The maggot feeder is normally seen as a winter method on commercials when you need to eke out a bite from torpid carp and F1s – but it works in high summer too, reckons Middy and Dynamite Baits ace Dan Hull.
We’re not talking about the classic blockend model of feeder much-loved by river anglers in search of chub. Instead, Dan takes a feeder designed purely for commercial carp work and builds it into his summer maggot attack to produce a tactic that catches the carp but eliminates problems from roach and rudd.
It’s all down to the Sawn-Off Shotgun feeder from Middy, a new piece of kit that allows him to pack dead maggots and his hookbait inside a consignment of groundbait or micro pellets.
Once broken down, the feeder ejects the contents in one hit, something no carp in the area can ignore. More importantly, it won’t pull in small fish attracted by maggots leaking out of the feeder over a longer period of time.
It’s a bit like fishing the Method, as the feed breaks down to reveal the hookbait. With the Shotgun, Dan can also put a good helping of maggots by the bait to help big fish make their minds up in no time.
To put it all to the test, Dan visited Leicestershire big weight fishery The Glebe, home to lots of carp but also those potentially troublesome roach...
A mid-session winner
“There will always be spells in a session when the carp aren’t that responsive, and this often happens around midday.
“Piling in bait as you did at the start doesn’t work, and you’re left scratching your head a little bit, but this is where the Sawn-Off Shotgun feeder with maggots really pays off.
“By casting it across to a feature or far bank, as I have at the Glebe, I have ‘new’ water to fish for carp that haven’t had any bait fired at them yet and may have backed off from where I began fishing.
“Maggots are also a superb bait that carp don’t often see in the summer compared to corn and pellets, so if things slow down I’ll certainly pick the tip rod up and spend a fair bit of time casting the feeder.”
Why it works
“The Sawn-Off Shotgun allows me to tuck the hookbait inside the feeder and to dictate how quickly the contents come out. This means there’s no bait spilling out immediately, which can attract roach, and I am able to cast very tight to vegetation without any danger of the hook catching in branches or reeds. Getting as close as you can to cover can often make the difference between a quick bite and a long wait!
“How fast the feeder empties is simply down to how wet or dry I make the groundbait – the drier it is, the faster it will eject, whereas wetter and it will stay in for longer. This is also useful if you think too many small fish are being drawn in immediately.
“In shallow water, dry is best but in deeper swims, go for a damp fishmeal mix, my favourite being Dynamite Baits Swim Stim.”
Regular casting key
“Carp respond to noise in summer. Keeping the feeder going in not only makes this commotion but also ensures that plenty of bait is going into the swim.
“Chucking every two or three minutes, as you would a Method feeder, is perfect. The aim of the game is to get quick bites once the fish have turned up and are tuned into the feed.
“Bites can be aggressive but I’ll wait till the tip pulls right round and won’t strike at small indications from active fish swimming around the feeder.”
Filling the feeder
“To load the Shotgun I fill the body with dead maggots and then cap it off with groundbait or, if you prefer, dampened micro pellets, which are particularly good in deeper water.
“I then either leave the hookbait hanging out of the feeder if I think I am going to get a fast response, or I will tuck it inside the feeder should roach be about. Tucking the bait in should produce an unmissable bite as the contents of the feeder empty and the carp sucks on every maggot that it can find.
“A hooklink of around 6ins is ideal, ensuring that the hookbait will always be close the feed once the Shotgun has emptied.”