48 Hour Autumnal Test
Over the past few years, Bedfordshire based Innovate baits have been building a more than solid reputation for producing baits that have over the past 3 to 4 years landed some of the biggest fish that swim in British waters. One of the baits in the range that has made a very serious name for itself in the big fish communities is the Squid 2T. We came across the bait first hand about 5 weeks ago, when UKMA heard about Hertfordshire based rod Mark Laurence breaking the Willow Lake record with the Space-Hopper at 44lbs 14oz.
After running this story UKMA contacted Steve Slater and we had a good chat about his company and the products in the range, in particular the Squid 2T. Without having to ask, Steve sent over a sample of the Squid 2T for the UKMA team to have a play with. So we arranged a weekend session on the excellent Abbey Lakes managed by Premium Carp Fishing Ltd (www.premiumfishing.tv) and we were joined by Mark Laurence and his two brothers to put the Squid 2T through its paces on a venue that had never seen the bait before, here’s how we got on.
The Squid 2T is produced with low flavour levels it's the base mix which does the talking on this one. The baits main ingredients are lt-94, soluble fishmeal, NZ whey protein, robin red and Innovate baits own unique 3 spice mix. This is enhanced by the inclusion of high levels of Spirulena, high levels of liquid aminos and an essential oil. This Steamie (steam rolled) boillie can best described as a highly digestible bait that becomes very active when in water. It oozes colour and is designed to trigger feeding all year round and in all temperatures.
The Squid T2 is available in 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 18mm and 20mm sizes with both Steam Rolled Fresh Freezer and Shelflife bait options. To accompany the boillies you have a good selection of accessory baits. You have the IB Mega Pops Squid T2 (Pinkies), these are available in 10mm, 14mm and 16mm sizes. If you like your pop ups and bottom baits to be the same colour then try the Squid 2T Mega Buoyant pop ups. For an alternative presentation you have the Squid 2T Hairaisers, these are a 14mm dumbell wafter that can make a huge difference on hard days.
Another great option are the Squid 2T Gluggers, these shelflife 14mm barrels are pre-glugged to offer the ideal single hookbait option with added attraction. To accompany all the hookbaits in the range you have the Squid 2T PVA friendly glug that is amino based and very attractive to the nose (smells fantastic). Other food sources in the Squid 2T range include the Squid OCT 4mm feed pellet that are supplied in 2kg buckets and last but not least you have the Squid 2T Up & Down 365 Stick and Method mixes to complete the range and offer the angler the complete package.
On The Bank Test
We arrived on a late October’s morning at the lake side and chose our areas to attack. Mark fished a swim half way up the east bank with a deep channel running from his left to right with huge beds of weed everywhere. I opted for a corner peg that had two note clear areas in a channel that was on average 8 feet deep with a large shallow plateau to my left. Mark fished with the Squid 2T Hairaisers as his chosen hookbait and he attached the bait to his rig using floss and a small ‘O’ ring, pop up style. He fed around 20 18mm loose offerings around the channel to try and get the fish searching for food.
I opted to fish a heavily glugged, single 16mm bottom bait tipped off with a piece of black artificial corn on two rods. I placed these on the two noted clear areas and introduced around half a kg of 16mm baits that I had soaked in lake water for about three hours to get the bait working. I loosely fed these over the two areas dropping odd baits on the shallow plateau to my left to draw fish from the shallow water where they were enjoying the heat from the sun. My third rod was cast into a 9 foot deep channel just to my left and I fished a single pop up with around twenty five well spread loose offerings for company.
Top Tip – Many anglers make a very big mistake when using shelflife boillies especially in cold water conditions. These baits are air dried for anything up to four days before going in to the packaging. This in turn makes the boillies very hard and slows down the flavour release of the bait. To get the very best performance from a shelflife boillie in cold water conditions, UKMA recommend that you soak the boillies for as long as possible in lake water before using them to speed up the release of flavours into the water. By adding a small amount of 2T Glug to the water, this will greatly increase the baits performance.
With two of us using the bait in two totally different areas of the lake and using totally different approaches, this would give me a solid representation of what the bait could actually do. At about 3.30pm on the first afternoon, Mark was first out of the blocks with a stunning 22lbs 8oz common from his middle rod. The next fish took a little bit longer and this time it was my turn. At around 2.00pm on the second day I landed stunning double figured mirror using a single bottom bait, topped with black artificial corn. Things changed for the worst on the last night with 40mph winds and guests of 60mph throwing white horses all over the lake.
At around 1.30am I was awoken by the sound of my middle I-3 alarm screaming off to the charge of a fish on. I stepped out into the ripping wind and grabbed my rod. After a solid battle and after fighting with my landing net and the wind I eventually landed a gorgeous upper double mirror which was displaying its full autumnal colours, quite a turn up considering the weather conditions. Before the night was through Mark landed another fish this time a slightly smaller mirror of around 18lbs and just at first light I landed a 6lbs tench to end the session.
We tested the Squid 2T on a venue where the average fish weighs in at just under the twenty pounds mark and the biggest is around the mid thirties. Although we never got amongst the bigger fish in the lake we still caught in autumnal conditions that were far from being in our favour. The four carp banked during testing, all fell to different styles of presentations and in totally different areas, which to me showed that the fish were aware of the bait and were looking for it. Mark has through simply catching numerous big fish n the Squid 2t during short sessions built a total belief in the bait and his confidence in the product speaks volumes. Having only used the bait once I to be totally convinced but on a far from easy venue in poor conditions the Squid 2T from Innovate Baits has unlimited potentials and is a bait I will definitely try again!
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