A switch to maggots did the business for Mark Cavaciuti!

A change of tactics really paid off for Mark Cavaciuti and resulted in him landing a string of big carp, including this cracking 37lb common during his latest session.

All of his fish came after he felt that he wasn’t maximising his chances and switched over to maggots, and that really did the trick, resulting in 40s on two consecutive nights, plus a couple of 30s, prior to his most recent trip.

Mark explained: “By mid-November the bites had begun to slow down, and although the fish were still regularly showing on dusk and at first light, getting a bite was becoming trickier, although I was still nicking the odd fish.

“I had noticed that in certain areas of the lake when there was no wind, sporadic pin prick bubbles would pop on the surface, with a few fish showing in the same areas during the hours of darkness - often during a 1am to 2am window - so I knew I was missing a trick!"
"I decided to change my approach and include maggots, as I was convinced fish were happily gorging on any naturals that the first real icy cold snaps had exposed by killing off the low-lying weed. My gut told me that they were gorging like pigs and getting away with it!

“The change of approach worked, with two forties in consecutive nights - one being a repeat capture of an Aveley strain fish - but then I couldn’t get down again for a couple of weeks due to work. My change in approach had worked from the off, so I was gutted that I couldn’t be there."
"On my last trip it was bitterly cold and the nighttime temperatures were consecutively into minus figures, but I was still confident in my maggot approach.  After doing an unfruitful lap of the lake in hope of seeing any sign of activity, I ended up back in the same area I’d previously had the hit from, on a hunch that they wouldn’t have moved far.

“My neat combi-rigs, utilizing IQ2 and 2cm of stripped back Hybrid to a size 4 Kaptor Kurv Shank, were baited with 12mm pink and white Sticky Baits Signature pop ups skull-capped with five maggots, and they were left rested on my tempest brolly as I waited, hoping to see a show, giving away the area that I needed to be presenting my rig in."
"Sadly, nothing showed during the day, and with a strong cold easterly blowing across the whole lake the pin prick bubbles were not to be seen. So I made up three funnelweb PVA bags, filled with two crushed 16mm Krill boilies, a few Bloodworm pellets and a few maggots. These were passed through the tube three times, giving three PVA skins, to ensure they reached the bottom in the deep water before melting.

“These were eventually cast out into the depths, with fresh bags tied ready to be swiftly recast should anything put on a night-time show. As expected a few did show that night, and in the darkness, and in-between trying to warm my hands up on the kettle, I repositioned all three rods to that area.
"It was a beautiful frosty morning, but I was frustrated as I did expect a chance during the night and didn't hesitate to re-do all three rods, as time was running out and I wanted to be confident during the limited time I had left.

“One flopped out right over my right-hand rod as another member walked into my swim and we sat chatting as we baited for the kettle to boil. Even after seeing a show, it was looking grim, as the air pressure was ridiculously high and it was still Baltic - I could no longer feel my toes!

“Out of nowhere the right-hand rod tip slammed down, the Stow pulled out of its clip then the line went completely slack. I approached the rod thinking I had just been bitten off by one of the plentiful jacks that swim in and out of the reeds, but as I knelt beside the rod and held the line, slowly I could feel it tightening in my fingers. I lifted the rod and somehow rather calmly freed the line from the rod's clip, before franticly reeling in taking up the slack before gently lifting into what I hoped was a carp.
"Some ten minutes later, after a chaotic fight wiping out the other two rods, I was stood waist deep in the cold cold water, slipping the net beneath a good sized common.  She behaved perfectly for the pictures, illuminated by a beautiful yet cold December sun rise.
37lb of solid cheesy gold!”