Tench love maggots, and a maggot feeder rig gives you the best of both worlds – a pile of maggots presented right on top of your hookbait and an inline feeder set-up to help hook a fish once it has sucked in the bait.
Maggot feeders have accounted for some of the biggest tench caught in the UK, but they also perform brilliantly when you’re after numbers of smaller fish. Repeated casting allows you to build up a bed of bait in the swim.
You’ll need a fair few pints of bait, though, and a gallon fed over a 24-hour session is far from being unheard of!
1) Inline is best
Using a fixed feeder is a no-no on waters with a lot of weed and snags that can tether a fish. Inline maggot feeders, that take a swivel pushed into their end, will stop the feeder and also give you something to attach the hooklength to.
2) Short hooklink
You must have the hookbait near your feed. That means fishing with a short mono hooklength of 4ins hanging directly off the feeder. A shorter link also increases the chance of a hook-up when a tench takes the bait.
3) Fake maggot trick
To help with hooking tench, slip a fake rubber maggot on to the hook shank and over the eye.
This helps to act as a line-aligner and flip the hookbait over when the bait is sucked in by a fish. Alongside this, use three live maggots to impart a bit of extra movement to the hookbait.
4) Go big for baits
You’re going to be using large hooks with this rig (sizes 12 to 14), so pick a hookbait to match. Three or four red or white maggots are perfect.
5) Find a firm lakebed
A maggot feeder rig works best on firm lakebeds that have gravel or hard patches of silt with a minimum of weed.