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MC#12 Abenteuer Kanal, the vid

Canal fishing on the Continent logically makes one think of the big canal systems in Belgium and Holland. In our previous magazine, MC#12, we had Sven and Sebastian, a couple of cool Germans, explaining the rich German canal history and experience they share. Now these boys made a little vid for us… Enjoy!

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Order from us before the end of January and win a complete Nash PinPoint set!

Hi peeps, we’ve got another great prize coming up! This time you could be the first one to own a complete Nash PinPoint hook sharpening set including some of Nashies latest new hook samples! Instead of doing the usual like and share, we’ve decided to give it away to our loyal customers: everyone who orders (big or small) from our Bigcartel during the month January enters the competition automatically, winner will be drawn randomly on Feb 1st, 2018. Spread the word & be lucky!


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“Hey OTBT, your typeface sucks! Give us some flames please…”

Being proper DIY ourselves we started focussing on some other cool Do It Yourself projects in angling. In MC#11 we had Fallon’s Angler magazine and KingFish, in our latest issue MC#12 we had the pleasure of getting some questions over to Stephen May, founder and creator at On The Beaten Track. Since our magazine is still in Flemish/Dutch only and the massive UK/European following we have, we thought it would be cool to give you guys the full piece behind OTBT on here. Here’s what Stephen had got to say to us:

“I came across some old files whilst sorting through my old Mac from when I first sat down with the intention of creating OTBT and I thought that some of you may be interested in hearing some of the back story behind the brand, why I created it, and my intentions for the future.

I work as a Graphic Designer, constantly working with big brands on a daily basis and quite often I find myself restricted by a set of strict guidelines – colour pallettes, typefaces; do’s and dont’s, and whilst this is something that I would normally advocate for any brand, with OTBT, it was different – this was personal. I never wanted to feel restricted with what I could do with my own brand. I wanted it to be something organic; something that could adapt to change and be something that I could experiment with and generally just have some fun.

My clients can be ever so demanding or having their own ideas which just don’t work. I can live when they say they don’t like this or that typeface, but when they ask to add some flames to the design…

Therefore, there was a need for a simple logo; something that was timeless and wasn’t too stylised and that wouldn’t become dated over time. Something that would sit with any style of photography, illustration or anything else that I applied it to. However, that’s not to say that just because it appears simple, that there wasn’t any thought gone into it…it’s much more complicated than that. Quite often, the things that appear the most simple, are those that have taken the most time and thought processes.

The first thing was the name “On The Beaten Track.” Like many of us, I’m not privy to an exclusive syndicate, where I rarely see another angler on the bank. I’m a day ticket angler, and such is the growing popularity of carp fishing, I’m quite literally walking a ‘beaten track’ that has been walked by thousands before me. But there were also countless other names before settling on that. I already had a pretty clear idea in my head of how I wanted the brand to look, but there were other elements to consider that would strengthen its’ meaning and that people could relate to. Carp fishing is a journey. Not only in the literal sense but one that takes us many miles up and down the country and across continents in search of new waters and new challenges, so the logo needed to have a strong reference to a journey or an adventure, hence its’ obvious nod to a compass. But thirdly, carp fishing is also something that has us tearing our hair out at times; constantly trying to outwit our quarry and quite often chasing them round in circles and ending up right back where we started, which is why you’ll notice that OTBT reads exactly the same which ever way you read it in the logo and hence the reason I settled on the name ‘On The Beaten Track.’ So as you can see, the simple things, aren’t always as simple as they may first appear.

I initially set up OTBT as an outlet for my photography and latterly, videography. I’ve always been into my photography I’d come back from every session with some nice shots that would just sit on my Mac and never see the light of day. It seemed a shame, and I wanted to share them with like-minded people. Secondly, being a graphic designer, I’ve always wanted my own brand…what for, I’d never been too sure, but it was a way that I could experiment with ideas. Very often, when pitching work to a client, there’s tonnes of nice work that just gets chucked away as a wasted byproduct of the design process, and this is a real shame, and every so often, you’ll do something that sparks a new idea and something that could be applied elsewhere into my own work.

I’m not the sort of person who can just do ‘nothing.’ My mind is constantly ticking over thinking about what I can do next and I always need some sort of personal project to work on. It’s probably why I’ve never been too good on long beach holidays, as I just get bored and start thinking that I could be spending the time doing something more productive. It is tiring at times, I must admit, but that’s just me.

I felt that I had something different to offer the world of angling. There’s some great companies out there producing some great products and I could never (and has never been my intention to) compete with them. I just felt that I could put my own spin on things and combine my love of angling, graphic design, photography and videography, to offer something different and perhaps, something that hasn’t been seen before.

OTBT does take up a lot of my time and a few of my close friends questioned why I was doing it at first, and in all honesty, in the beginning, I wasn’t even sure. It just began life as a personal project that kept me busy and I wanted to see where it took me. So far, it’s taken me on a journey which started out purely photography-based and more latterly developed into videography, clothing and all the associated design work that comes with it, and it’s an opportunity for me to do things my way, exactly how I want, without any outside interference – complete creative freedom, whichever direction it may lead me.

