How to hook maggots the right way

Maggots remain one of the best all-round fishing baits in angling because there isn’t a freshwater fish that won’t happily eat masses of maggots.

Different anglers have different colour preferences with reds and whites being by far the most common. Some anglers swear by flavouring their maggots, others like to use them ‘neat.’

But one thing’s for sure. A poorly hooked maggot won’t catch half as many fish as a properly hooked grub, and some species like skimmer bream will actively avoid ‘burst’ hooker maggots that ooze gunge (see sequence below.)


1. Use as sharp and fine wire a hook as you can get away with and aim to barely nick the maggot in the point of the skin on the flat end

2. By simply nicking the skin like this the maggot will continue to wriggle for long periods, attracting hungry fish

3. This is how NOT to hook a maggot. The maggot has been impaled down the body with a blunt hook and ‘burst’

4. For a double maggot bait repeat No 1. If fishing close in/on the pole, you want the pointed end of both maggots pointing down


5. If fishing a float or bomb at long range, hook your maggots like this. This stops them spinning on the retrieve, causing line twist

6. Shy biters like roach and crucians may nip the end of a normal single maggot (Pic 2), so thread the hook like this to trick them

7. Here’s another way to stop maggots spinning on a retrieve. Hook one as in Pic 6, then nick another through the sharp end

8. Another way to foil delicately biting fish that repeatedly nip the end of the maggot is to hook it through the sharp end instead!