As anglers, we are always on the lookout for different ways to present our bait. When you have the added benefit of being able to store a really effective bait almost indefinitely it soon becomes quite an attractive proposition.
Are Dead Maggots Good for Fishing?
There are a few reasons why you may want to kill your them prior to fishing, nearly all of them practical.
One reason is that dead maggots tend to work better for bigger fish. When they thrash and wriggle they often attract the attention of smaller species such as skimmers and small roach. The smaller fish tend to ignore still baits.
Another reason is that using dead maggots cause less kinks and twists in the line whilst you are reeling in, making them the ideal bait to use under a pellet waggler, where excellent presentation is vital.
The final reason is that you can store dead maggots for quite a while. If you have a trip planned it is sometimes great to have the convenience of the bait there, ready to go, without worrying about storage.
How Do You Kill a Maggot?
There are numerous options used to kill maggots for fishing, let’s take a look at them: –
Killing Maggots Using Boiling Water
The best way to kill maggots is by using boiling water. This is a great way to produce a large number of dead maggots in a short space of time. Depending on how you are equipped you can do this at home or down on the bank. Riddle your maggots and get them nice and clean. Put them in a large bucket or bait tub. Then add cold water. Then, take some boiling water from a kettle and bit by bit add half a cupful at a time and give them a stir in your bait tub.
The aim is to get the water too hot for them, but not quite boiling water hot enough to ‘cook’ them. You’ll find that bit by bit they stop wriggling. You can then use the maggots right away or freeze for a later date.
Killing maggots by rolling
This is perhaps the easiest way to kill maggots. You gain quite a lot in convenience. The only downside is that you can’t kill a great many in bulk. Take anything up to 4-5 maggots and roll them gently between your fingers or palms until they stop moving. This is ideal for maggot hook baits, for ground bait however you could possibly find it time consuming.
Killing Maggots by Freezing
I think this is another great way to kill maggots.
Provided your Mrs is OK with you using the family freezer, killing maggots by freezing is a super-efficient way to kill them in bulk. Provided you do it correctly you’ll find that they don’t end up stretchy and stringy. You may need to plan ahead slightly to allow them to defrost for when you want to use them.
To kill maggots by freezing, riddle your maggots to ensure they are clean and free of sawdust. Place them in a plastic bag and remove as much air as you can. Then pop the bag into the freezer. They should be good for up to a month. After this, they may very well become frost damaged and deteriorate rapidly.
Defrosting Your Maggots
Defrosting your maggots correctly is also a vital step. Do not use hot water to speed things up as you will find that it adversely affects the quality of your bait. We find the best and most time-efficient way to defrost them is to take them frozen down to the swim and fill the bag with a splash of cold water from the swim. It stops the maggots stretching out and also allows them to slowly thaw as the day progresses.
Killing Maggots Using a Pellet Pump
Another method is using a pellet pump. If you have a pellet pump then you have a great middle ground between bulk and speed. Just place them in the pellet pump and suck the air out, just as you would with pellets. They are not designed to live in a vacuum so will be killed instantly.
You’ll reduce the amount of ‘nuisance’ bites by smaller fish species by using dead maggots and gain the ability to store your bait for a longer period of time. Many of the methods we have mentioned can be achieved down on the bank. It will also save you going to the tackle shop every time you need to get maggots.