This was my second visit to Founders Pool at the Antrobus Golf Course, one of Lymm Anglers waters. The first visit was marked by very patchy fishing on the pole with only a few small roach and rudd to show for it. Today wasn’t much different, unfortunately, except I caught a lot more fish, probably close to 100 in the 4 hours I fished.
I used a feeder rod throughout, trying to target some better fish. I tried live maggots, dead maggots, krill flavoured dead maggots, bread punch and prawns. None of these baits registered even one bite on the leger. I used a pellet feeder and a maggot feeder. Founders Pool was looking particularly gorgeous today in the winter sunshine but she did not give up any of her better fish to me and just as important she did not give me a bite on the feeder rod. Thank goodness for the float!
I set up a waggler rod and tried fishing two swims, one about 15 feet from the bank and the other about 40 feet out. I had a very few tiny roach after waiting almost one hour for my first bite. Maggot, dead maggot or bread punch all seemed to work but no decent fish showed up.
In the end I set up a 3m whip with a super light float, 2lb hook length and Size 20 hook and spent the last hour fishing about five feet from the bank to my left. It was a fish a chuck. Unfortunately these “fish” were about the size of chips but at least they kept me busy. Whatever the Secret of Catching Bigger Fish at Founders Pool is I didn’t find it. All the time I spent on the float rod and later the whip the quivertip on my feeder rod remained paralyzed except for the times it wobbled as I wound in, refilled the feeder, re-baited the hook and cast out again.
This perch was probably the best fish of the afternoon along with some similarly sized roach and rudd. The best bait ended up being dead maggot mainly because I could use the same maggot corpse for five or six fish before having to re-bait.
On dead maggots: This month is the first time I’ve ever used them. When I was young(er) I used to fish whenever I could find some spare time. Then I stopped mainly because me and the Missus emigrated to Belize. 27 years passed. We returned to Blighty earlier this year. Time to fish again! Things have changed, to say the least. One of the biggest differences is how we fish the humble maggot. These days anglers are into dead maggots, in the sense that they now like to fish them as bait and not in the sense that they might actually be “Into” Dead Maggots because that would be awful. To think all those years ago I spent all sorts of time and effort ensuring that my live maggots were fresh and clean and riddled and wriggly but it turns out that, sometimes, our lazy, fat and hungry fish prefer their maggots pre-killed.
When it comes to actual fish, British anglers are very much into treating them with great care; “Fish Welfare” as it’s called. Maggots, however, not so much. In the short time I’ve started using them (dead maggots) I have already learned FIVE different and variously agonising ways to convert live maggots to dead ‘uns:
Method 1: Pour boiling water over them. Not really the best way as they tend to over-cook and get tough and it’s well known that fish like their dead maggots rare and squishy soft.
Method 2: Put live maggots in a plastic bag, seal it and freeze it. This method works well unless you forget to take the maggots out of the freezer when you get out of bed in the morning and, worst, forget to take them with you when you go fishing in the afternoon. You may also need to get your wife’s permission to use the freezer. I’m lucky in that I don’t need to seek my wife’s approval. I already know I won’t get it.
Method 3: This works well if you only brought live maggots to your peg. Pour a bit of your thermos coffee or tea over a small container of live maggots and then look at the thermos suspiciously because those maggots will die almost instantly and do you really want to take the chance of drinking what killed them so fast? The maggots in the photos below were dealt their fatal blow today at Founders Pool. I like this method…flask tea or coffee isn’t at boiling point yet Maggot Death is pretty quick and if you pour the liquid off after a few seconds your maggots won’t be cooked.
Method 4: Put live maggots into a container with a little lukewarm water, which they will love, and then gradually pour boiling water, mixing continuously, until all of the maggots are dead, which they will not love as much. If you mix the lukewarm water with the boiling water with your finger and your finger dies it means you let the water get too hot.
Method 5: Put live maggots into a small container, pour a little warm water in, the maggots will try and escape but you can’t let that happen and you float the small container into a larger container of boiling water and watch the maggots slowly die and if you listen very carefully you might even hear them “squeeeeeeeking” ever so faintly and if you do I recommend you use that noise to get the Bloody Awful “Go Compare” jingle out of your head.
I’m going fishing tomorrow, almost certain of it! No idea where, yet, but The Compleat Angler will carry the report right here.
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