About Us

A solid family based business with customer care second to none!

Due to being in the bait industry for well over thirty years, my family has built up many solid friendships with customers and will always try to help out and give advice wherever possible. We pride ourselves on customer care and if you are looking for an efficient, enthusiastic and friendly group of people to work with, you've certainly come to the right place.

Unlike so many other companies nowadays, we have absolutely 100% total control over the quality of our products. This due to the fact that we store all of our own raw materials on site and our recipes and formulations are manufactured using a vast array of these ingredients to formulate the end product. In other words, we DO NOT purchase our baits from elsewhere and sell them under a different guise! Ring any bells?

The engine room of the business is operated by myself (when not fishing!) and my wife Debbie, who operates the phone lines and who many of you will know from regular 'phone chats'. Our son, Lee, is the bait production manager and apart from being a keen angler himself for well over twenty years, his enthusiasm and meticulous attention to detail when it comes to making boilies is legendary! I can personally guarantee that EVERY single batch of bait is identical to the last and he would never have it any other way!

Our daughter Kelly is also an important and integral part of the Essential team and ensures that all your goods are carefully measured, wrapped and dispatched in a professional and efficient manor. Debbie's sister, Kim, is another important figure within the business and apart from assisting Lee in the manufacturing department, she is also in charge of deliveries and accounts.

We are all here, as always, to try and make your purchases as seamless as possible and to provide you with the best quality products available. We look forward to speaking with you in due course.

Mike Willmott


Mike Willmott

Lee Willmott

Debbie, Kelly and Kim


Why Choose Essential?

This is one of the key questions we get asked time and time again, but to be honest, there isn't one simple answer. It would be a combination of different facets ranging from a huge amount of experience right the way through to the quality and longevity of our products coupled with the customer care that you would expect from a long standing family-based business. Respect is an often over used word these days, but you don't last thirty-two years in this trade without it. Essential Baits have stood the test of time when so many bait companies have come and gone. Over the years we have worked tirelessly to produce what we believe to be the most effective range of baits available and we will never stop striving to achieve a level of excellence that our customers deserve. The brand name is synonymous with quality and we will never compromise this for quantity. We are Essential, we are innovators not imitators, we are passionate and we will always do our best for you, that's our promise... 


Meet some of our team.

Experience and knowledge counts for everything when it comes to making sure a good bait performs as it should do on a variety of different venues and the feedback we get from our consultants as well as our customers is absolutely essential. We have never been a company that 'pays' anglers to use our baits and never will. Many successful long term anglers use our baits for one reason, simply because they know it will catch them more fish. They go fishing because like all of us, they live and breathe carp fishing and are passionate about the sport they love.  You won't see any of these anglers below jumping from one bait company to another for their next free bait deal! Most of these guys have been with Essential Baits for many years and in a world where loyalty and integrity seems to be a diminishing trait, we are proud to have them on board, and judging by their catches, we think those thoughts are reciprocated!


Rick Golder

Rick has been a consultant for Essential Baits for many years and catches an impressive amount of big UK carp on a regular basis. He is a very well respected angler and contributes regular articles to various magazines and websites. Confidence in a bait is key for Rick because like most of us, he holds down a full time job and has limited time availability, therefore he wants no doubts in his mind. This was proved recently when he tackled the notoriously difficult 'Nutty Lane' venue in search of the elusive big mirror known as 'Daisy'. Despite only having a handful of carp amongst 16-acres of water, Rick applied the B5 for several days before his campaign and after just two nights fishing, he banked the big girl at a weight of 48lb 8oz!  

Jim Hepper

When people talk about old school experienced anglers who know a thing or two but keep completely under the radar, they don’t get much more ‘secret squirrel’ than ‘Big Jim’. He appears in Rod Hutchinson’s early carp books when they were close fishing companions and since that time he has had an incredibly successful angling career, catching stacks of UK monster carp to well over sixty-pounds. He is without doubt one of the UK’s most respected ‘underground carp anglers and the fact that he chooses Essential Baits is testament to the quality and consistency of our range, because believe me, Jim has never been interested in something that’s second best.  

Rob Fielding

Rob joined our team because he felt his results were suffering a little on the baits he was using at the time. Being extremely pedantic about what bait he uses, Rob selected what he considered to be the best twenty bait companies around before ordering up small amounts of baits and painstakingly breaking them open, smelling, tasting, leaving to soak and all the other odd things us carp anglers do! Essential Baits came out on top in Rob's tests and he ordered up his first batch of B5 in September 2014. His fortunes changed overnight, quite literally, and he hasn’t looked back since. His results have been remarkable with a consistent number of big fish, including a ‘forty’ from the mighty Burghfield on just his second visit! 

Dave Gawthorn

Dave is another highly experienced old school angler that is highly respected in all aspects of the specimen world. His appetite for fishing is second to none and he is what we call a proper angling historian. He has caught numerous carp from a variety of different venues for the past forty years and knows more than a thing or two about bait. Apart from being one of the most genuine people we have ever met, Dave is an extremely popular person and if you mention Dave’s name in any carp fishing circles up and down the country, they will all know him. We are extremely pleased to have Dave as part of our team and his help and feedback is invaluable. 

