The Bait Bank product range includes:
- Fresh Maggots in the most popular colours of vibrant red, natural white & mixed
- Crisp Casters
- Juicy Dead Reds
- Cooked Hemp
- Cooked Tares
All products are securely packaged in reusable*, re-sealable and environmentally friendly containers. Recycling facilities for our containers are provided along-side Bait Bank vending machines and we ask all our customers to please respect the environment when discarding unused baits and empty containers.
*Although our packages are high quality food grade standard, we recommend our packages are only reused for fishing bait storage.
Maggot Lifecycle:The word maggot is used to describe the larva of a fly, in particular referring to the larvae of Brachyceran flies, or houseflies and blowflies as they are more commonly known with the classic blue bottle fly coming under this category. The lifecycle starts as the flies lay their eggs on decaying organic material, commercial bait producers favour fish or meat to encourage the flies to lay eggs in large numbers. This is a messy but effective process and the eggs soon hatch into a mass of wriggling maggots which feed on the decaying matter. Growing to a size of approximately 7mm within just a few days, a well fed and happy maggot will display a full feed sack identified by a large black spot which undulates along its top.
In warm conditions the maggot will use up its stored feed and its outer skin hardens to a crisp shell as it begins to “pupate” (form a chrysalis prior to changing into a fly) and so the lifecycle can start over again. However, in low temperatures the maggot’s metabolism is slowed down causing it to hibernate and so they remain in their maggot form for longer. With adequate refrigeration this stage can be maintained for 4-6 weeks before they fully transform into flies. The crisp shell initially formed by each maggot is light in colour and at this stage are well known to Anglers as the very popular fishing bait called casters. Casters are highly regarded coarse fishing bait – learn more on casters.
Maggots as Fishing Baits:
Maggots are perfect coarse fishing bait, arguably the best bait to ensure catching even on the hardest of days fishing which is why they are the most popular bait for anglers in Europe. By “feeding” (throwing free offerings of maggots into the water) around a baited hook, fish are attracted to the area enabling them to be caught whilst continued feeding keeps the fish in the area and increases the chance of success.
Anglers throughout time have proven that maggots can be used to catch a wide variety of coarse species including; Common, Mirror, Grass and Leather Carp, Tench, Crucian Carp Barbel, Chub, Roach, Bream, Rudd, Dace, Grayling, Gudgeon, Ide, Orfe and all other carp/goldfish hybrid strains. Even predatory fish such as Perch, Pike and Zander can be caught on this bait. This is because maggots are similar to natural food sources found in the fish’s habitat such as bloodworm. Maggots are used to catch fish of all sizes including the British Record Bream of 20lb 2oz by Simon Lavin in 2011. Check out our gallery to see a photograph of this beautiful specimen fish.
Maggots are naturally a white/off white colour but can be coloured using environmentally friendly dyes. The most popular colour for coarse fishing is red with the natural white being a close second favourite, hence why we can stock white, red & mixed maggots in our Bait Bank product range. All our products are packaged in environmentally friendly and fully recyclable containers which are re-sealable for your convenience.
The word Caster is used to describe the stage of a fly larva (maggot) when it has changed into the chrysalis prior to finally hatching as a fly. Initially the Caster, around 6mm in length, starts off white and with time changes to a light golden then brown colouration. At this stage the Caster is used as fantastic sinking fishing bait notorious for enticing quality fish of many kinds, either by feeding the fish or using as bait on the hook.
Left for a prolonged period the Caster will turn to a purple black colour and is likely to float, at this point using Casters as loose feed is not advisable as any wind will blow the floating casters from your swim and take the feeding fish with them. They are still excellent bait when used on the hook as they can descend through the water slowly which entices the fish to feed on them. Floating Casters are renowned for attracting quality coarse fish of many kinds, particularly highly competitive or surface feeding fish such as all varieties of Carp, Roach and Rudd.
Catching the Casters as they have just changed from the maggot stage is a time consuming process which involves riddling (sieving) the maggots daily so they can be separated. Refrigeration helps reduce the Casters metabolism, allowing this very popular fishing bait to be maintained at the sinking stage of the process and can be sold in resealable packages via our on-site Bait Bank vending machines. If you fancy trying a few floating Casters then leave a few sinking Casters out of water in direct sunlight and they will soon turn to floaters. To maintain the casters sinking ability during your fishing session they are best kept cool under water and out of direct sunlight. Easy to follow instructions are provided with each package of Bait Bank Crisp Casters.
