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This article covers a day session I had just before Christmas in December 2019. I was trying to demonstrate how I go about my winter carp fishing with maggots. I basically create a small baited area and fish Solid Bags (Maggot Bags) over the top. During the session I tried to cover location, rigs and bait application. It was a great day and I had a few fish, some of which looked amazing with their winter colours.

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Carp Lake Hertfordshire
It’s important to pick the right venue in winter.

The venue was local club lake. It’s a well stocked lake which is something I would recommend in winter. The low stock syndicate can wait for now. It was very cold and I was keen to stay warm by getting some action and I didn’t have to wait long. Within an hour of getting the rods out I was into my first carp of the day – a nice, dark little common.

Winter Carp Fishing
A nice little common to get the ball rolling

But lets rewind a bit. The first thing I did on arriving at the venue was to prepare my mix. Into the bucket went the following:-

  • Small pellets
  • Red maggots
  • White maggots
  • Crumbed up Krill boilies
  • Krill powder
  • A little sweetcorn

Winter Spod Mix
Preparing the spod mix

The next thing to do was to get it out into the swim. Fortunately, I knew the spots out in this swim. Rather than use the distance sticks, I simply paced my Spod Rod out along the bank, then clipped up once I had reached a marker on the bank. I knew that I would do exactly the same with my fishing rods too, except these would be about a rod length longer (to allow for the drop in quite deep water).

Pacing out rods
I pace out the rods along the bank and clipped them all up.
Maggots in winter
Get the mix out there and cast your maggot bags on top

I filled the Spod with the mix and cast out into the swim. I lined up the cast with a marker on the far bank and then simply made sure I hit the clip on each cast. By doing this I was able to bait up a tight patch very accurately. Initially, I only put out about 4 or 5 Spods of bait. It’s winter after all, and I was only wanting to put enough out to get a bite.

Spodding for Winter Carp
Create a baited patch, but go easy … it’s winter and so they’ll not need as much bait

I hoped that the fish would move onto the baited patch whilst I was tying up the rigs. As I said before, I intended to use Solid Bags full of maggots. Although I was using maggots in the Solid Bag, I wanted to use fake corn on the hair. I tied up a short, little blow back rig to use inside the Solid Bag. An inline lead was mounted onto an Avid Solid Stem. These are fantastic for helping you tie up bags quickly and prior to actually using them.

Blow Back Rig
A simple blow back rig to go into the Solid Bag

Next, it was time to tie up the Maggot bags. Here’s how I do it!

Step 1 – Pour a small amount of groundbait into the solid bag

Solid Bag Maggots

Step 2 – Lower the rig into the Solid Bag (but not the lead)

Solid Bag Maggots

Step 3 – Fill about half the bag with maggots

Winter Carp Fishing With Maggots

Step 4 – Lower in the lead and then add more maggots around it

Solid Bag Maggots

Step 5 – Remove the collar and twist around the top of the Solid Bag.

Solid Bag Maggots

Step 6 – Tie around the stem with PVA Tape

Solid Bag Maggots

Step 8 – Cut off the tag ends and you have the completed Maggot Bag

Winter Carp Fishing With Maggots

The Solid Bags are tied to the Rods and paced out along the bank and clipped up. On casting, I line up with the far bank marker. I know that the Solid Bags are going to drop perfectly onto the baited patch. All I need to do is make sure I hit the clip on the cast.

I had not long returning that common, when the alarm sounded again. This time it felt like a better fish and after a decent fight a surprisingly pale mirror rolled into the net. Many of the carp in here are nice and dark in appearance, especially at this time of year.

Playing a carp ware
A take from a decent carp while I was explaining my approach to winter carp fishing with maggots.
carp fishing hertfordshire

A few photos of the fish and it was returned. After each fish I was applying more bait via the Spod, maybe just 3 or 4 Spods after each fish. This seemed to work a treate because it was only an hour or so later that I had another carp, this time it was a nicer looking fish and I was enjoying getting action considering how cold it was!

Winter Carp Fishing With Maggots
Another nice winter carp on the maggots

Again, I topped up the swim with a bit more Spod mix. I ended the day with one of the best looking fish I’ve had from this venue. A stunning scatter scaled linear in it’s full winter colours! Carp don’t have to be big to take your breath away. It felt like a block of ice in my hands, freezing cold. It was great to get action like this in the middle of winter.

winter carp fishing with maggots

So I packed up a very happy angler. I’d enjoyed a fantastic winter carp fishing session. I’d been able to demonstrate how I go about winter carp fishing with maggots, something that has worked well for me over the last few years.

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