Squatts are the least regarded type of maggot, being bought by fewer anglers than any other. At best they’re seen as feed maggots, or a match angler’s change bait for scraping together a few tiny fish. At worst they’re dismissed or overlooked altogether. How wrong can you be.
Squatts are an excellent feed bait for bream. Large quantities can be packed into a ball of groundbait, since their lack of wriggle means that, unlike lively large maggots and pinkies, there’s less chance of their breaking up the ball in mid-flight.
Once on the bottom their sluggish nature means they stay in full view of the fish without burrowing away, while their lack of size means they’re not especially filling.
When fishing for a big weight of bream, be prepared to take and use several pints of squatts. Any less and you cannot hope to hold a large, hungry shoal for very long.
It’s no good loosefeeding squatts in. fast water – they’re too light to reach bottom quickly enough.
On still and slow waters, however, loose-feeding squatts and fishing them on the hook can be a deadly method for roach, perch and skimmers. A pint is usually more than enough for a session.
Because squatts are so light, you usually need a catapult to loosefeed a swim with them, even one that’s quite close in.
Sometimes feeding them in very small balls of sloppy groundbait works even better – it depends on the venue as well as conditions, so you have to ask around or work this out for yourself.
However you feed, do it regularly to maintain a constant supply of tempting, slow-sinking squatts.
Be sure to use a shotting pattern to mirror this – heavy shotting down the line just plummets the hookbait straight through the feeding fish. Dropper shots should be no larger than size 10.
All the careful shotting in the world counts for nothing if you use the wrong hook. Choose a small, fine wire hook and, as always, match hook size to bait – size 20 for three squatts, size 22 or 24 for one or two squatts.
Many match anglers lightly loosefeed squatts on a reserve, inside line on still and slow waters. They fish another bait and another line as their main choice, switching occasionally to pick off small fish from their squatt line.
This approach can work handsomely when pleasure fishing, especially for roach – and not just very small ones either. But don’t forget the golden rule of feeding – little and often.