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02 Mar 2016
by John Kneebone
Top maggot advice from John Kneebone
Give yourself an edge this winter with this top maggot advice from John Kneebone

Sometimes a small difference in your approach can make a massive difference, although these edges don’t always last forever when other anglers realise what’s doing the business. For this reason an ‘edge’ can sometimes be a very simple and straight forward tactic, but one that you apply ahead of the game and my tip for this month is exactly that – trying to be the one of the first to reap the rewards – the rewards of using a few maggots while it’s an edge!

With species other than carp like bream and tench still pretty active at this time of year it can be a bit of gamble using the ol’ wrigglers, but one that’s reduced if you don’t use too many. Further down the road into winter, a time may come when the carp will feed on little else, but as yet our bait options should still be fairly open.

Despite the reduced feeding-rate and appetite the carp will now begin to show, they will still be happy to feed upon most baits once they’re in the mood. And it is this slowing in desire to feed that I find to be the main issue to consider, where a few wriggling maggots close to the hookbait can be the perfect stimulus to encourage a bite. There are a couple of ways I like to do this, both involve small PVA bags that differ depending on the type of feed and baiting approach I’m using: small bits and particles or boilies. Here’s how I like to add this PVA maggot appeal…

How to present a small package of maggots over boilies

1 Because I’ll still be using a boilie-type rig in conjunction with a lead clip system I’ll use PVA mesh starting with a little pellet going in the tube.

2 A handful of maggots follow the pellets into the mesh next – enough to make a golf ball-sized bag. Be careful not to let them mix with the pellet.

3 When tying the bag, be careful not to squash any maggots, as the juice of a burst maggot will melt the PVA, split the bag and the rest will escape.

4 Now simply nick onto the hook like so. Make sure you do this at the pellet side of the bag so you don’t pierce or hook any maggots – job done!

How to present maggots over small bits and particles

1 I prefer a solid PVA bag approach for this, starting with a layer of groundbait over the hookbait to prevent any wriggling maggot impaling itself on the hook.

2 A small layer of pellet goes in next just to ensure there is always a little food near the hookbait, even if the maggots manage to crawl away a bit over time.

3 Now for the wriggly bit - a few maggots go in the bag first before the lead goes in after which the PVA bag is then again topped-up with more maggots.

4 The final step is to seal the top of the bag before the any of the little critters escape. The finished bag should look like this – groundbait, pellet and then maggots.

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