Maggots


Maggots are one of the most popular baits used in coarse fishing due to their ability to catch most fish that swim in our waters. They are the grub of the common house fly and when in the water closely imitate the most natural food source eaten by coarse fish.


Maggots are sold by the pint in most tackle shops and they come in many different colours and usually three different sizes.


The "normal" maggot is the largest larvae which can be readily bought and they are the off-spring of the common bluebottle fly.



Pinkies are the larvae of the greenbottle fly and are much smaller than the largest maggot, they are best used on the hook when targeting silvers.


The smallest maggot of them all is the humble feeder, which is the larvae of the common house fly. These tiny larvae are best used as loose feed or within groundbait mixes.


How To Hook


Hooking a maggot is a relatively easy task, but will take a little practice to get right. The best place to hook a maggot is through the area of extended skin near its air holes, these look look like miniature eyes.


Hold the maggot between finger and thumb and apply gentle pressure until the small flap of skin is extended near the air holes, this allows for easier hooking. The hook should be passed through gently so as to avoid penetrating the main body of the maggot,  should the main body be punctured the maggot will quickly lose its effectiveness to wriggle once in the water, these “bursting” maggots should be discarded.




Single maggots on a small hook pattern are an excellent choice when aiming to catch small silvers & perch. Line twist can soon be a problem when reeling in hook baits over a course of a day as the maggots act like a little propeller on the retrieve which then causes the line to twist, to combat this the maggots can be hooked top & tail fashion to prevent this twist from happening.

Storing Maggots


Storing maggots correctly will help prolong their life & slow down their change into casters. To do this it's important to check your maggots regularly when in storage & clean them once a day, also make sure they have enough room to move around as a crowded storage box soon means they will begin to sweat.


Maize or saw dust is ideal for storing with maggots & will help make sure any moisture generated by the maggots will be absorbed, it is best however to change the maize/saw dust on a daily basis by using a riddle.




To ensure the maggots are kept in the best condition, it's worth investing in a maggot riddle. A riddle will help clean the maggots and allow you to remove any dead maggots, casters & debris with ease. Once riddled it is important to keep your maggots in a suitable container, the more room they have to move around without being on top of each other means they will sweat less & will not produce the horrible ammonia smell.




A fridge is a great way of keeping a constant cold temperature. If you cannot store your maggots in a fridge then a cool shaded garage floor will suffice. Ideally the maggots should be stored without a lid in order to allow air to circulate & stop them sweating, this can be achieved by securing a pair of tights over the top of the container with an elastic band to stop any that may escape.


Another way of storing maggots is to put them into a form of suspended animation, this can be achieved by placing them in a plastic bag and removing the air, once the bag has been sealed, place them in the fridge and they will go into a sleep like state. When it comes to using them, open the bag and allow air & warmth to circulate over them and you will notice they come back to life.


Dead Maggots


Dead maggots are a great way of storing them for prolonged periods, it is an extremely easy process to undertake & often a great way of loose feeding or used within groundbait balls.



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1 - Riddle the maggots needed into a bait box to remove any debris, now add enough cold water to cover the maggots


2 - Take a recently boiled kettle and add enough hot water to the box until the maggots stop moving


3 - Drain off the excess water & seal within a plastic bag, these can either be used on the day or be frozen for a later fishing trip

Floating Maggots



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1 - You will need a bait box with a square hole cut out of the lid, this is to create a lip to stop the maggots escaping


2 - Add enough water so that the maggots are half covered, the maggots will take on air as a result of the water surrounding them so will end up floating, this process can take up to 20 minutes


3 - For a faster way of creating floating maggots use a fizzy drink instead of water, as this will turn them into floaters in a matter of minutes