Putting aside the cost of maggots which means some anglers can fill a lake in with them depending on their financial status, the abuse of maggots has lead to weight loss. Should fishery owners be more concerned about this issue? For instance, the Frimley complex now has strong rules about maggot use.
Chris Blunt, Fishery manager
“Down at the Linear complex maggots get used quite a bit, especially during the colder months when they definitely help put those extra fish on the bank when nothing else seems to work. However, I wouldn’t say we are overly concerned about the use or overuse of maggots. During the winter I would be far more concerned about anglers filling it in with boilies and pellets that due to the water temperatures could just sit there, go uneaten and break down.
“I think at the end of the day if a carp was to spend its whole life eating one thing and one thing only, lets say maggots in this case, then we’d have problems but I’ve yet to find a carp that has an exclusive diet; they eat all sorts. And like your question asks, there will be anglers who can afford large quantities of maggots and those who can’t, so most of the time there’s always a mix being introduced, not to mention the lake’s natural food on offer.
“I must state, however, that I’m basing my answer on running large, oxygen rich gravel pits; if we ran small ponds we would have to be more careful on what was being introduced and how much. This would not only be important for any weight loss by the fish but also for the potential water quality issues that could be the underlying cause behind any health problems, problems that could come about by excessive baiting on small waters. One thing I can say for sure is that the next time I’m out fishing this winter I’ll have some maggots with me, even if it’s just a pint for hookbaits!”
Rich Wilby, Fishery owner
“One of the main reasons I stocked my day ticket lake, Mustang, with silver fish (roach, rudd and perch) was to stop it from becoming a maggot dominated water. I’ve fished a number of well-known day ticket lakes where the going bait is maggots and I think it ruins them. It makes the fishing harder and certainly doesn’t benefit the carp.
“If maggots were overused on my fishery they would be banned, but because they’re not the going bait I don’t need to ban them. There are so many fisheries which would be better off by limiting or stopping the use of them and the trouble is anglers don’t just take a couple of pints they take a couple of gallons. I have even heard of one very high profile angler using 30 gallons in a weekend at one of the UK biggest day ticket complexes. And I know they came straight from a maggot farm for £2 a gallon as they needed shot of them.
“Like most foods, a little bit of everything doesn’t do you much harm and a carp’s diet is a true reflection of this. In an ideal world anglers use a mixture of boilies, cereals, seeds, pellets and natural baits. In my opinion it is up the fishery managers to try hard to ensure this happens.”