Paul Garner Trans­form your mag­gots

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

Of­ten con­sid­ered a small-fish bait, that’s far from the truth in my book. It is true that fish of all sizes will eat mag­gots, but it is on tough, low-stocked venues that they can of­ten dis­play al­most mag­i­cal qual­i­ties. With no small fish to rob the hook, mag­gots of­fer a con­ve­nient ap­prox­i­ma­tion to nat­u­ral food for fish which rarely see man-made baits.

My tench fish­ing is a prime ex­am­ple of a sit­u­a­tion where mag­gots can save the day. On many lakes, es­pe­cially at this time of year, other baits will be ig­nored while the hum­ble mag­got is con­sumed with gusto.


I firmly be­lieve that us­ing the best bait will bring ex­tra bites, but with mag­gots this isn’t al­ways true.

I know sev­eral very suc­cess­ful an­glers who swear by us­ing stinky old mag­gots for carp, find­ing the pong a pos­i­tive draw in­stead of a re­pel­lent. The smell comes from am­mo­nia ex­creted through the skin of the bait, which carp are known to be able to de­tect from a con­sid­er­able dis­tance.

Per­son­ally, though, I want my mag­gots to be in the best pos­si­ble con­di­tion, and this means clean­ing the bait to re­move any smell. Do this by rid­dling off any saw­dust that the mag­gots are in when you buy them and re­plac­ing it with a good help­ing of maize meal. If I’m keep­ing the mag­gots in the bait fridge for any length of time I will re­place the maize ev­ery three days to keep it clean.

A use­ful trick if you don’t have a fridge is to put the mag­gots in a large con­tainer with an air­tight lid. Quar­ter-fill it with mag­gots, then top up to half-full with maize flour.

The re­main­ing air space will be enough to keep the mag­gots alive for 24 hours, as the grubs will slow right down and go al­most into a state of sus­pended an­i­ma­tion.

Re­move the lid for 10 min­utes ev­ery day and give the bait a good shake to re­place the used air. You can eas­ily keep mag­gots for a week or more like this with­out cool­ing them down.

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