Are Worms the Best Fishing Bait? (Why Fish Bite Worms)

Worms are one of the most popular baits in fishing. The truth is that, at least in freshwater, there is no more widely available bait. I assure you that most bait shops have night crawlers and everyone has caught at least one fish with them in their lifetime.

Worms are very good for catching catfish, catfish, trout, sunfish, walleye, rock bass, striped bass and crappie. They have unpredictable movements, have a good smell that attracts fish, and are visually appealing to hungry fish.

In this article, we take a closer look at this topic. Worms and gastropods are among the best universal baits for most small and medium-sized fish. They are not the BEST bait for any species of fish, but they are one of the only baits that can be used to catch dozens of fish with relative ease in most weather conditions and seasons.

Are worms the best bait for fishing?

Trout, catfish, gilthead bream, sunfish, crappie, perch and the occasional walleye are easily caught with worms. Pond fishing and fishing in small, calm lakes are synonymous with worm fishing. Is there anything more relaxing than putting a worm on the hook, pulling in a few metres of line under a cork and casting the lure out a few metres from the anchor? Fishermen have used this method for generations because it allows them to catch fish.

Worms attract fish. Trout can smell them before they see them swimming in the water. Sticklebacks, catfish, freshwater drum and other bottom feeders use the algal beds, sandbars and gravel dunes of lakes to find food floating on the bottom.  Worms naturally occur in this environment, flushing the bottom of the creek and quickly flowing away from the storm. It is a natural need to hunt earthworms that live in the ground.

Crappies, sunfish, bass and perch are spiny fish that like cloudy areas. An earthworm swimming near an underwater tree cannot resist these social fish. The magic of worm fishing for crappie, perch or bluefish is that if you hook one, the others will follow. They don’t mind if one of the fish they catch is hooked on a spinner or jig. You can quickly hook the hook, throw it back to the same spot, and chances are you’ll still catch fish.

Why do worms catch fish?

Worms catch fish by triggering an instinctive feeding response, making natural and unpredictable movements, and by the worm meat enticing many fish to bite. Fish are predators. The ones you’re looking for aren’t grazing, they’re hunting. The worms have a smell that attracts fish underwater over incredible distances. When the scent meets the red stream that swims right in front of them, it’s one of nature’s biggest visa attractors. Yes, worms make excellent fishing bait.

Snail species

Red wigs

A red barber on a #6 hook or smaller, with only a sinker a few inches above the worm, as most anglers were struck with the fishing bug as children. It’s easy to set up, a five or six year old can do it themselves and it gets results. Earthworms are everywhere, from urban to agricultural areas. Find a pile of dead leaves, some loose soil or a compost pile and it will be filled with natural bulldozers, the earthworms. The common earthworm, often called the red barb, is only a few inches long and has a small diameter, but fits perfectly on a small hook.

Red wigs are much more relatable, nightlights and landscapers cursed and blessed, depending on where they live. They turn extreme soil into high-quality potting soil by burrowing into clay, create flow paths for water, feed on organic matter and convert it into useful fertilizer, but they also leave unsightly mounds behind in greenbelts, along well-tended lawns and next to flowerbeds.

Night owl

Most people buy gastropods at convenience stores or bait and tackle shops, but they are very easy to catch when it has rained or just after a bike shower while watering the lawn. Nightcrawlers like moist soil, they can’t survive in wet soil, so they crawl out of the ground and spread over concrete sidewalks and asphalt driveways. After a summer rain, you can walk the sidewalks or streets and pick up hundreds of five to ten inch long nightcrawlers in a matter of minutes.

Many fishermen use too many cattails. You take a large crawling hook, knot it a few times, wrap it around hook #6 and let it dangle under the hook.  That’s great for people, but not for the bass, sloughs or trout you’re looking for. They find the caterpillar by its smell and get a little restless. Excessive deworming is not the same as excessive beating.

This can backfire if there are baitfish, perch or small bluefish in the pond at the same time. Tiny fish nibble on the night crawler, sometimes without your beaver moving. When you finally pull the line out to check the bait, you often see a bare, shiny hook dangling under the float.

Food and wax worms

Many people think that mealworms and waxworms are the same, but they are not. The food is the larva of the honey beetle, while the wax worm is the larval stage of the wax moth. To add to the confusion, a newcomer for anglers is the superworm, a larger version of the feeder. More is not necessarily better when it comes to mealworms. The larger version of superworms have a harder shell that is harder to penetrate with a hook, and as an unwanted bonus, they can bite and sting.

Edible worms and wax worms have the same advantage. They can be used for fishing trout, bluefish, crappie, sunfish, bass and perch. Bottom fishing will also attract catfish. Their best use is often in the winter through the ice.  Earthworms and waxworms have a double benefit for ice anglers. These are harder baits that can withstand the extremely cold temperatures of northern lakes in winter, and slow moving baits making them much more attractive to fish in a semi-dead state in cold water.

Some hardened, old-fashioned ice fishermen like to keep meal and wax worms in their mouths, between their lower lips and teeth, to keep them fresh and shiny before picking them up and throwing them into the water.

