1. Lead set-up-wise, opt to use a running rig so that you know if a nuisance fish has hooked itself – which can often happen when using maggots.
2. Maggot fishing is a little like particle fishing in that short hooklengths score well with Mag-Aligners when silver fish aren’t in abundance. If silver fish are in numbers, then try using a small balanced pop-up as this provides a better presentation.
3. Try using a small percentage of a different coloured maggot. For example, if you have four pints of white for a day session, try adding half-a-pint of red or bronze. It’s an old match tactic that works every bit as well for big, pressured carp.
4. It is a good idea to suffocate maggots in a plastic bag by taking all of the air out of it a few hours before you use them. That sends them to sleep and stops them from wriggling into the silt or weed once introduced into the lake.
5. Tying the maggots to a micro rig ring allows you to be prepared. Plus, you can put two bunches of maggots to the rig if you want to.
6. Add krill powder to your solid bags… 1: because it will keep the maggots dry enough so they don’t melt the bag and 2: it will add attraction to the maggots. It’s also recommended to suffocate the maggots before putting them into the bag so they don’t crawl away once the PVA melts.
7. Try using a mixture of live and dead ones so that there will always be maggots lying on the bottom in the swim.
8. Maggots don’t fill carp up so don’t be afraid to use loads – i.e. if you can, take a gallon.
9. With maggots being small and light, you’ll always have an issue when it comes to baiting up. However, enter the Spomb! Quick, clean and very effective – you need nothing else. If you’re trying to be stealthy, try making up small mesh type PVA bags along with a small stone in them for added weight. These can then be catapulted out easily.
10. Maggots are naturally very attractive to carp on their own but try adding krill powder to them instead of maize flour to give them a boost.
11. Buy the best quality maggots from a shop that supplies the match anglers as they will be well riddled and have a good turnover of stock. Plus, keep them cool in sawdust.
12. When buying maggots, ensure they are kept as cool as possible, preferably in the fridge until the car is loaded.
13. Because maggots are alive, it’s important to check on them regularly to stop them from sweating and foaming up. This is normally a sign of stress due to being too warm or not having enough oxygen.
14. If your maggots haven’t been cleaned before you get them and there is lots of sawdust and general muck with them, then riddle all that off and add maize flour. Then suffocate them in the bags, as this will help stop them from sweating up.
15. Only when you’re about to use them, remove them from the sawdust and replace them in soya meal using a griddle.
16. When maggots wriggle, they generate heat so leave the lid off your bucket to let the heat disperse. If you leave the lid on, they will get too hot and end up sweating and turning to casters.
17. If you have a maggot farm nearby, then buy them direct. You’ll usually get them for £10 a gallon which is less than half the price from the shops. Whilst not cleaned, they are going to be as fresh as you can get.