Often outspoken, and nearly always successful in his pursuit of Britain’s biggest carp, Essex-based Jim Shelley feels he has now found his true ‘home’ with Mistral Baits, and he has been explaining why.
Jim said: “I’ve known Allan Parbery, the owner of Mistral Baits, for around 30 years.
“In the early days, I used to get my bait from him when there were very few commercial bait companies around, and I actually caught my first UK 30 lb fish using his baits.
“Allan and I have had various conversations over the years, but for one reason or another, we just didn’t get around to striking a deal.
“Having been on the carp fishing circuit for longer than I care to mention, I’ve been associated with various brands over the years, and I’m very proud to be able to say that I’ve given my all for each and every one of them.
“Things haven’t always worked out how I’d hoped, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that the haters are always gonna hate, and the keyboard warriors will always be out in force, especially if you achieve any kind of success.
“I’m now delighted to be able to say that after visiting Allan’s enormous bait factory in Wellingborough, and having seen what actually goes into these baits, I have accepted the role of Media Consultant for Mistral Baits.”
Mistral set-up “mind-blowing” says Jim Shelley
Jim, who is a popular carp angling coach and author of several books, said: “Mistral have been going strong for over 30 years.
“And I genuinely believe that it’s a testament to the quality of the products that they make, that during a period when we’re seeing lots of tackle and bait companies folding, Mistral are still here, rolling seriously good British-made baits.
“When I visited Mistral HQ, I spent a lot of time with Allan, but I also had the opportunity to speak with his amazing staff, all of whom are talented anglers in their own right.
“It makes a massive difference to me in terms of confidence knowing that the baits I’ll be using are made by the anglers using them themselves.
“The set-up they have at Mistral is absolutely mind-blowing, and there’s a serious buzz about the place. I’ve never seen so many sacks of Haith’s ingredients, and I honestly felt like a kid in a sweetshop!
“I grabbed a couple of bags of Belachan Shrimp and a couple of bags of the new Atlantic Crab with the matching pop-ups, and I fished that same night. I caught my first carp using the Atlantic Crab which weighed 20 lb 12 oz at 2am, which was quickly followed by an unknown 35 lb 12 oz mirror.
“On the way home, I popped into Waveney and managed to bag a 20 lb 8 oz mirror on the Belachan Shrimp, so, as you can imagine, I was well happy christening the new baits the first time out.
“People say you “shouldn’t fix what ain’t broke”, and I really feel like I’ve come back to my roots, signing up to what I see as one of the true pioneers of British bait-making.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Allan and all the team at Mistral. Watch this space!” added Jim.
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Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on Advnture.com, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.