the Tidal Trent its potential to nurture some of the best barbel in the country and year on year the number of doubles caught seems increase ten fold. This could be due to the rise of social media with catch reports being more widely available though I doubt this and truly believe the river is flourishing in ever improving conditions. Salmon runs now feature alongside most weirs and their numbers are also ever increasing.

With such a volume of water especially if she is up a few foot up and heavily coloured a planned approach is crucial and this equally applies to lower water levels during summer. I don’t want this article to come across as though I am teaching people to suck eggs, this is simply the approach that works for me.

It terms of swim choice I limit the number of swims I fish to enable me to begin to understand the area I am targeting much better. Personally I now solely sit in swims that others don’t usually target and try to get to know the swim and map a picture in my head of the area I am fishing. There are too many questions to note when selecting swims – When do the fish move into this area? What time suits feeding habits? Does the tide effect feeding? Can the swim be fished in flood and in low clear conditions? Does the swim produce early season/ back end of the season? What features are there to fish to? Does the river bed vary? Are there gravel runs? Is the swim boiling with bream?……you get the idea, make sure you ask such questions though. Using short sessions at different times of the day, lead around and find the answers. Of course if you have one of these all singing all dancing castable fish finders it will give you a lovely picture on your phone of the swim your fishing which may help.

Another benefit of focusing on a select few swims is that you can build the confidence of the resident fish on a certain bait/flavour. I personally over the last 3 season have select 2 flavours of boilie to use, this season I have cut down to just one. Doing this also rules out the tendency to chop and change baits when a session doesn’t produce the expected results, but if you have confidence in the bait such as what I do with the Hookbait Co there should be no reason to doubt it.

The main spear head of my approach is to get a lot of scent in the chosen swim with little free offerings. With hemp being the base of my groundbait this is blended to a pulp allowing a milky cloud to work its way downstream and avoids barbel getting obsessed with rooting for whole hemp seeds. To this I add basic crushed trout pellets, this allows the scent of a full bag of pellets to be release on the river bed with no solid freebies. Additionally I also mix in matching flavoured Hookbait Co groundbait to get relevant scent in the swim that relates to the flavour of boilie hookbait. To bind this mix together bread crumb and a very generous glug of CSL allow the mix to be balled together using a Nash Deliverance Ball Maker and catapulted into the swim.

Catapulting the balls of groundbait upstream of the area I am targeting, I try to keep all the feed within a 5 meters square area. One rule I do abide by is that when you feel you have over fed the swim, feed the same amount again- this is possible due to the mix being scent based with no freebies.

The only free bait that I want available is a large hookbait that has been soaked in matching glug or gloop to enhance it flavour longevity and appeal. This season I am currently using a fishy flavoured test bait that Darren- founder and owner of the Hookbait Company is developing. I prefer this bait to be around 20mm therefore hopefully ruling out smaller fish and bream; however with buckets mouths even the smallest barbel is quite happy to engulf a 20mm bait.

Being meticulous and anal about my approach I purposefully check several things each cast. The first being my main line specifically the length that my lead clip runs on and also the area just above the buffer bead. I find this area is the most likely area to attain any abrasion simply because it’s the line closest to the river bed. Moving down to the business end of the setup I also will check the braid hook length to make sure this has not rubbed up as it makes contact with the river bed. To finish I also check the sharpness of the hook and keep a sharpening stone to hand to ensure they remain razor sharp. With some ruthless snags and features a simple nik or roughed up mainline, hook length or blunt hook could cost you the fish of a lifetime; and with that in the back of my mind I check these 3 areas every cast (day and night).

Taking this to another level I also use high viz pole elastic to mark the distance I am fishing, this does 2 things; firstly it ensures I am casting back onto the same line therefore the feed in am catapulting upstream of my top rod benefits both rods I am fishing. Secondly it allows me to fish tight up to snags (within reason) for example if I am aware that a snag is 2 rod lengths further away from the distance I am fishing and my line marker after casting in is at the top eye on my rod I know I only have 1 rod length to play with. This would then result in my tightening up the drag to avoid the fish easily making its way to the snag if hooked.

