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by Tom Clegg
The Red Revolution? Alternatively it could be green, black or brown – for the new Atomic Cloud additive from GOT Baits comes in four colours and flavours. Whichever you choose, all the evidence suggests it’s likely to cause a big bang. Tom Legge joined creator Trevor Price for a demonstration at Alders Farm. Trevor Price dunked his pole cup into a bait box containing a vivid red liquid, scooped up a batch then swung his pole’s top three kit around and poured it into his swim from a fair old height.
In terms of attracting and holding a huge shoal of fish in his peg, it seemed a pretty bizarre way of going about it. But within seconds of his light, red maggot-baited rig touching down within the slowly dispersing red cloud, Trev was plucking a 3oz rudd from the epicentre. Getting on for 80 companions in the 2-6oz range were already nestling inside his keepnet, and this had been Trev’s first top-up feed. So far, only two dozen maggots had been flicked out by way of additional feed, and this oft-sceptical hack was fast regretting his initial cynicism!
Trev’s company, GOT Baits, have called the stuff Atomic Cloud and offer it in 250 gram packets, priced £2.99. As well as Red (Strawberry) version, there are also Green (Halibut), Brown (Catmeat) and Black (Aniseed) options.
A fine powder of even consistency, you simply add water to create the liquid feed. “There’s nothing truly new in fishing. What we’ve developed here is similar to the slop and squatt tactics which the likes of Mark Pollard and Gary Page wiped the board with on the Grand Union Canal 15 years ago,” said Trevor. “Create a potent cloud of attraction to pull the fish, then catch them shallow and fast.” The Appliance of Science Although Trev’s comparison stands up to some extent, there’s clearly more to Atomic Cloud than a sloppy groundbait mix.
Firstly, its vivid colours and flavours allow it to be used in many other ways – such as to dye and flavour all manner of hook baits and feeds including corn, meat and pellets. “If the fish are unwilling to come up in the water, as you’d expect on cold hard winter days, you can form small ball of groundbait in the usual manner and feed the stuff to catch them at depth. Once it gets down, a cloud will come off and linger just above the bed.
We’ve tested this and seen it with our own eyes,” added Trevor, who admitted that he got so excited about this product that he couldn’t wait to test it out in matches after almost two years off the scene to take care of business matters. “The idea came to me whilst reminiscing about the old days on the canals, when we used to add powdered milk to our mix for a lingering cloud,” said Aylesbury-based Trev, who had a chance ‘meeting of minds’ to thank for getting his idea quickly into motion.
Two secret ingredients are the key to Atomic Cloud’s potent pulling power, and the final recipe was arrived at by Trevor working in conjunction with a bait guru who wishes to remain nameless and behind the scenes. “We met by chance and got talking, and discovered we had a lot of mutually beneficial ideas.
Once we won each other’s trust the partnership got going, and will hopefully continue,” said Trev. “Once we had the prototype ready, I got straight into action here at Alders Farm. And I wasn’t shy about telling people either. I said: ‘Here goes with my cosmic cloud’ as I poured the first cupful in, and straight away I was catching.
It wasn’t long before the others anglers in my section were asking questions about what on earth it was,” he recalled. Reminded by someone that Cosmic Cloud was the name of a ‘70s groundbait containing silver glitter particles, Trev changed the name to Atomic Cloud and began producing the stuff for the company’s growing band of retailers and customers. “It’s something nobody else is doing, though I expect we’ll be copied soon enough. I just hope that anglers use it before they judge it. If they do, they’ll be impressed with the results I’m sure,” added Trevor.
‘Mr. X’, the aforementioned bait guru, had come along to watch the feature in progress – plus have a fish himself. He told me: “The bait game is about much more than just flavours. I work with appetite stimulants, the best known of which is probably Betaine, amongst other things. I won’t even begin to go into hormones!” Intriguing stuff – but as with any bait, the angler’s tackle also needs to be right for the task in hand – so it was time to check out Trev’s kit and technique.
“I come from a canal fishing background, so speed fishing to-hand and catching shallow were already part of my armoury before commercials came along,” reasoned Trevor, who selected a swim halfway along the Little Pump Pool. He set up just two threes plus a cupping kit of his aged but still functional Drennan Logic Progression pole, each with 0.12mm WB Clarke Match Team line. One had a 3 x 10 Mick Wilkinson float shotted with a small mid-depth bulk of three No.10 Stotz, the other a 2 x 10 Sconee float shotted similarly for a slower descent of the hook bait. At the business end of both was a size 18 Kamasan B911.
With white Hydrolastic through his pole’s top two, Trev could swing fish of 4-5oz to hand without damaging the light line, and also had a built-in safety margin against carp intrusions which he said would be ‘inevitable’. “They’re only little pasties around 12oz in this pool but you still want to land them reasonably fast,” he noted.
Pouring around a third of the Atomic Cloud packet into the base of a dry bait box, he simply poured on water and gave it a thorough stir with a pole winder. Alongside sat a pint of red maggots, and that was all he needed! “I’ve already done well with the silver fish here, and as winter sets in and the carp slow down I can only see it getting better. As with all commercials, the silvers get ignored but they’re here in numbers and 50lb should be possible in five hours today,” he boldly declared.
Trevor slipped into a regular rhythm of dropping in the baited rig and watching for the float to settle at its two foot setting – which it seldom did. Any sign of a hold-up bite from the swarms of rudd was met with a steady lift, and on the occasions when he failed to connect or a fish was bumped or dropped off on the swing, he’s calmly return the rig to the water and repeat the process. Although never seeming to be rushing, Trevor’s catch rate was impressively fast.
Every now and then he’s perceive a slow-down or some other reason for re-feeding, which is often instinctive amongst top anglers who struggle to explain just why they did so at such a moment in time. The red liquid would be stirred, then in would go the pole cup and out to the spot for pouring into the swim.
Only twice did I see him feed maggots too, and although he later reckoned to have put in close to half a pint I reckon that most of those were used as hook baits! After all, some 700 rudd plus 34lb of bonus carp for a weighed total of 97lb does require a fair few hook baits, even allowing for the fact that up to four rudd could be caught on the same maggot at times.
The bankside activity had attracted several onlookers over the course of the day, and Trev’s total weight surprised everyone – including his GOT Baits business partner Gary Thorpe who was busy fishing the nearby Pumphouse Lake in a pellet versus paste contest with Mick McMillan. Gary had been ribbing Trev about his use of white Hydro. But even ‘The Thorpedo’ couldn’t conceal the fact that he was impressed!
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