Maggot chrysalises are called casters, and they are an excellent bait for most species of fish. Like maggots, casters can be bought from a good tackle shop and are sold by the pint (0.57 litre) measure. As soon as maggots start to pupate the chrysalises are lifted out and placed in a cold storage area. By storing the chrysalises in cold temperatures (not freezing) the development of the pupae is halted. If the chrysalis has developed too far then it will float and lose its effectiveness as a bait. Casters cannot be kept very long so should be bough I immediately before the fishing trip, and can then be used singly or in pairs on a fine hook. Sizes 16 and 18 barbless hooks are ideal for caster fishing. The fine, sharp hook should be pushed carefully through one end of the caster’s shell. They are easily crushed and care should be taken not to burst the bail as the hook is being inserted. Like maggots, casters are not a very selective bait and can easily be tackled by very small fish, but they are an excellent bait for species such as roach or dace. Loose fed into the water, casters will also encourage fish to feed and will draw them into the vicinity of the hookbait.

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