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The Beginning

As a boy I was, and remain to this day, an avid reader of the angling literature. If you too are the type of person that reads your favorite angling monthlies cover to cover over breakfast (the same morning they drop through the letterbox, of course); or your well worn copies of books like Carp Fever have vast sections of text highlighted, with additional copious notes written within their margins, then you’re not alone! More specifically, like so many of us, I always found myself looking for that unique ‘magic’ bait additive that would transform my fishing. I tried what ever I could get my hands on or was in vogue at the time - everything from dried pigeon sh*t, to mown grass flavoring, and even sex pheromones would find their way into my various baits. They all seemed to work at some time to some degree, but nothing ever emerged as the ‘true grail’ we were all looking for. Fast forward over a decade and a half – this boy from Dorset grew up, went to college, and, eventually, found a job teaching chemistry at a small college located just outside of Chicago. Here, in the autumn of 2006, is where the Biosource story really begins…

Combining a passion for angling with over twenty years of chemical knowledge and experience tends to give an individual a somewhat ‘unique’ (OK, nerdy) outlook on life - that’s been my personal experience at least! Briefly, ‘the cogs were once again beginning to turn’ with regard to thinking about what really makes for an effective bait additive. However, unlike in times past, when a quick browse around the carp section of my local tackle shop, or through the pages of an angling magazine, made for my primary means of research; I was now equipped to approach the problem from a more scientific perspective than I’d ever considered possible. Simply stated, I was embarking on a mission in pursuit of the ‘holy grail’ of bait additive science – attempting to determine which compounds (more specifically, which molecular-scale features of such compounds), when added to angler’s baits, truly elicit an enhanced feeding response from fish. The first phase of my research involved a six month review of the available literature – everything from those overly highlighted books from my youth, through to current scientific papers and existing patents were read, and then re-read. This is when it happened. Without going into too much detail (at the time of writing the Biosource and Jigsaw patents, of which this material forms a scientific basis, are still pending), I was able to either ‘read between the lines’,  reinterpret, and / or expand upon a variety of key findings from a number of these relevant publications. Ultimately, this work yielded several ‘candidate' compounds and mixtures (all safe, naturally occurring biochemicals that should make fish feed) that were deemed worthy of further study. The most promising of these materials, which today form the main components of our Biosource and Jigsaw feeding stimulants, were put forward for a series of rigorous trials, under laboratory conditions (aquarium studies) and in the field (fishing tests).

OK, let’s take stock – what do you do? Is the science ‘for real’, have you truly found ‘the goose that lays the golden eggs??’ These, as well as a host of other doubts and questions, filled my mind for literally months after the potential implications of the theoretical work took hold. It was obviously time to test the ‘stuff’ – and so prove it to myself I was either on the right track or was completely off the mark. The Spring of 2007 saw the beginning of a two-pronged research effort to test these theories…

During the previous winter I first met  Trevor Burgess (my now good friend and co-investigator) at a local fishing match. Trev was a real Godsend – as a Brit just arrived in the USA, as well as being popularly regarded as a ‘venue expert’ at his former local Billhook Fishery (Hants), Trev’s expertise and up to date knowledge of UK commercial fishing would prove to be invaluable over the coming months. Thus, while Trev would lead the on-the–water trails (with a little weekend help from me); I’d concentrate on a series of tank tests. The basic goals of each study were the same: First, to establish whether the test materials did indeed induce fish to feed and, second, to determine the optimal levels of the additive required to promote the most favorable response from the fish.
                                             
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