This leads me nicely onto where I decided to take the brand next – clothing, and other items where I thought I could apply my own style and offer something different. I’ve always loved sugar skulls and always wanted to create one myself and this is where the ‘Death Rig’ design was born – a skull constructed from various angling paraphernalia. Admittedly, the name is a bit ‘out there’ given it’s connotations and may be frowned upon by some, but that’s fine with me. I wanted to create something edgy and unseen in the angling world. I’m always looking to push boundaries and in doing so, you’re likely to piss a few people off along the way – break the rules and evolve. I did however consider for a long time whether it was too ‘out there’ and the design sat on my Mac for months, before I finally decided to produce a small run of T-shirts, followed shortly after by some matt black mugs featuring the matt gold Death Rig artwork. This literally took me completely by surprise how popular they have been and the demand has sky rocketed to a point that has far surpassed any of my expectations and what started out as a project that was intended to fill some downtime, has now turned into something that takes up most of my time. It really is quite amazing how what started life as a little idea whilst sat at my Mac in the back room of the house, has now evolved into something that I simply can’t keep up with and for which, I feel truly humbled.

So what lies in store for the future? Well, OTBT has never been about following trends or appeasing the masses. It’s purely about ideas and experimentation. If I feel like an idea is good enough to run with, then I’ll see it through, if not, then it gets dumped and I’ll move onto something else. It’s not about releasing ‘seasonal’ ranges or following the crowds, it’s about producing something that I can feel proud of and that’s the way it will always be. Alongside that, there’s also the constant need for me to produce beautiful imagery, which is where the idea for the ‘Mirror Mirrored’ series began. I always like to produce work that makes people stop and stare, notice things they hadn’t noticed first time round and question whether what they are looking at is entirely natural, despite looking so at first glance. With the rise in social media and the decline in peoples attention spans as a result, it’s increasingly difficult to make people stop as they scroll down through an Instagram feed, so it’s more important than ever to create something different and that’s what drives me forward to with OTBT – to surprise and create a stir and I can only hope that I have achieved this in some way through my work.”

Stephen just released a new OTBT vid, next level stuff again:

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Big river beauty and forty falling for our Esterella pop ups

Our friend Kevin used his freshly bought Esterella pop ups from us for the first time last night, and within hours he had this absolute stunning big river mirror from a stretch he has been fishing for some while. Kevin had seen the fish before, and like many carp all over Europe, it just could not resist the unique combination of old esters our editor Gio has been using for so many years.

Order yours now from our Bigcartel webstore!

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Win 20kg of NashBait Candy Nut Crush!

Thanks to our friends at Nash we can run this great NashBait competition on here! No need to purchase anything, no likes & shares, just fill in this simple form and question and you might win 20k of Candy Nut Crush boilies through Monkey Climber! Be quick, comp closes on July 2nd!

About Candy Nut Crush

A mouth watering, creamy high attract bait based on Kevin and Gary’s classic combination – catching carp for over 20 years. As effective on pressured UK day ticket venues as giant European venues with huge numbers of nomadic carp Candy Nut Crush has a subtle and sweet rounded taste from the Scopex No. 1 and Spanish tiger nut meal combination in the proven Instant Action high attract cereal base mix. The washed out finish is ideal for pressured fisheries where bright baits are hammered.


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The sad end of a Kempisch mirror…

Our Belgian friend, reader and big carp angler Harry Peeters sent us this amazing story and pics about the surprisingly sad end of Triple Scale, a well known mirror from one of the Kempisch Canal stretches.

When Harry fished that particular stretch in the period 2000-2002 there was a good stock of big fish about, including Triple Scale which went 44lb+ at its best. The first time Harry caught the fish though, he did not recognize it immediately as it was spawned out. The second time there was no doubt, this was Triple Scale (see pics)!

Unbeknown to most, this fantastic mirror had a tragic ending. Carp anglers who were fishing a famous swim known as the Narrow witnessed a big, fully loaded barge passing by, after which Triple Scale came surfacing heavily wounded but still alive… With heavy hearts they had no other choice than to put an end to the animals misery and suffering. RIP.


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Monkey Climber Esterella pop ups

Here’s something fingerlicking sweet for you! So many of you asked our editor to roll some of his fav pop ups, and now he’s decided to do a limited batch of his best Winter combo. Based around a secret formula involving two types of esters, n buteryc acid and betaine, these Esterellas are quite unbeatable even in cold water temperatures.

15 mm only. Perfectly shaped. Available in white or a subtle pink. We also do a cured version which is mega potent, but a tad more expensive as well due to the long curing period and need of more liquid and NHDC sweetener.

Coming in the nicest pop up tub you’ve ever seen 🙂

These sweet babies had our Bigcartel store running like mad, get them here or come down to our booth 207 at Carp Zwolle 2017.

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Monkey Climber x CC Moore Turbo Monkeys pop up collab

Ow yess! Our friends at CC Moore made us a brandnew Ltd. pop up for Carp Zwolle 2017! These Turbo Monkeys based around a clever Red Bull formula will be very limited and only available at the show (as long as stock lasts). No preorders, no online sales, not in shops. Just a proper, limited one off. Thx Ian & crew!

Since we teased about these pop ups a couple of days ago, we’ve literally had hundreds of messages from people asking if we could save them some, put some tubs aside, mailorder them, etc. Much to our disappointment, the answer simply is no. We will only have 70 tubs per show day and we’ll be selling these on a first come, first served basis only (1 tub per person). Hope you all understand.