As I mentioned previously this is the approach that works for me and is still developing session on session- as I blank, get snagged up and watch fish crash all over my swim. As long as I learn something from each blank session whether it be that an area I thought was a snaggy unfishable swim is actually fishable or I find a new feature then a blank is a success. With success comes confidence; If you can find confidence in your approach the results will not be far behind and the hand on the scales will no doubt spin and settle that little bit further!


June 2016 Roundup/wp/?p=1303Tue, 12 Jul 2016 22:16:31 +0000/wp/?p=1303It was a good start to the 2016 river season for Hook Bait Co. customers and team members.

First up was Grazy with a fin perfect 11lb 10oz river Dove barbel, a new PB taken at 5am on the 16th on a 14mm Spicy Fish Pro dumbell.

River Dove 16-06-16 (7)

Next we have Hook Bait Co, regular Bob Beal who welcomed the new season in on the tidal Trent but events and nearby anglers conspired against him so he headed for a quieter spot and managed his first barbel a 9lb 9oz beauty.

BoB Beal June Barbel Tidal Trent

Bobs favorite bait is the Amino Crustacean and it didn’t let him down with this 8lb 1oz bar of Trent gold winning him this months prize of a kilo of the Amino Crustacean and matching glug, well done Bob!!

BoB Beal June Barbel 8lb 1oz

The chub like the Amino Crustacean too and 15 chub to 4lb 2oz came to the net in the same session!!

BoB Beal June Chub

Finally we have Hook Bait Co. team member Lewis Gaukrodger who’s working with owner Darren McCann and developing a new bait. Lewis had this tidal Trent barbel in the opening week of the season and is confidently sticking solely with the new bait.

Lewis Gaukrodger‎

If you’d like be in with a chance of wining a kilo of your favourite HBC hook baits the please share your captures  by joining our Facebook Public Group and post them up there or email the details and photos to

Tight Lines,

The Hook Bait Team.

Grazy’s Glorious 16th/wp/?p=1184Sun, 26 Jun 2016 21:55:13 +0000/wp/?p=1184The eagerly awaited eve of the new river season was here at last and as I wandered across the familiar field I couldn’t help pondering what lay ahead. It was 7pm on Wednesday 15th June as I settled in my chosen spot, I scanned the opposite bank and was pleased to see I had the place to myself. The spate of torrential downpours had found their way downstream and I surveyed a swollen and rather coloured river Dove.

