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Fishing with Nightcrawlers--Tips and Tricks

Updated on September 18, 2008

Worms from the past


For centuries the lowly earthworm has been used to catch fish. Despite the tremendous onslaught of commercial lures, the worm still remains a favorite. Most children are taught how to fish by starting out with worms. They watch the bobber intently waiting for a fish to strike and then the fun begins. They may forget what they knew about how to reel in a fish but in the excitement it really doesn't matter. "I caught a fish!" they exclaim and in those moments a fisherman/woman is born. There is nothing like catching fish. You have fun, you interact with nature and no one gets hurt permanently because you throw the fish back into the water. Wow, and what great photos you'll have! Your child will never forget their first day fishing.

Impale that worm

If you're like most people, you were taught to take the worm and impale it repeatedly on your hook until the hook was completely covered, right? But does that look very natural to the fish? No, it doesn't. They are used to seeing their food come slowly dropping down in the water in it's full length position, not all wadded up! So, what do we do? We try to make our worm look as natural as possible. Fish can see or sense just about everything you put on your line so the first step is to remove all the extra hardware. No more snaps, swivels or weights. The only thing on your line will be a hook and a nightcrawler. Take your hook and put it through the nightcrawler's head (that is the end above the light band). This is the toughest part of the nightcrawler and is less likely to come off the hook. Now just drop it into the water. The worm will sink very slowly but before it hits bottom, if there are any fish around, it will get attacked by the first fish that sees it. It's the natural look that gets them every time. But fish can only see a few feet around them so you might have to jiggle the worm a little and move it around a little.

Nightcrawler properly hooked through the head

This method works best with larger fish like bass and walleye. Smaller fish, perches, blue gills, crappies, will just bite off the tail and run. For small fish use a shorter length of worm. Sometimes all you need is a half-inch of worm to catch fish. For children these should be put under bobbers so they can see the bite. Adults are better at feeling for bites.

Big, Fat, Juicy Worms

How can you have big, fat, juicy worms every time you go out fishing? Three days before you go fishing take your worms and put them in a container if they aren't in one already. Make sure there isn't any open space between the bedding and the container top. This will keep the worms from being able to move around. Next sprinkle water on them from your fingertips. You don't want to drown them so use just a small amount of water, just enough to moisten the top. Now all the worms can do is lay around and absorb up the water you put in. After 3 days your conditioned worms will look better that anything you can get from the dealer.

Our final secret is not for the squeemish, so if you hate the sight of blood--Stop Reading. The final secret is blood from your local butcher injected into the worm with a wormblower or a syringe. I find that the syringe is easier to use. Just dipping your bait in blood helps a little but that washes off right away. If you inject it, it stays with the bait and you are almost guaranteed a bite. That's how good it is. This method can also be used with dead-bait fishing. Blood is the ultimate attractant. Like it or not we do get our hands dirty when we fish. Hand wipes should not be found in your tackle box--it throws the scent off. Thanks for reading.


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