Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
Wasp grub has long been associated as a summer bait for catching chub and trout are fans too. The great Jim Bazley, twice winner of the All England championships in 1909 and in 1926, described wasp grub as being ‘like plum duff amongst a lot of schoolboys’. It is not a bait that you will find in your local tackle shop as to acquire the grubs and cake you need to unearth a wasps’ nest.
Most of the skills needed to quickly find nests are slowly being lost and we're grateful for Gloucester legend Max Winters for his help with this article.
The nests tend to be found near hedgerows and the entrance hole will always be facing the morning sun on the eastern side of the hedge. Look out for wasps flying around 20 feet up in the air with dirt between their legs. The nest will be nearby as these wasps are depositing the soil away from the nest. Once the entrance has been found you need to apply the appropriate wasp nest powder from a reputable supplier around dusk time. The nest should be dug up the next morning. We suggest you get advice around the safety aspects of acquiring wasps’ nests.
The grubs (immature wasps) are used as hookbait and the cake is typically used in the groundbait mix. The cake is sweet and chub cannot resist it. Max would remove the best grubs for the hook with a bonus being that from August onwards you would find immature queens that were twice the size of normal grubs. As summer moves towards autumn, there are fewer unhatched grubs left in the nest. Max’s method of preparing the cake groundbait was take a three-gallon maggot container, put the cake with remaining grubs into the container and add a kettle full of boiling water to kill the grubs. Then add groundbait; back in the day this was typically brown crumb. Mix it until the right consistency is reached. You need to be able to make a ball that can be thrown without breaking up in mid-air and that would also sink before breaking up. Usually on larger rivers you would be fishing at distance to the chub holding areas such as overhanging trees.
Wasp grub fishing is the other end of the scale when compared to the finesse involved in squatts and pinkie or bloodworm and joker fishing. It’s a win or bust method for the match-man. Here’s Max’s top tips:
The cake can be bagged and placed in the freezer and frozen for use later. Be sure to add a label for if inadvertently added to some recipe of other by another member of the household, some spirited debate might well ensue.
There is a long history of use of wasp grub for chub which can be traced back as far as the writings of Dame Juliana Berners who described it as ‘the honeycomb’. There is a history of successful baits such as hemp and bloodworm and joker being subject to bans. Wasp grub has suffered the same fate.
It was banned on the River Trent and Burton Joyce after John Howard won numerous matches using the method. On the Severn match circuit, Max along with Clive Smith and Tony Davies, to name but three, achieved notable success on the ‘grub’. Max feels it’s a shame that modern anglers don’t give it a go more often these days for it’s a way in which the average match angler can triumph over the very best.
Last date edited: 18 January 2018