River Dove 16-06-16 Up & Coloured

I’d packed the tidal Trent gear just in case and a quick cast around with a lead confirmed the heavier tackle would be needed out in the main flow. I waited patiently until the all in at midnight and cast both rods out to what I hoped was some feeding fish.
My technique was changed slightly to last season, still using a rod on the inside but this time introducing some micro-pellets through a block-end feeder the logic being some of the payload would get lodged in the surrounding stones and gravel and encourage the barbel to root them out and hold them in the swim eventually finding the hook bait.
The chosen bait for this session was The Hook Bait Co. Spicy Fish Pro a relaunched bait for the 2016 season and as the name suggests contains very fishy contents, I was to use the 14mm dumbell mounted length ways on the hair.
HBC Fish-Pro
I was recasting every 20 minutes to ensure that plenty of micropellet was introduced into the swim and by 3am the rain was falling in heavy showers as I huddled under the brolly. By 4:30am I’d resided myself to the usual open season anti-climax and had shut my eyes for a short nap when the near margin alarm broke into song and I lifted into a very solid fish.
Whether it was the increased flow or my poor memory I’d forgotten just how hard a Dove barbel fought and I was grateful for dispensing with my usual traditional tackle in favour of a sturdy carbon rod and a smooth clutch on the reel that absorbed the lunges of the fish as it made a break for freedom. A couple of minutes went by and I caught my first glimpse, it was a good fish and one I most definitely didn’t want to lose. Three passes of the net and I was struggling to hold the fish against the flow but more by good fortune than skill it eventually landed safely in the net.
After a good rest I lifted it into the weigh sling, I knew it was a good double and settled on 11lb 10oz on the Avons, a new PB and a great start to the 2016 season.
River Dove 16-06-16 11lb 10oz
A few texts later I was packing up for an early morning meet with the lads and a welcomed full english breakfast.
Big Breakfast Celebrations
The day was spent in good company with plenty of laughs and a chance of a really big fish, Rob was first to land a decent chub of 5lb 2oz followed by Mark with a very good chub of 6lb. I waited patiently for dark and managed a splasher barbel of around 5lb and a chub of 4lb 15oz again caught on the HBC Spicy Fish-Pro dumbells.
Happy with our lot we packed up mid-morning and after another hearty breakfast said our goodbyes and headed off to our respective club beats. It was 4pm when I next cast a line, the Dove was still up and coloured but it looked spot on. It wasn’t long before the near margin rod was off and an 8lb barbel in great condition was posing for the photograph.
River Dove 16-06-16 8lb
Whilst resting the fish in the net the mid-river rod was away but by the time I got to it whatever had taken a run had gone, a daytime Dove barbel is not the norm but to have two runs within 10 minutes of each other from the same swim could only mean one thing, I was in for a productive evening.
A small trout took the bait at 8pm followed by 3 barbel 2 hours apart at 7lb 12oz, 8lb 8oz and a splasher 5lber at 1:30am.
River Dove 16-06-16
River Dove 16-06-16
Less than an hour later I was doing battle again but this time it felt like a better fish and safely rested it went 11lb 8oz, two 11lb Dove barbel was making a good session into a great session!!
River Dove 16-06-16 11lb 8oz
River Dove 16-06-16 11lb 8oz
It was almost light by 3:30am when the next run resulted in a hook pull so I rebaited and recast settling down to watch the day break in spectacular fashion as it always does. It was 7am and I must have nodded off because the nearside margin rod was away again, I lent over and lifted the rod expecting a gentle pull back but instead it almost lifted me out of my bedchair.
I scrambled down the bank to get more leverage on lt only to see the far bank trees wafting in sync with my rod, somehow it had made 30 yards on me whilst I scrambled down the bank and the pull was like nothing I’d ever experienced at least not on a river. One last gasp effort resulted in the hook pulling and everything fell silent, I was gutted as you’d expect but the optimist in me said I’ll be back and one day I’ll hook up with you again, literally!!
So far I’d had seven barbel to 11lb 10oz and a near 5lb chub and not forgetting the trout but my tactics remained the same and all fish had come to the near margin rod lowered into position, using micro-pellet in a block end feeder and the Spicy Fish Pro dumbell as the hook bait.
A further seven chub came to the same tactics although one chub thought it that good he’d try it again and again so I ended up catching him 3 times within 6 hours!!
River Dove 16-06-16 Two Tone Chub
River Dove 16-06-16
River Dove 16-06-16
The final morning and again I was woken at 7am by a screaming run and immediately thought the ‘biggie’ was back to do battle but again the bait was dropped. I hadn’t fished with 2 rods during the night as the nearside margin rod had accounted for all the fish and negotiating the second rod whilst playing a fish have proved challenging at times. I decided to place a single Spicy Fish Pro hook bait way upstream in an area I hadn’t fished at all and see what happened and sure enough within the hour a chub of 4lb+ had found it and taken the bait, just shows how good the Hook Bait Co. baits are!! Now it was time for my breakfast which always tastes nicer out doors.
River Dove 16-06-16

The HBC bacon and beans & sausage breakfast what’s not to like?

Whilst packing down I discovered the lob worms I’d brought with me from a previous cat fishing trip a week earlier so removing the feeder and just using a small lead I recast to the far bank and continued packing up, sure enough 20 minutes later and it was off with the final fish of this 3 day session a chub of 4lb 4oz.

River Dove 16-06-16

Pike & Predator Range – Testing Progress/wp/?p=1037Sat, 29 Nov 2014 13:53:12 +0000/wp/?p=1037The companies new range of pike and predator products are producing the goods during testing with team member Jon Preen banking fish of 28lb 8oz and 25lb 9oz from a Midlands still water, both fish being the largest 2 ‘crocs’ to have come out of the venue in years.
These products offer the predator fishermen something very unique and different to what is currently on the market and will be available to the public in the coming weeks.