Sand and bloodworms

A big mistake is to think that fishing with worms is only good in freshwater. This is not true at all. Marine fish attract earthworms and nightjars in the same way as their freshwater friends. There are even a few sea worms that enterprising fishermen like to use in bays, estuaries and in the open sea. There are a number of sea worms that are often viewed by fishermen.  Their appearance is very different from that of the harmless red barber or the night watchman. The sandworm and the bloodworm look like something out of a bad science fiction movie.

The sandworm has a pair of claws in its mouth, and the bloodworm is a look-alike with four stabbing claws that emerge from under the body, just behind the mouth, when it is excited.  They get excited when you try to catch one. Many anglers have felt the bite of a bloodworm while trying to hook it on a #2 or larger hook.

While the pliers may intimidate the one setting the hook, striped bass, rock bass, redfish and other saltwater fish working the shallows and mud are not impressed at all, they are just hungry. These worms are very popular with sea anglers.

What can you catch with worms?

Trout, marene, bluegill, yellow perch, rock bass, goby, striped bass, catfish, trout perch and walleye are the most common fish caught with worms. The better question is: What can’t catch worms? Almost all fish are attracted to a red vortex, a bloodworm or a nightcrawler. The reaction of fish to this natural bait depends more on water conditions, seasons and temperatures than on the attractiveness of this winding live bait.

Are dead worms good bait?

You can’t catch many fish with a dead and withered worm. At this rate, you can catch catfish on these smelly remains of earthworms and grubs. Catfish are attracted to smelly bait, and there’s nothing worse than the smell of earthworms lying in the sun and approaching the frozen gelatinous mush.

Why do piles of plastic worms bite?

Plastic worms mimic baitfish, crappie, sculpins or other natural foods that move close to the bottom and typically eat or kill bass. Experienced anglers often have a bit of a sense of humor when they see young anglers throwing the latest novelties at bass in the form of high-tech cranks, buzzbaits or special plastic lures that imitate frogs, crayfish or small fish. The gelatin worm is a proven bait for small and large fish. In the past they were only available in red or black, but now they are available in all colors of the rainbow.

These plastic worms can also look like snakes, leeches and the usual night crawlers on hungry rods. When fishing for sea bass, hunger sometimes has little to do with whether or not these ever angry, ever aggressive fish will strike. Bass only struck because the presence of your temptress unnerved her. That’s why they’re so fun to catch, and something wriggling like a plastic worm in their territory excites them.

Top 9 worm fishing tips:

1. Old School.

Take a reed rod, a piece of braided line with a 24 gauge monofilament leader, attach a #6 hook, crimp a 12 gauge split shot onto the hook. Stick a piece of nightshade on it. Throw it in the water and sit in the Tom Sawyer way and wait for it to take a bite. You can also take a rod and reel of your choice, with 6 to 8 pound monofilament line, and attach a #6 hook to it. Cut ¼ ounce shot with your foot over the hook. Tie the bobber to a piece of nightcrawler on a line about three feet above the hook. Drop the whole end of the jig into still water and wait for the bobber to bounce up and down.

2. Surface feeding of fish

Fish feeding on the surface usually come after the last hatch, but you can improve the action with a bright bubble and a worm attached with a double hook.  Tie one hook at the end of the line and the other about two inches higher, with the hooks pointing in the same direction. Hook a large night crawler on both hooks so it pulls straight when you cast. A large piece of alewife on the surface may interest these trout more than a fly.

3. Get different plastic worms

Fishing for bass by jumping your worm, i.e. pulling it out of the water with your foot or whatever, sinking it and then repeating the process when you make your cast, can drive a vicious largemouth crazy. They’ll hit him like a freight train.

4. Blind shot large

Pull a worm over the dense vegetation and you might lure a bass or walleye swimming through the weeds below. Tie a weight to the end of the line, tie a two or three foot hook with a worm to a #6 or larger hook. Cast a line, one jig around the other bow ball, enough to move the worm up and down a few inches. This allows you to avoid all the slack on your line while working with a whole new piece of water.

5. Drift only.

If you’re on a mountain river looking for something fun to catch those buzzing, bouncing brown trout, you can have great success with a worm on a smaller hook, maybe a 10 or 12 weight, and dragging the bait in the current under cut banks and around rocks.

6. Snail Harnesses and Scrolls

A worm rig is a piece of high strength monofilament, with a couple of hooks in the line and a spinner at a point just below the joint that connects it to your line. Attach the worm to your harness and slowly wade through the water. You can adjust the depth of the harness with a split shot if you want to go further. With the spoon attracting fish and the worm smelling them, you have a dual task.

7. Tilting through ice

Hang a #10 hook, hang a 1/8 ounce split shot a few inches above the hook, and lower the hook and shot to some height below the ice. Place the flag on the tip and repeat this process on all legal holes in the ice. Wait for the flag and see what this little maggot has brought you.

8. Addition of a tourniquet for the handbag

Colorado style worm belt with blades for river fishing. Nightcrawler lands with a hook to the body. Colorado blades are slightly larger than traditional rotary blades and make more noise in the water. Cross the creek and pick up the strips at every third swing with small stencils. Let the rig work in the water.

9. Jumping with a fender.

Slide the slip tank on your line, then hang the night crawler #6. Attach a small crimp to the weight about a foot above the hook and another about a foot above it. As the sliding bucket rolls along the bottom of the river or lake, it bounces around and doesn’t get stuck as often as a static weight. Let the movement of the water work for you with slow suction.

frequently asked questions

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