A Maggot Question

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I wonder if anyone can help here. I returned to fishing a few years back as it was something I did when a kid and now I have the time to do it some more. Glad I did! Here is the question. The local tackle shop (well the nearest and easiest to get to) does not sell maggots from a chiller and into your box, instead, they are pre-packed and can be purchased in tubs from the fridge. What you get in some very lively maggots but they are in only what could be described as a brown rotting substance, they have not been cleaned and this stuff that they are in (on a scales of 1 - 10) is an 11 in the pong department. Has anyone ever purchased maggot kept like this and if so what is the best way to prepare for fishing? I confess that I have taken them out in the tub as is however if you so much as touch what they are in you will smell it for days. Years even ;) Any ideas why they are packed like this and what it is. I wish they sold them the old fashioned way...
 

whitty

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Let the maggots warm enough to wriggle,put through a riddle as suggested and put fresh fine maize meal in,you may possibly need to do this again within a few hours if your bait is really poor at purchase,if you fridge your bait(which you should),what i've said needs to be done every two weeks at least,the riddling removes the dead skins,any other rubbish etc,on top obviously you will need to sieve your old maize off....
 

nottskev

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I get bait from several shops around here. The best maggots - they're big and fresh with a large feed spot - smell awful and come with a side order of feed debris. The answer, as has been said, is to riddle them, twice if need be. You can use maize meal or bran to clean them and stop them sweating up. I've a preference for the latter but it seems to have gone out of fashion.

It's funny how maggot lore has changed this century. We used to be told a) only ever hook a maggot at the blunt end b) if a fish so much as looks at your bait, change it. Here we are now, hooking double maggot through the pointed end - less likely to cover the hook point - or in the middle, to make it sink like loose feed. At the same time, dead maggots have become a staple., and our old bait gets a second life.
 

markcw

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I used to use cat litter trays for maggots once riddled.
If I had no maize or bran I used Ready Brek. ( no golden glow puns please.)
I bought some maggots in a carton similar to a take away carton around 15 years ago from a tackle shop in Bicester, they even wanted to charge for the carton . This was on a fishing weekend down here.
I got some maggots from a shop in Banbury around the same time from a shop that had a chiller, these were comatose, had to wait for them to liven up before putting through a riddle.
If I was the OP I would look for a better tackle shop, It took me a few attempts since moving to Oxford but I managed it,
 

The bad one

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Sounds to me the shop owner doesn't know how to treat maggots when they are delivered from the farm, just putting them in the tubs without cleaning them off. You can do as has been said and clean them yourself (you shouldn't have to) or you find a better supplier that you can get good clean bait off.
 

whitty

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We have the same issue where I live Phil,we used to have a glut of tackle shops selling maggots,now we have two locally,both selling sh1t maggot that comes straight from the bait farm,they never see a riddle,the guy asks if you want maize on them and when you tell him there is no point as i'm going to sieve and riddle the crap off before putting fresh maize on he looks quite miffed,as if insulted,lol....
 

The bad one

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In the mid 80s I worked in a tackle shop for around a year owned by a mate of mine. One of my jobs was to clean off the maggots when they came in from the farm. As the farm bred the maggots on chicken offal and carcasses the maggots had beaks, fathers, claw ends and other stuff I couldn't make out. And my previous job for over 20 years before this one, had been a butcher/slaughterman.

The maggot stank to high heaven when they were delivered and were red hot and racing. I'd have to riddle them off at least twice to get rid of all the above mentioned crap, and then chilled down with just a small amount of sawdust. They were then stored in 2 gallon boxes in the fridge and rarely riddled again until they were put in the cooler on display in the shop the next day.
My mate's philosophy was (and I'd agree with it), if you sell top class bait you get a good rep for it, and punters will come from miles around to buy it, giving you the opportunity to sell the higher profit items to them.
The profit on maggots wasn't very high at the time, less than 5% per pint. I doubt that much has changed since, given the price of a pint maggots. They are sold more as a leader service than a profit earner.
These guys that are selling rubbish bait to punters ain't doing themselves any favours when it come to up selling other products. The punter might be forced into buying the rubbish bait they have, but then off to the Net for all the higher profit items.