28lb 8oz

28lb 8oz

25lb 9oz

25lb 9oz


Barbel 5 Now Available/wp/?p=1019Fri, 03 Oct 2014 12:51:31 +0000/wp/?p=1019The highly anticipated ‘Barbel 5’ range is now available to the public. A bait that has proven to be a tremendous success in testing over the last 12 months putting no fewer then 9 Barbel over 14lb on the bank from rivers up and down the country.


Postage Price Drop/wp/?p=991Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13:42:11 +0000/wp/?p=991We are now dealing with a new courier service that is still giving us fantastic and reliable deliveries but at a reduced rate, therefore we are passing these saving onto our customer base to enable you to purchase from us online cheaper then ever before.

News 26th October 2013/wp/?p=923Sat, 26 Oct 2013 19:58:19 +0000/wp/?p=923HOOK BAIT COMPANY NEWS

We are currently developing 2 new flavours that we are very confident in and if tests are as successful as we anticipate them to be then they will be available at some point in 2014.

We are also tweaking and making improvements to our pike and predator range and hope to have this range on general sale as soon as possible.

Darren recently took this photograph of his hook bait glugged in Stimanol that is available from our ‘Naturals Range’


Stimanol is a pure fish extract which is high in amino acids and stimulatory proteins which we have combined together with a natural sweetener to give a really good rounded profile that is easily digestible. We highly recommend this as an additive in any fish meal mix with a suggested inclusion rate of between 20 – 30 ml. per 6 eggs, and it is even better when used as a glug for hook baits which draw in the goodness and removes the water content from your boilie making them harder and impervious to smaller fish. This product is 100% water soluble and is pva friendly.

You can purchase Stimanol and all our other ‘Naturals’ here: /wp/?page_id=453



It’s been a busy time for the company of late (hence no news for a few weeks) and next month looks to be even busier. We will be in attendance at 3 events in November where you can come along and meet Darren and members of the team, buy bait we have at the events and check samples from our flavour range so you can make orders on the evening for baits we don’t bring in quantities. The events and a little information about them are:

The Nottingham Piscatorial Society Present ‘An Evening with Bob Roberts’

This takes place on Wednesday 6th November at 7.30pm in the Dome at Kelham Hall, Newark.  NG23 5QX.

Details for this event can be found on the NP website here: /?page_id=2830


The Barbel Society Lancashire Region Present ‘An Evening with Steve Pope & Terry Theobald’

Monday 18th November

Bredbury conservative club

George lane


sk6 1as

Entrance 7.00pm for an 8.00pm Start

More details can be found on the Lancashire regions Facebook page here: /groups/281848331922494


The Yorkshire Specimen Group Presents ‘An Anglers Evening for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital With Julian Cundiff & Lee Swords’

Wednesday 27thNovember

Club 39, 39 College Road, Doncaster, DN1 3JH

Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start

Please read the poster below and support the event to help the kids. There are some amazing raffle prizes to be won including a holiday on the river Ebro fishing for Carp & Catfish, guest sessions on some exclusive syndicate waters both lakes and rivers, rod pods, luggage, clothing, bait, terminal tackle, rods, reels…………………… Yes the raffle is that good!!! So get buying those tickets, details on how to do this are on the poster.

You can also check updates regarding this event and all Y.S.G. news on their facebook page here: /pages/Yorkshire-Specimen-Group/315467525242018 and their website here: /




There have been a number of articles, images, updates and fixes on the website which are:

  • The Worm Krill range occasionally failed to add items to your cart to buy them, this has now been fixed so you can now buy all the Worm Krill range of products here:
  • An article by Terry Theobald targeting Bream on our Betaine Pro range here: /wp/?p=878
  • An article by Christian Barker on the cheese paste revolution here: /wp/?p=884
  • An article by Rich Frampton about when a plan comes together here: /wp/?p=801
  • Iain Nairn & Rich Frampton’s profiles have been updated with new catch photographs here (Iain) /wp/?page_id=151 and here (Rich) /wp/?page_id=250
  • An article that was in the Angling Times regarding Paul Bennett almost breaking the river Goyt Barbel record a couple of years ago added to the ‘in the press’ section here: /wp/?page_id=176
  • A new photograph showing how well the gloop holds particles around a ‘glooped’ hook bait added to the gloop product page here: /wp/?page_id=471
  • Photographs added to the galleries