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
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
Casters are the pupa stage of the common bluebottle fly that produce the large hook maggot.
The maggot forms a hard, brown outer shell before eventually metamorphosing in a fly. This is the same process by which a caterpillar, forms a chrysalis before emerging as a butterfly.
Squatts and pinkies also go through this process, although it is only the caster of the large maggot that is sold in tackle shops and used by anglers. Casters are loved by all fish species especially roach, perch, bream and chub and tend to attract a larger size of fish. This believed to be due to their still nature, crunchy outer shell and soft protein rich contents.
Most anglers will buy casters from tackle shops. With a little bit of effort, you can ‘turn’ your own casters. To get a pint of casters you will need perhaps a pint and a half of best quality large white maggots. Once there are signs that the first of the maggots are beginning to turn into pale coloured casters, put them through a maggot riddle. The live maggots will crawl through but the casters will not. Remove any dead maggot skins at this stage. Repeat this process two or three times each day, removing the casters to the fridge each time. They are then best stored in a plastic bag with damp kitchen towel to avoid bag burn.
Casters have been used as fishing bait for hundreds of years and it’s not accurate to suggest that the Lancashire legend Benny Ashurst father of 1982 world champion Kevin Ashurst invented the caster. However, it was Benny who developed the sinking caster as explained by John Essex in this video Benny Ashurst and the sinking caster: (Division One national day)
Casters are a relatively short-lived bait, keeping at best four or five days sealed in an air tight plastic bag in the fridge. Never forget that casters are living creatures. It pays to open the bag at least once a day for five to 10 minutes just to let out the carbon dioxide rich air and allow oxygen rich air in.
Last date edited: 23 November 2017