Worm Fishing - The Basics

Trevor Kugler

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Before I begin this article, let me preface it by stating that I'm not referring to colorful pieces of plastic that so many Bass anglers are enamored with. The worm fishing that I'm referring to is live worm fishing. That is, the basics of fishing with live worms. I leave the fishing with colorful pieces of plastic to other people. For this article we'll stick to that which I'm familiar…the live worm. When it comes to fishing with live worms there are a few basics that every angler should be aware of.

  • The Key Word Is Live - When fishing with live worms the key word is live. This means the livelier your worms are the better. Employing an apparatus like a simple bait bag is a great idea to help keep your worms lively. When it gets hot outside, simply dip the bait bag in water, and the coolness/wetness of the water will help your worms ‘liven’ right up. You can make a bait bag yourself or purchase one, the important thing is that you employ one to help keep the live in your live bait.
  • Bait Needs To Be Natural - Natural presentation is key to live bait fishing. Your bait should appear just like it would in nature as much as possible. How often do you see a dead minnow in nature? And how often do you see a “worm ball" in nature? Never, it simply doesn't happen. Therefore we shouldn't use these types of things for bait. Rather than using a “worm ball", which is simply a worm that has been hooked over and over again on a hook, employ a set of gang hooks. Gang hooks enable the angler to present a live worm in an incredibly natural manner. Once you begin to use gang hooks, you will never again “thread" a live worm onto a hook. A basic of worm fishing is to present your worm in a natural manner.
  • Bottom is Your Friend - A basic premise of worm fishing is that bottom is your friend. The most effective technique for presenting a worm is to bounce that worm off of the bottom, as it flows naturally with the current. Use split shot sinkers, and add or take them away as needed. The goal is to get your live worm to bounce off of the bottom as it flows downstream. With a little practice, detecting the difference between bottom and a bite is as easy as telling a penny and a quarter apart! Just remember, the bottom is your friend, and also what my fishing mentor told me more than 20 years ago: "if your not getting snagged, you're not fishing in the right place. "

These points are the basics of worm fishing; at least as far as live worms are concerned. As I said, when it comes to those colorful pieces of plastic, you'll have to get your information somewhere else. Follow the above points and you will begin to catch more fish almost immediately. And remember, there's no substitute for practice. The more time you can spend on the water, the better. You can't catch anything without having your line in the water.

Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…. . Montana!

Gang Hooks Tied & Ready To Fish http://www.jrwfishing.com/gang_hooks.asp

The Original Bait Bag - http://www.jrwfishing.com/bait_pouch.asp

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