Meet The Team
NAME: Shaun Harrison
UK PB: I measure those in merit rather than lb’s and oz’s. some of the most difficult have been nowhere near my largest.
FOREIGN PB: Same as the above
FAVOURITE METHOD: Catapult range when I can but have been known to catch a few at extreme range – always cast, never dropped off of a boat.
FAVOURITE WATER: Difficult one that one but probably The Mangrove circa 2002
I started catching carp in 1977 but I have had a deep fascination with fish for as long as I remember. As a child I had many different fish tanks and ponds at my parent’s house, where I kept all manner of things. Fish I purchased from pet shops as well as many more captured with a tiny net on the end of a cane from the local river.
Eventually I progressed to fishing with a rod and line for anything that happened along, which soon saw my interest move on from small fish, to deliberately targeting bigger fish, enjoying the challenge and the fight they gave. This started off with me deliberately targeting larger than average chub with fish baits and then pike. In 1977 I was fishing for chub in the snow on the mighty River Trent when I accidently hooked a carp, in fact I ended up catching 3 that day and from that moment on, my path in life totally changed.
I had been really into music and rugby as well as my angling, but seeing those carp and feeling the power through the rod, I suddenly wanted to do nothing else and suffice to say my guitar playing went into the gutter as did my rugby. All I could think of was carp.
I was still at school at this stage and having a lake with carp in it which no-one was allowed to fish outside the classroom window certainly didn’t help my concentration on school work.
Eventually I left school and went along with many other people for a job interview at what was at the time a very large fishing tackle shop – Walkers of Trowell. Somehow or other I got the job. I was employed to build and develop a big fish and carp fishing side, as they did nothing at the time to cater for the carp angler other than rods, line and reels.
Well, 25 years later I was really proud of what I had achieved but felt as though I no longer had anything left to aim for at Walkers of Trowell so it was time to move on and recognising a gap in the market at the time for very high quality food type boilies which the carp would benefit from eating rather than cheap flavour carrier baits which the market was flooded with I started work on the formation of a new bait company – Quest Baits to supply exactly the same type of baits as I actually used.
I started writing regularly for the U.K. magazines in the mid 1980’s and soon I was approached by different companies wanting to sponsor me once they saw what I’d been catching. This was in the day when it was rare to find anyone sponsored. I spent many years with Kevin Nash Tackle and Bait and was actually responsible for a few of the bait items in their range such as Sting Oil, Amber Attract base mix, Whisky and so on as well as many items of tackle. I found it as difficult telling Kevin I was setting up a rival bait company as I did telling my boss at Walkers of Trowell that I was leaving after 25 years!
My sponsor’s to-day are Free Spirit Fishing who I have been involved with since before their launch. I get approached quite regular by other companies but turn most down as I like the freedom to use exactly what I feel is right rather than what I am supposed to use. If you see me using it I truly believe it is the right thing for the job.
Well the writing has continued for over 30 years, so I guess I must have had the occasional interesting thing to say. My work has now been published in many different countries, this is something I am really proud about but I really don’t know how many different magazine titles I have written work for. I have had several long series and I guess in probably over 30 different U.K. magazines alone which would work out at getting on 1,000 articles. I wrote a weekly column for 4 years as well!
I have also appeared on the television several times and on many DVD’s. Quest Baits has been hugely successful and again is something I am incredibly proud about. It is my way of giving something back to the sport and to the fish which have given me so much pleasure over the years. I now no longer have those special secret baits – they are now available to all.
If I get involved in something and use something it’s because I truly believe in them.