If like me you don't make your own rigs then you can't go wrong with these ready-made rigs. Whoever makes them can't be making much out of them, by the time you for the hooks, the braid and the spikes and then put however long it takes into making them, there must be a few pence left over for your profit. And then they provide them with free postage, you really can't get anything cheaper anywhere else in my opinion.
You can buy
on eBay for a really reasonable price, have done before and I really love using them. The bait spike is simplicity in itself and it means that you can use it with large or small boilies, you don't have to worry about how long the hair is.
Hemp seed is an absolutely brilliant loose feed bait for carp, they absolutely love it. I always imagine carp looking upon hemp as small snails that they love crunching up. I've been using the
for many years now. It comes in tins or larger plastic containers. Hemp works great straight out of the tin, however by adding a few little extra ingredients you can make it work even better. You can buy a
which carp absolutely love. Alternatively if you don't want all the hassle of mixing it yourself, you can buy
already prepared in packets. Whichever you use, I promise you that the carp will be mooching around in your swim not long after you put some in.
If you're fishing at distance then the only reliable way of getting hemp out to where your hook bait is is to use a spod, I wouldn't bother trying to use a catapult with hemp, it will just spray everywhere and you're just waste it. You could use a PVA bag, just make sure you choose one that doesn't dissolve too quickly, also you probably won't be able to use a very wet mixture if you're using a PVA system.
You can also mix lots of other goodies with hemp. I particularly like a mixture of hemp sweetcorn and various sized pellets. Remember you want to keep the carp in your swim so give them a reason to stay.
Maggots are fabulous as a bait for fish. I started off using maggots nearly 40 years ago, but back then I was catching small roach and perch. However, even though maggots are quite small, they are still a very good carp bait.
If you are a match angler then you will be used to hooking one single maggot onto a very small hook. However when you are fishing for slightly bigger carp then we tend to use more than one maggot on the hook. I prefer the no-nonsense approach of hooking maggots, take a size 12 or 10 hook and cram as many maggots onto it as you possibly can. In the more techy age of carp fishing people are now using hair rigs more and more when using maggots as a hook bait. One may ask how the hell you put maggots on a hair rig? People started off by using a small piece of wire that they threaded the maggots onto and then added that to the hair. Korda have actually come up with a purpose made
that you incorporate into our rig. Then it's just a case of threading the maggots onto the clip and you have your maggots perfectly mounted on a hair rig. I've seen people use dead maggots as hook bait, what they do is they thread them onto the hook, in a similar way you would a worm.
I don't tend to use maggots as hook bait much myself, I prefer to use them as loose feed. The problem with lots of commercial waters is they contain lots and lots of small silver fish which also love maggots. The only slight problem I found of using live maggots is they wiggle. You know what happens if you put some maggots on the ground, that gone in no time at all. The same thing happens if you chuck maggots into the water, if there's any silt or pebbles then the maggots will just crawl into the little crevices, or under the salt. If I using maggots as a loose feed that I want the fish to be able to find them properly. So the easiest way to assure this happens is to use dead maggots.
Killing maggots isn't quite as complicated or gruesome as one may imagine. The easiest way to kill them is to actually deprive them of oxygen. Get yourself one of those freezer bags, the ones that are a sealable. Put your maggots in to the bag and then squeeze all the air out and seal the bag firmly. Eventually the maggots will stop wriggling. There is a chance maggots will come back to life once you take them out of the bag. Some people freeze the maggots which will kill them outright.
Now when you sprinkle maggots into your swim they will stay there for the fish to find, instead of disappearing. A lot of people like to use red maggots as the colour red seems to attract fish. If you can't buy red maggots then the easiest thing to do is use a
and colour the maggots yourself. Another way in which you can add attractant to your maggots which makes them even more appealing to the carp is to add chopped worm. Any garden worm is good, but if you can get hold of big juicy lob worm than that's what I would probably go for. You can use a knife to chop the worms up, alternatively some fishing manufacturers make special
that have several blades incorporated that make it easy to chop the worms up into segments.
Maggots are particularly good in the colder months of the year. A lot of people stop fishing in the colder months so the carp are not getting their normal fill of pellets, boilies, bread etc. The carp then resort to looking for natural foods which they will root around in the soil. I believe that maggots are probably the next best thing to larvae and other little critters that they may come across.
Catapulting maggots is quite difficult, as you though they will probably only go so far. There are several products on the market that enable you to basically buying the maggots and make them stick together. One such product is called and is basically a white
powder that you sprinkle onto dry maggots. After a few minutes you will find that you can gently squeeze the maggots into a ball which can then be thrown a fair distance.
If you have your own method of using maggots for carp then please leave a comment below
Red is an excellent colouring for micro pellets. It's especially effective during the summer time when the fish are on the move. When everybody else is just using standard micro pellets, add a little bit of to your pellets to turn them red and you may just make yourself look like a superhero.
If you are a diehard method feeder user then why not try some of the
which by all accounts are extremely good. If you soak them for about half an hour, 15 minutes lid down, then 15 minutes lid up, you end up with a mixture that is absolutely perfect for the method feeder. To enhance the pellets try adding a colouring and flavouring as well.