Martin Finan

Martin is a prolific angler and a friend that we have a huge amount of respect for. Not only because he is an extremely competent angler who catches lots of big carp, but because he has morals and integrity. In fact, Martin will be including a chapter within Carp Life 2 detailing an extraordinary campaign on a certain Glos syndicate water where he managed to bank no less than three different fifties! Over the past few season’s Martin has targeted three different venues with great success on our range of bait and is a valuable member of Team Essential.   

David Acreman

When it comes to catching very big fish on regular basis, few anglers can hold a candle to Dave and his results have been remarkable. Dave has been using Essential Baits for many years and we can remember him catching forty pound carp from difficult waters over a decade ago! Since then his results have just got better and better and he has banked three fifty pound plus carp this years alone, let alone several forties! He is a carp catching machine and he openly attributes much of his success to the awesome B5, which he says is key to his success. That’s typically modest of Dave, but there’s no doubt that the combination of good angling coupled with a good bait is a sure winner.  

Richard Morris

Rich is a long standing member of the prestigious British Carp Study Group and has been around the carp scene for many, many years, boasting an astonishing amount of 30lb+ carp, quite possibly more so than any other angler in the country. When it comes to getting ‘up close and personal’ to your quarry, such as surface stalking or margin fishing, Rich is in an absolute league of his own and no carp is safe! This is great for us because it can provide valuable feedback on the carp’s reaction to our baits, but judging by the amount of carp Rich has caught since using Essential gear, we get the impression it doesn’t hang around for long!

Shaun 'Jarvo' Jarvis

Many long term anglers will remember ‘Jarvo’ from the early days when he was a bait consultant for Rod Hutchinson Baits and his attention to detail with various attractor packages are his principle key strongpoint. He has used this to good effect over the years and has since caught UK fish to well over fifty pounds on the B5. I first remember Shaun from back in the eighties when I believe he became the first UK angler to catch 15 thirties in a season, which was a phenomenal achievement back then. He is a key member of our team and we always value his input and opinions.

Ian May

'Mayhem' (as Ian is affectionately known) has been using Essential Baits for a good few years now and is convinced that using a high quality food bait has led to the downfall of numerous big carp. He catches with uncanny regularity and he produces the goods time and time again. This season alone he has already had three 40lb+ commons and numerous other good fish, which yet again, proves the level of consistency that can be achieved by applying a proven food source coupled with location and good angling skills.

Jamie Robb

Despite the fact that Jamie’s ‘far northern’ location means he has to travel long distances to reach the better southern big fish venues, his never ending commitment to produce the goods on a consistent basis holds no boundaries. More often than not, he is unable to bait up, so he has to use a bait that needs no introduction and works from the moment it hits the water. Enter the B5! Jamie has total confidence in this bait and he knows that once he arrives at his chosen venue, his only dilemma is to find the fish. This strategy has worked time and time again for him and he has a very impressive album of stunning UK carp from a variety of venues.

Merve 'The Swerve' Pennell

Any bait team line up would not be complete without its own residential ‘Gloebetrotter’ and Merv is exactly that man. Having caught massive carp from all over Europe and as far afield as South Africa, he boats an impressive album of mighty fine carp that very few could compete with. The ‘free-spirited’ Merv loves his carp fishing and from our point of view, seeing the results Essential Baits achieve in all corners of the globe confirms that even on waters stuffed full of natural food, the carp will continue to recognise a good food bait. It’s great to have Merv on board, both in terms of feedback and of course to see a steady stream of enormous carp.

Shelf life boilie advantages

Our Essential resident 'Globetrotter' Merv Pennell with one of his many big carp caught on our range of Shelf life boilies. Merv, amongst so many other anglers, openly admits that our shelf life range offer a massive edge over 'standard' shelf life boilies and would not use anything else.  

Of course the big advantage about the use of shelf life boilies can be summed up in just one word – convenience! And this is the key word you need to bear in mind. Good quality freezer baits are fantastic for that long term baiting campaign, yet can be problematic for extended UK sessions and of course when fishing on the continent.

So would we recommend substituting freezer baits with shelf life boilies for long term bait application? In short, no we wouldn’t! Simply because this will not offer any advantages at all, however, we can honestly say that for those trips outside the UK or even those extended sessions within the UK where it would be difficult to keep freezer baits fresh, this highly successfull range of shelf life boilies tick all the boxes - and more!

So many anglers strongly believe these are the best quality shelf life boilie available ANYWHERE in the world! Confidence and convenience, such key words for success.

Top Tips

1) Avoid cheap and cheerful shelf life boilies like the plague. I can think of few things worse to ruin your chances of success than poor quality boilies that have been ‘over-flavoured’ to mask preservative odours!
2) If the manufacturer states there are no preservatives in them, ask him to tell the truth!

3) Beware of semi-soft shelf life boilies. These are likely to be overloaded with preservatives. We tend to rely on reduced moisture levels, which in turn creates a 'tougher' bait, but with far less preservative.