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UKCARP MAGAZINE 49 JANUARY 3RD 2012It was one of those conversations in hushed tones, a quick look round the bank to see if anyone was in earshot before I was let in on a secret. And how simple a secret it was! At first I couldn't believe how basic the information was. I'd been told just one thing: "Get on the maggots." That was it, all those years ago on the famous Bundy's Pit near Peterborough. I did indeed start to use maggots, and boy, did it change my fortunes. The trouble was, although it was effective and caught me fish to over 40lb, it was also expensive and too much like hard work. I was using several gallons of grubs in quite a short period and seemed to spend all my time threading maggots on to a length of fine mono or with either a maggot or my finger superglued to my sleeping bag. As with everything in carp fishing, events moved on and the boilie approach soon started to work and took over my interest, while my wriggly friends took a back seat. I didn't particularly miss them, but the time inevitably came when I needed to use them again. Over this long reunion I have refined my approach and come up with what I think is not only the most user-friendly way to fish maggots, but also the cheapest and most efficient. Admittedly this suits my short session approach, so you may need to adapt it a little to your own needs, but it does catch. For a day session all I need is a couple of pints of grubs and a small jar of chilli hemp. I don't get much chance to fish in the summer, mainly because I run my own fishery, Greenacres, and have family commitments. But in the winter I'm a little more flexible, and thankfully the Nene Valley has plenty of small pits packed with those distinctive commons that I can go and catch. Rig-wise I use a helicopter set-up on leadcore that utilises an inline lead. The lead is mounted as normal, with a ring swivel pulled into the plastic insert, but instead of tying on the hooklink I do something different - I slide a rubber bead down the leadcore and mount it on the tail of the insert sticking out of the back of the lead. Next comes a swivel, followed by a tail rubber. I can then tie my hooklink to this swivel to create a safe helicopter presentation. I needed something quick and simple, so after a lot of trial and error I settled on this rig, which is both easy to tie and effective. I use a coated braid, strip a short section and tie on a small barbless hook to the exposed braid. These hooks work better than barbed because they don't burst the maggots. Next I push a needle through a piece of plastic corn, angling it as shown, which seems to help how everything sits. Then Chilli hemp makes maggots go further.Flavouring peps up my grubs.My adapted heli rig witha bag of maggots attached."I was using several gallons of grubs in quite a short period and seemed to spend all my time threading maggots on to a length of fi ne mono or with either a maggot or my fi nger superglued to my sleeping bag"

MAGIC GRUBSUKCARP MAGAZINE 50 JANUARY 3RD 2012EASIEST MAGGOT RIG EVER1Tie a small fine-wire barbless hook to the uncoated section of hooklink material. 2Push a baiting needle through a grain of plastic corn at this critical angle.3Slide the corn up the hooklink so that eventually you cover the small hook.4Tie on your chosen pattern of main hook. Maggots go on the bend of the small one.I pull the coated braid through the corn - the hook pulls all the way inside, leaving just a small loop. I now tie on a larger hook KD style and that's my basic rig. All I have to do now is pull the small hook out of the corn and impale several maggots on to the bend, before pushing the point back into the corn. This creates a balanced bait that suits the KD rig, but do check the buoyancy of your hookbait in case you need to nip a small shot on the hair to sink it. The last piece of the rig jigsaw is a big PVA bag of maggots which you tie to the ring swivel coming out of the inline lead. To put all this into context I'll describe a recent session on one of my local waters. All my rods, including the spod, are clipped-up before I even get to the bank, simply because I know it so well. The area I was fishing is on a small bar about 50 yards out, a place the carp just love to be in winter. It was one of those afternoons when I found I'd got a couple of hours free, decided to go then wished I hadn't, because it was chucking it down. I walked to the swim and quickly filled my Spomb (left) with a couple of handfuls of hemp and one of maggots.Three quick casts to a far-bank marker got a bit of bait out there, then two bags quickly followed - easier said than done when travelling light with no brolly. Worrying about my sanity as the first drops of water ran down my neck, I glared at the bobbins, willing them into action. As usual, willpower didn't work but the irresistible lure of maggot and hemp did, and the first carp of the afternoon was mine. I wouldn't be troubling Angling Times with this one, but it did warm me up. Another couple of Spombs went out, followed quickly by another bag. I tend to tie the bags to suit the distance I'm fishing and use the biggest I can get away with. The next bite came quickly but unfortunately for me the fish dropped off just inches from the net. By now I was fed up. "I glared at the bobbins, willing them into action. As usual, willpower didn't work but the lure of maggot and hemp did, and the fi rst carp of the afternoon was mine"A long lean common - maggots get me regular results.