Top margin baits you can use right now!

With spring now here Daiwa's Will Raison offers some timely advice for the best margin baits to be using right now. Here are his top baits to use when fishing for big carp down the margins. 


Forget using a single grain of corn in the margins – two pieces will get you more bites and bigger fish, working on the principle that a carp will spot two bits of yellow corn far quicker than just the one, especially when the bottom is being churned up by feeding fish. Corn is also a heavy bait that won’t be washed about and is hard for little fish to rip off the hook.

Dead Red Maggots

Without a doubt the number one margin bait! I cram up to seven or eight dead reds on to the hook to create a massive hookbait that no carp can miss or refuse. 

Deads are very soft and still look like their live counterparts to the fish, but don’t wriggle. When fishing over a large helping of dead reds, carp will move in and hoover up the lot, including the hookbait. They’re a very light bait that are easy for the fish to suck in.

To make dead red maggots I simply clean the sawdust off a few pints and put them in a plastic bag, remove all the air and seal them tightly. The maggots then go into the freezer for three days to ensure they’re dead – I have frozen them for one day before, only to see them come back to life!


These are venue-specific baits in my experience and tend to work on waters that see a lot of chopped worm and caster used by anglers– the carp get a real taste for them.

They’re also great if there are a lot of roach and rudd in the peg that are smashing maggots to bits. I’ll fish one or perhaps two for a big bait. They’re also worth having in reserve as a change bait when using maggots and groundbait, as the bites can be very savage.

Luncheon Meat


Meat can be very cyclical, in that it works over any other bait for spells during the spring and autumn. However, in July and August I would still have some 10mm cubes with me to slip on to the hook as a change bait.