Bait Baron

We talk to the owner of DT Bait De­vel­op­ments to see how things are pan­ning out since he pur­chased the Es­sex-based brand just over a year ago

Carpworld - - CONTENTS - -DT Bait De­vel­op­ments

We talk to the owner of DT Bait De­vel­op­ments to see how things are pan­ning out since he pur­chased the Es­sex-based brand just over a year ago

Carp­world: How did you get in­volved in DT?

Tom Mcgre­gor: Hav­ing worked in many parts of the in­dus­try over the years – man­u­fac­tur­ing, re­tail, as a bailiff and then, lat­terly, in DT for two years – so it was a golden op­por­tu­nity when DT came up for sale. Be­cause of that it wasn’t too much of a change from what I’d been do­ing be­fore as I was al­ways in­volved in the an­gling world, and mov­ing from work­ing in the com­pany, to run­ning the com­pany was just an­other day.

CW: Have you made any changes since you took over?

TM: Well, one thing will never change and that’s the qual­ity of the bait... this has built the com­pany’s rep­u­ta­tion for

30 years, and was a ma­jor rea­son for me get­ting in­volved with it – and peo­ple who know me, know how proud of it I am.

We’ve also im­proved cus­tomer ser­vice, with next day de­liv­ery and fresh-rolled bait be­ing avail­able to an­glers for col­lec­tion on a daily ba­sis. And we al­ways carry a full stock of re­lated prod­ucts.

Be­yond that, the fac­tory is now some­thing to be proud of too. It’s bet­ter laid out and, as a re­sult, a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment to work in for me and the guys. And me be­ing me, it’s im­mac­u­late!

We’ve cre­ated some new prod­ucts and put them out, ini­tially for field­test­ing, then into the mar­ket – new liq­uid foods, bait sprays, pre-soaked, boosted hook­baits, im­proved pop-ups... and there’s a num­ber of other ideas cur­rently in the pipe­line

CW: What does a ‘nor­mal’ week now en­tail for you guys?

TM: There are few week­ends that we aren’t work­ing, par­tic­u­larly at this time of year. We get a lot of email en­quiries from an­glers seek­ing ad­vice and there’s al­ways stuff to do in the fac­tory.

The most im­por­tant thing at the start of the week is to get the week­end’s or­ders out to the an­glers straight away! Then it’s about set­ting the plan for bait pro­duc­tion on Mon­day and through the week, and then get­ting on with it!

I’m lucky enough to have a cou­ple of good guys in the of­fice, who usu­ally take or­ders and or­der ma­te­ri­als, but some­times if they have en­quiries from an­glers who want to talk to me on a par­tic­u­lar query or bait choice, I’m only too happy to help.

Then ev­ery week I find time for con­tin­u­ous de­vel­op­ment and im­prove­ment. For ex­am­ple, there are some crack­ing pop-ups in the pipe­line and these will go out to the team shortly.

CW: What per­cent­age of your sales are fish­meal-based, as op­posed to bird­food or milk-protein these days?

TM: Over­all it’s about 50%, but it de­pends on time of year. In the win­ter we have to sin­gle out our best per­form­ing cool-wa­ter bait, Cold Wa­ter Green Beast. It’s the only choice of our cus­tomers in the colder months, and some­times the choice of other com­pany’s cus­tomers too! How­ever, we have some phe­nom­e­nal fish-based baits through the warmer months such as Pukka Fish and Berry Bub­ble and let’s not for­get the N-blend – that’s in a class of its own amongst nut-based baits, with the high­est tiger nut con­tent out there and is an­other top seller.

CW: How are you, as a com­pany, cop­ing with the in­creases in cost, at source, of many key in­gre­di­ents since the turn of the year? Will they have any knock-on ef­fect with re­gard to the con­sis­tency of your prod­uct?

TM: Yes, there have been cost in­creases in raw ma­te­ri­als but we haven’t passed them on to our cus­tomers. It goes against our ethos to com­pro­mise stan­dards. We buy the best in­gre­di­ents, end of... and will al­ways do so.

For new baits we are con­stantly search­ing for fresh, in­ter­est­ing in­gre­di­ents from around the world, yet we do have an eye on sus­tain­abil­ity. As a com­pany we are proud, for ex­am­ple, of not us­ing glass spheres in pop-ups. As a side-note we are a car­bon-neu­tral fac­tory with elec­tric­ity pro­vided by so­lar pan­els around the site. In the world of carp fish­ing I think we have to take a sus­tain­able view – it’s im­por­tant.

CW: If you had to choose one bait from your range, which would it be and why? TM: Wow, that’s a dif­fi­cult one! We have got a bait for ev­ery sea­son, and ev­ery sit­u­a­tion... How­ever, hav­ing had a par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable sea­son on one lake catch­ing a num­ber of fish in­clud­ing six 30lb-plus com­mons and my own English PB com­mon of 47lbs 10oz, I would have to choose the Pukka Fish, Peach and Sour Cream.

CW: Are there any new and ex­cit­ing ideas on the hori­zon? Where do you see the com­pany in an­other three to five years time?

TM: We’re work­ing on a new, blended liq­uid food and feed­ing trig­ger that we are re­ally ex­cited about. And we’re al­ways work­ing on ideas, but we won’t in­no­vate for the sake of it – only if we can do some­thing bet­ter. Our new bait sprays are a case in point... purer, more po­tent and ef­fec­tive than any on the mar­ket.

Five years time? Although our cus­tomer base is grow­ing in the UK and Europe – and I’ve got to look af­ter that busi­ness – you’ll never drag me away from the bench where I’m re­search­ing, im­prov­ing and dis­cov­er­ing. That’s what gives me a buzz, af­ter all the clue is in our name, DT Bait De­vel­op­ments – we have to keep mov­ing, keep im­prov­ing. Let’s re­con­vene nearer the time...

Tom over­sees the day-to-day run­ning of the busi­ness, although his pas­sion has al­ways been bait-mak­ing...

One bait for the rest of my days – PUKKA fish, PEACH AND SOUR CREAM

MANIC MON­DAYS...

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