Todber haul on bagged maggots

Joe Miller caught the two biggest fish in the lake during his best-ever winter session at a Dorset day-ticket fishery.

The 22-year-old bagged nine fish in 48 hours at Todber Manor’s Paddock Lake, including Fossil at 31lb 4oz and Shaker at 30lb 8oz. He also had Elvis at 23lb 10oz, a 24lb 10oz mirror and five others between 16lb and 19lb.

Small PVA bags of maggots did the trick for the Todber regular, who plumped for the classic bait having recently helped remove 1,000lb of silverfish from the lake.
“It’s the best session I’ve ever had,” said Joe. “It can be a hard lake, even in summer, so to have nine in 48 hours is great.”

He added: “I started at the top end of the lake. Fossil is renowned for being up there and that’s the one I wanted. I started in peg four but then had all my kit on my barrow to move to five when I had the take.

“It gave a few headshakes then it shot off. It was really strong and I had an idea it was the fish I wanted, but I wasn’t sure. Fossil is the one I’ve always wanted to catch.”

Joe fed no free offerings, save for golfball-sized PVA bags of maggots, with red wrigglers on the attached to the hook via a micro-swivel. His six-inch hooklinks were attached to Korda Safe Zone Leaders and 2oz running inline leads.

Joe explained: “I use a similar rig for boilie fishing and get solid hookholds, so I wanted to use something similar with the maggots. The maggots are fished hard on the bottom with no foam or buoyant plastic. This, along with the weight of the swivel, makes a heavy hookbait which helps flip the hook over quickly, especially with the silicon trapping the hair right on the bend.

“The shrink tube on the hair creates a stiffening effect which prevents the maggots from being able to mask the point of the hook. It’s a bit different to most maggot rigs but it certainly works for me!”