As for my mate, he up sold himself, sold his half of the business and married a millionaires daughter in the Aquatic trade. Not heard of him for years now. No doubt still falling on his feet when he trips up over his wallet.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Throughout most of the 90’s I imported maggot for resale to the (then) thriving match scene there.
They would arrive at the airport in large black plastic sacks so needed to be cooked down and laid in large trays to revive. Then we’d riddle them 2 or 3 times before putting in large trays in a shop style cooler fridge.
On match days they’d be transport in the large trays and sold by the pint measure to the anglers.
The breeder told us that the active life cycle for maggots was around 1100 degree hours so if kept at say 3 degrees would last (in best condition) for about 11 days. We’d turn what we didn’t sell to caster and those sold well. Overall it was a lucrative little side business.
 

nottskev

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Getting decent bait throws up some puzzles. The nearest shop has decent maggots, acceptable casters and all the tackle and bits you could want, but one obnoxious staff member. Another has good maggots and casters, all the gear and friendly, professional service, but involves traffic nightmares. A third has excellent casters, ok maggots and a nice drive, but impersonal staff who give the impression, deliberate or not, they wish the customers were higher class. Another has top-class maggots and a well-stocked shop run by a friendly bloke, but casters only to order and no pinkies. The last has very little stock, but excellent maggots of the not-for-the-squeamish type. Those who have no bait stockist nearby would probably see all this as a problem they'd welcome..
 
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Well, everyone, your answers have exceeded my expectation and thank you all! I guess what it all boils down to is experience and (as I have only come back to fishing) my memories of bait years back were very different. Firstly, the shop I used to go to back in the day stored the maggots under glass, they were clean and came with maize/sawdust. These maggots look raw, unclean and to be honest as if someone has just dug them out and packed them in tubs. To be fair to the shop, you can get a really good number of sizes and colours, and yes I did riddle and they were a lot better. They are sold for £2.00 a tub which I guess is quite a good price. Maybe this is a DIY maggot tertitory.
 

theartist

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Be careful when thinking you are getting a bargain with prices/quantities. A shop I used to go to used to seemingly gave two pints when the stock was old, this too was in dirty sawdust so by the time the deads and all the grit was riddled off there was actually a pint or less than a pint sometimes.

Shops should tend their maggots well and if so they'll find they get a good following over time. Also treat those customers well, who sells things and doesn't take pride in what they sell? If any shop doesn't value someone coming in for a pint then they shouldn't be trading, or won't be long term, successful business is all about reputation at times.
 

whitty

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As i've said I get maggot from the farm,they are a bit smelly(very),but generally clean,in sawdust,this is where the smell is,removing this,along with any skins,bits of bone etc out make and adding a helping of maize which I get from Tescos(even though I know I can get it cheaper from my pellet vendor....
 
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markcw

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If there is an abattoir near you go there with a couple of 5 gallon buckets, they will soon be filled.
Used to be a good one in Warrington, more or less next to a WAA water Grey Mist.
 

Burton Bridge

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I wonder if anyone can help here. I returned to fishing a few years back as it was something I did when a kid and now I have the time to do it some more. Glad I did! Here is the question. The local tackle shop (well the nearest and easiest to get to) does not sell maggots from a chiller and into your box, instead, they are pre-packed and can be purchased in tubs from the fridge. What you get in some very lively maggots but they are in only what could be described as a brown rotting substance, they have not been cleaned and this stuff that they are in (on a scales of 1 - 10) is an 11 in the pong department. Has anyone ever purchased maggot kept like this and if so what is the best way to prepare for fishing? I confess that I have taken them out in the tub as is however if you so much as touch what they are in you will smell it for days. Years even ;) Any ideas why they are packed like this and what it is. I wish they sold them the old fashioned way...
Yuk, that don't sound good 🤢

I'd personally look for another retailer however if that's not possible buy some cornmeal or maize from your local supermarket, you will find it in the world foods section. Riddle them 2 or 3 times in large trays changing the maize everytime, then lid off in the fridge.

If that don't get rod of the smell then nothing will.
 

rayner

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Quality baits are hard to find locally, all the shops sell what appear, old maggots. Rare to find feed spots, most charge two quid a pint. Casters are not what the were at my local shop. Trouble is they are kept in water when he as a surplus. It seems to look after bait properly you either do it yourself or get substandard.
 
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