Tom Maker proves that maggots can be hugely effective at this time of year without having to spod out gallons of the little critters

There’s absolutely no doubting the effectiveness of maggots at this time of year, for many reasons. They’re as natural as it gets compared to boilies and suchlike, packed with attraction, easy to digest… and they move, unlike other baits, which remain static on the lakebed. Many people think that they mimic bloodworm in some ways, loaded with similar attractors and they also hang around on top of silt for a very long time, despite what you may have read to the contrary. Also, crucially, they are easy to use… to a point. The only issue is keeping them in good condition before your trip and also on the bank, but when it comes to actually using them it’s really not that difficult. Simply taking a small bag of maize powder or, like I do, Krill Powder can make it a lot easier to keep them dry and in good condition when on the bank for more than 24 hours.

Yet, despite their effectiveness and relative ease of use, I reckon the vast majority of anglers don’t bother with them at all, maybe through laziness or perhaps inconvenience compared to a bag of boilies that can just sit in a freezer for as long as you want. Carp can eat lots of maggots without filling up on them, so you can certainly use them in larger quantities than boilies, although this has its own inherent problems, which I’ll touch upon shortly.

If I was fishing anywhere in the winter, rules permitting, I would want at least some maggots with me. Now, don’t just presume that this means you have to take a gallon or more which you spod out frantically at the beginning of a session. I do sometimes spod them over an area and it can work brilliantly – combining accurate baiting with a reliable rig and presentation, I’ve used maggots to great effect.

Rig-wise, in such a situation, I use a combi-link made from our the new Edges Coretex Tungsten, which I have had access to for quite a while despite it only just being launched on general sale. I first noticed the grey colour, very different to the usual greens and browns, but which blended in brilliantly over many different types of lakebed - especially silt, which as Rob Hughes has proven many times is a grey colour - not black!It’s remarkably easy to use and does not coil up like some coated braids with tungsten content. It’s also strong which is important to me, and sinks like the proverbial stone once under water. Since first using it, the Coretex Tungsten has become a mainstay in my tackle box.