March 2022

Simple Maggot Fishing!

I absolutely love the springtime for fishing. Everything in nature is waking up and enjoying the extended daylight hours. This applies to the fish too and the fish respond incredibly quickly to the changing of the seasons.

I absolutely love the springtime for fishing. Everything in nature is waking up and enjoying the extended daylight hours. This applies to the fish too and the fish respond incredibly quickly to the changing of the seasons.

One of the best approaches for this time of the year is a short pole with maggots. If you just want to get out and have a brilliant days fishing then this tactic will keep the fish coming all session. But if, like me, you are a keen match angler then you will want to keep reading because this can be a match-winning tactic on the right venue.

Image A.jpg

The Short Pole – What Exactly Do I Mean?

It’s easy to say ‘just fish at five metres’ but that just isn’t strictly true when talking about short pole fishing. Every venue that you visit is different and to pick your short pole swim requires a bit of work with the plummet.

You need to visualise what the lake looks like under the surface. As a general guide the lake will have shallow margins and then a gradual slope that extends out a few metres before the lake bed reaches its deepest point and then flattening off. Lakes, especially older more established venues will have a certain amount of silt build up.

The key to picking a good short pole swim is to locate where the hard bottom finishes and the soft silt begins. The transition area is a natural feeding place for the fish and also ensures you aren’t fishing on the gloopy silty bottom that is encountered further out. This firm bottom is your ally and will make the fish easier to catch.

This spot can be anywhere from three metres to six or seven metres. A nice heavy 30g plummet will help you locate that transitional area. Today I have found the spot I am looking for on a top kit of my pole and three sections added.

Image B.jpg

Image C.jpg


This short pole swim is productive throughout the warmer months and can be targeted with many different baits. But for a productive springtime session a simple bait box full of lovely fresh maggots will give you a tremendous day’s fishing.

Image D.jpg

The Rig

The great thing about maggots is that you will catch everything on them. But that can also be a problem at times, especially on venues with lots of smaller fish. Even though I want to have a nice day catching all species, I do want to try and pick out the better fish. For that reason I am using a rig that gets my hook bait down to the bottom quickly and presents the bait in a nice stationary manner.

A 4x14 F1 Pellet is the ideal choice and I’ve shotted that with a bulk and two No10 droppers. An effective and simple shotting pattern that works a treat when trying to catch quality fish. I am keeping things fine at the hook end and a pre-tied Size 18 SFL-B is just the job for maggots. This is matched up with a No7 Dura Slip elastic which will have just enough guts to deal with carp and F1s but also allow me to catch those beautiful roach and skimmers too.

Image E.jpg

Image F.jpg

Let’s Get Bagging

Feeding this short pole swim is simplicity in itself. I will be feeding two consignments of about 30maggots every time I ship out. This double feed has become incredibly popular and for good reason. I believe the first feed attracts the fish with the noise and the second feed actually pulls the fish down to the bottom.

Image G.jpg

What will generally happen, and it has happened today, is the first part of the session will all be about attracting those better fish into the swim and quite often the start can be all about catching small fish. Today small perch, roach and skimmers have been the first fish on the scene. It’s quite important not to get too giddy with the feed in this situation.

Image H.jpg

Many anglers think you can feed these smaller fish off but the truth is, they will vanish when the bigger fish actually turn up regardless of if you upped the feed or not. It is more about the timing than it is about how much you have fed. The quality fish always take a bit of time to come into a short pole swim and as a rule of thumb, the afternoon will be the best time to fish this approach if you have the opportunity to pick your pleasure sessions.

Image I.jpg

It’s taken about an hour of consistent feeding before the F1s have turned up but once they have the fishing has been incredible! Quality F1s falling to my double maggot hook bait just about every time I ship out!

I’ve had a brilliant three hours fishing today and caught lots of different species. A beautiful way to fish and better still a truly effective way to fish too!

Image J.jpg


Related Articles
April 2021
Preston 2021 Gear Guide
April 2020
Margin Method!
March 2020
Springtime Bagging!
March 2020
Dave Brown - Shallow Canal Masterclass!!
September 2019
Super Pellet Pump User Guide
August 2019
Catch Quality On The River
October 2021
Winter Method Feeder Masterclass!
October 2021
Des Shipp
Des' Five Banjo XR Tips
October 2021
Des Shipp
Try Something New