Dead Red Maggots
Dead reds are just as their name suggests maggots which have been dyed red and are no longer live. Whilst it may seem strange to use dead reds when live maggots have proven to be so effective but dead maggots, particularly red ones, are used to great effect producing large catches and luring specimen fish during pleasure sessions and competitive matches.
Dead reds do not wriggle and as such do not bury themselves in silt or mud, keeping them visible to passing fish. This means they can be used as loose feed when heavily baiting your fishing swim to attract and hold fish to specimen sizes. Useful in both summer and on hard winter days they can also entice wary fish from heavily fished waters. As dead red maggots are static, fish that have been caught regularly by anglers can become wary of new bait introduced into the swim, however these wary fish believe the dead red maggots have been in the water for a long period and are more likely to take these without hesitation. Dead red maggots can be made available for purchase in Bait Bank vending machines.
The process of producing good quality dead reds can be messy and time consuming by either scalding or freezing the maggots and washing them. It is important to get the maggots to look fresh despite being dead, some methods of preparing dead reds make the maggots brown and rotten looking or a paler red colour, Bait Bank dead reds are carefully prepared making them a vibrant colour red, perfectly soft, fresh looking and juicy to give maximum attraction to your targeted fish.
Hempseed is the seed of the cannabis plant and for a long time this exceptional coarse fishing bait was banned from many waters. Some said that the seeds drugged the fish and gave the match Anglers who used it an unfair advantage. This is now proven to be untrue as the seeds are treated to prevent growth and the subsequent production of the THC’s, the chemicals which give cannabis its potency as a drug. As hemp is black in colour and around the size of fine gravel it is thought that fish believe them to be water snails or indeed gravel. Either way Hempseed is renowned for attracting quality fish, particularly Roach, when fed little and often but is equally as effective when used as a carpet of feed for Carp, Tench and Bream on stillwaters along with Barbel and Chub in rivers. These days this effective bait can be used for all these coarse fish due to the succesful introduction of river species into commercial stillwaters and vice versa. Hemp is used as a hook bait either single grain on a small hook by carefully threading the bend of the hook through the split in the shell and leaving the hook point proud, this is a hard to beat method for catching fish on the drop when feeding little and often, although you’ll need to be quick not to miss the bites. Equally, laying a carpet of hemp is a great way to attract and hold large shoals and specimen size fish, particularly when used in conjunction with Casters, Tares, Sweetcorn and meat.
Preparation of Hemp:
Hempseed can be bought in dry in bulk and prepared by boiling for several hours in water. The hemp takes in water and the seeds darken and split, be aware that cooking hemp will cause a terrible stench. Also, undercooked hemp can be dangerous to fish as the seeds can expand once inside the fish. Our packaged Hemp is carefully prepared for your convenience and are available in our machines. Why not try them with our Tares or Casters for the specimens in your chosen fishery?
Tares are a type of pulse similar to peas or beans that are black in colour when dry. When prepared by soaking and cooking in water they soften and become various shades of brown. Traditionally, used alongside cooked hemp, this bait can be used to exceptional effect to extract the best quality fish from your swim. Tares are particularly attractive to Tench, Carp and quality Roach, that said all non predatory coarse fish can be caught on them. Particularly good bait for staying on the hook, being around the size of a 4mm pellet, Tares are much tougher than soft pellets. Give Tares a try when a fishing venue has been heavily fished by pellets and save time re-baiting the hook when you’re catching quickly.
If you have any comments on our product range, maybe you would like to see your favourite bait stocked in our machines or have had a great day fishing using our products, why not use our contact page to keep us informed.
Price per 350ml container (more than 20% extra than a half pint):
£2.50 for Red Maggots*
£2.50 for White Maggots*
£3 for Mixed Maggots*
£3 for Crisp Casters*
£3 for Juicy Dead Reds*
£2.50 for Cooked Hemp*
£2 for Cooked Tares*
Our machines take £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p and 5p coins only. * Not all baits are available at all Bait Bank locations, prices are subject to change.