Fishing Baits - Coloured baits
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What's the point of coloured maggots?
I had been unable to fish because on an injury but, on a convalescent walk, on crutches, by the waterside I had noticed a couple of shoals of decent grayling. My balance was still not good enough to cast a fly safely but it was good enough to do a little trotting so...
I visited the tackle shop to buy a few maggots.
Remember: Maggots are not a natural food for fish except, perhaps, when some animal dies and decays in a tree overhanging the water. Maggots are a convenient, small, wriggling, bait for the angler who cannot collect enough natural baits.
All I wanted was half a pint of whites, but all they had was a tutti-frutti mixture of luridly coloured maggots because "There's no call for white ones." So I had to buy a pint of the rainbow coloured mixture and spent an hour sorting out the white ones. The rest I scalded and added to the compost heap.
Most coarse fish are effectively colour-blind so the colour of the bait doesn't matter. Grayling have excellent colour vision so for them, it does.
Apart from midwinter it's not worth spending a long time on any one shoal of grayling, half an hour is long enough to give them a few loosefed samples, watch for them to begin feeding and to take a couple before the inevitable trout bullies take over the swim. After half an hour simply move on the the next shoal and start over.
Most of the natural larvae on which grayling feed are white(ish), brown or pale green. The coloured maggot selection included orange, pink, and blue but not brown or pale green. I want a colour that's likely to seem natural-ish to the fish so they begin feeding quickly and I want to use just one colour at a time to avoid different fish fixating on just one colour so reducing my chance of catching.
Worse: In nature, bright colurs are warning signs; they signal that the insect is not afraid of being eaten because it's either distasteful, poisonous or packing a powerful sting. Most predators avoid brightly coloured prey. That's why I want the white ones.
So what is the point of coloured maggots?
From the fishing point of view: None that I can think
Tackle shops are trying to catch anglers; or the contents of their wallets, not fish.
Unless stated otherwise: Everything in this site refers to fishing in the British Isles and similar northern European waters.