Stillwater maple tactics
Like most particle baits, maples work best in hot weather – in fact, the hotter it is the better. Although carp anglers catch species other than carp on their own rigs, carp methods and tackle are really too crude to do the job efficiently and sportingly.
Fish the maples over a bed of hemp and maple seeds. Try waggler tactics with a single maple on a size 10 or 12 hook tied direct to 3 lb line. A 12-13ft rod with a softish top section but a fair bit of power in the middle and butt section is ideal for coaxing out delicate-mouthed roach and rudd while at the same time being able to handle big bream, tench – and the odd carp or two!
River maple tactics
On rivers maples can be used as an alternative to the traditional tare. You can use them in just the same way as tares – trotted through the swim but under a slightly heavier float – and for roach they often prove more effective than tares. However, on rivers where there are large chub and carp, be extra careful. These species are particularly fond of maples and it may be wise to scale up your tackle accordingly.
A particle bait, maple peas are well known to carp anglers. They are usually fished on a hair with some kind of bolt rig or used as an attractor with boilies fished over the top. Carp anglers often get through more than 10kg in a long session. But maple seeds are much more than just a carp angler’s bait.
Stuffed to the gills
Maples freeze well but because they are an extremely filling bait, pack them in small quantities – half pint bags are about right. This way you won’t be tempted to use the lot just because you have defrosted them and so run the risk of over-feeding the fish. As a guide you shouldn’t need more than a pint when fishing for roach and seldom more than two pints for larger species such as bream and tench.