One of the main keys when hooking corn is the size of hook you use, writes the Total Coarse Fishing magazine team, or more accurately the weight.

If you think about how fish take corn on the bottom, they come up to it and suck it in.

We doubt if they see the hook especially if they are competing for food – if they did hair rigging wouldn’t work as the whole hook is exposed.

More likely, however, if they feel there is something not quite right with it they will spit it out.

So if you add a hook that’s too big (heavy) the fish may reject it before you can react.

In our view for fishing sweetcorn either on the pole or on the feeder you are best off using small hooks no bigger than a size 16 for this reason.

Pole In Summer

With the pole it’s just a case of side hooking the bait but it pays to use small hooks – an 18 with quite a wide gape is ideal. The fish are aggressive and competing and there’s really no need to bury the hook. You can hook it like a maggot and have the whole of the hook point exposed, which will lead to a higher percentage of hook-ups. 

Just nick the hook point through the top of the grain of corn…
… and turn the hook through the skin leaving most of the hook exposed like this.

Pole In Winter

The fish are not aggressive and are not competing. They have time to inspect the bait and so presentation is more important.

Thus you should look to bury the hook inside the grain – just like you would hook a caster.

Some anglers like to nick the hook point back through the skin so it’s just showing, but you can simply have the whole hook hidden, provided you strike hard on bites so the hook point penetrates.

Push the hook point through the domed top of the grain.
Turn the grain until the whole hook is inside the grain.

Feeder Or Bomb

In either case you should always hair rig your bait and look to fish two or three grains, to create a highly visual bait.

However, try not to make your bait look too symmetrical – you want the carp to think that they’ve found some grains sitting naturally on the lakebed.

Push a fine baiting needle through a grain like this with the soft end penetrated first.
Penetrate the second grain through the side like this.
Grab the hair loop and secure using a boilie stop.
The benefit of this method is that the boilie stop is hidden in the soft part.
With three grains, have the top two facing in opposite directions so the bait isn’t too symmetrical.

Fishing With Maize

Maize is a bait to use for targeting specimen fish and avoiding the attentions of small fish and as such you are going to be fishing it with a strong, heavy hook.

You can fish a single grain on the bottom but a lot of anglers choose to fish maize in conjunction with a piece of fake floating corn.

The fake corn counterbalances of the weight of the hook, meaning it feels more natural to the fish if it picks up the bait. I

t also sees the bait sit up off the bottom and it sinks slowly, which is ideal if you’ve fishing over silt or rotting matter as the hook bait will settle gently on top of it.

Start by pushing a fake piece of floating corn onto your baiting needle.
Once soaked you should be able to penetrate the skin of the maize.
Grab the hair and pull through to add your boilie stop.
The fake corn sees the hook bait sit up off the bottom.
A single grain of maize can be hooked like this.