Big carp can often be caught using maggots because many carp anglers still wont use them due to the possibility of catching other nuisance fish, such as roach, perch or bream. Yes, it can be frustrating when after spending time setting a delicate maggot rig, a bream comes along and wakes me up in the middle of the night with its annoying, finicky takes. I do believe however, that using maggots on a lake where anglers don't use them often, is a great way to bank a monster carp.
Below is a maggot rig I have been using to catch carp. This is a critically balanced maggot rig, this means the buoyancy should be set so that the maggots sink slowly to rest gently on the bottom of the lake bed. This means that when a carp sucks at, or near the bait, the rig will be the first thing to shoot into the carps mouth. Balancing the carp rig means it will take some time to set it up properly, but once you have a few of these set up correctly at home you can simply clip them onto the rod quickly.
The great thing about this carp rig is that the number of maggots and the sponge together help hide the hook from wary carp as they approach from above. Scroll down to find out how to create this complex carp rig below!!
Step by step instructions
Firstly, I thread a round piece of coloured sponge onto the hair. The size of this piece should be enough to float 6-8 maggots. You want it to be slightly over-buoyant because you'll trim down the sponge after the maggots are threaded on, as shown in the picture below. I sometimes like to soak the sponge in a liquid attractant, especially the oil based types.
I use a Korda maggot clip threaded through the loop in the hair. I only add 6 maggots to the clip, I find any more than this makes it difficult to close the clip without squashing them until a few shoot off.
You trim the sponge until the maggots critically balance on the bottom of the water. Cut off a little at a time, and take care not to cut your fingers. You must be patient doing this or you could cut off too much and it will sink to quickly. It will take a little practice to get it right. I always only add 6 maggots because I know how big the sponge piece should be to almost balance the rig immediately.
Testing the critically balanced maggot rig in water.
When the maggot carp rig is critically balanced I push the bottom of the maggot clip into the sponge, this causes the maggots to point upwards and outwards giving a much better presentation of bait. You can see the effect of this in the picture below.
Above is the finished maggot rig. I use a small lead shot to finely balance the rig. The maggot rig should be equally balanced that if you push the hook rubber down the shank of the hook it will cause the maggots to move closer to the bottom.
This maggot rig is very effective for catching big carp, I have caught numerous carp on this rig. It is especially effective when placed on top of a bed of dead maggot. These are the only maggots wriggling so they attract the carp to them, also the dead maggots cannot wriggle away exposing your rig.
Related Links to other Carp Rigs: