Ever since "fishing" became popularized, live worms and specifically nigh crawlers, have been being used to catch fish and with good reason. Almost any species of freshwater fish will readily bite a night crawler that has been impaled onto a fishing hook. The biggest problem with using live worms such as this for bait while fishing is that the bait often gets 'stolen' before the fish is hooked. In this article I will outline a few tips that will help anyone catch more fish when they are fishing with night crawlers.
Live worms have been my "got to" bait of choice when fishing for almost three decades and in that time these tips have enabled me to be more efficient and effective anytime that I am fishing with this incredibly effective type of bait. The first tip is to use an appropriate portion of the worm itself. Think about it, a night crawler is a fairly large chunk of bait especially when it is rigged up and many of the freshwater fish that we fish for, in comparison aren't that large. I mean sure if your are fishing for largemouth bass or back trolling for walleye, an entire might crawler may be in order, but if you are fishing for pan fish or drift fishing in a small river or stream, a chunk of bait that is too large is a detriment. In most popular fishing situations, a smaller piece of bait is needed and in these cases pinching the worm in half with your fingers is the way to go. This makes for a much smaller and more manageable chunk of bait, which will result in more hook ups and less "stealing" of your bait from inquisitive fish.
The second tip is to adjust the size of the hook that you employ to the size of the worm that is being used. Don't be afraid of using smaller fishing hooks that match the size (or portion) of the worm that is being used. This way the focus of your offering will be the night crawler, rather than the hook which will also result in more success. When using this variety of fishing worm I have always found size #6, #8, or ever #10 fishing hooks to be the most effective size choices.
Now we come to what I consider to be the most important aspect of fishing with night crawlers, the third tip, which is to present your night crawler in the most natural and realistic manner possible. Many anglers present their live worm in a manner that is in no way "natural" and it ends up costing them bites from hungry fish. A night crawler should be presented as bait to fish in an outstretched manner the way that it appears naturally. The more natural that your worm appears to the fish that you are attempting to catch, the more effective it will be, it's as simple as that.
Keep these simple and effective tips in mind the next time that you are fishing with night crawlers and you will begin to experience the success that you always should have been experiencing.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing a website focused on river and stream fishing with a focus on fishing for trout. He has more than 25 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and has spent much of that time fishing in small rivers and streams.
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