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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.
Three are three types of maggot you can buy from your local tackle shop.
Here national canal fishing champion, Simon Mottram, explains the differences between squatts, pinkies and large maggots.
The standard large maggot is probably the bait most associated with every day fishing when people think about anglers’ baits. Large maggots are available at all tackle shops and eaten by all coarse fish species. Typically, anglers keep them in plastic bait tins with fine sawdust, maize meal or bran added. In the east of England, maggots are even available from vending machines at around 40 locations.
Maggots are the larva of the common bluebottle fly and are bred on maggot farms. They are typically fed on the carcasses of fish, chicken or turkeys and take a week or so to grow to full size. Large maggots are naturally white in colour, but are often coloured, usually by the breeders who add dye’s to the food. Hence, you can find red, yellow, orange, pink and even green versions.
Before the 1960s, maggots were known as gentles. Various types of maggots were described by Dame Juliana Berners in her ‘Treatise of fishing with an angle’ written back in the 1420s so have been in use as fishing bait in the UK for at least 600 years. Izaak Walton amongst other authors of the era describe how to breed maggots and by 1700, some fishing tackle shops were selling them commercially.
When angling participation and the use of maggots was at its height, many breeders got rich, including the maggot king, Arthur Bryant. It was famously said that a blind man could identify him at 20 paces.
Today, there are fewer than a dozen operational maggot farms in the UK compared with around 50 back in the 1970s.
When it’s warm in the summer, the maggot will quickly pupate, ie. turn to casters. To slow this natural process down, maggots are kept in the fridge. Half fill your bait tin with maggots and consider adding extra maize meal or sawdust to ensure the maggots remain dry. The maggots will shrink slightly with the skins becoming slightly tougher but will certainly be perfectly useable for at least a week.
Do make sure you get the permission of the fridge owner. Take care to make sure the lid is kept on the receptacle - for like pinkies - stories of escaped maggots are the stuff of nightmares.
Last date edited: 26 November 2017