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3 ways to rig nightcrawlers

How To Use Worms Effectively: 3 Ways To Use Nightcrawlers

Fishing With Worms 101: Effective Ways To Rig Nightcrawlers

All anglers at some point in their life have used worms. I know as a child my dad would take us to the pond with a pack of nightcrawlers. My father would show me how to correctly place them on the hook which would guarantee a catch. One of the biggest reason we used worms is that they always catch fish. No matter the time of year, season, or water temperature, you throw a live worm in there, and something will hit is. As a child, your attention span is a lot less than most adults. So worms are the perfect bait when taking kids fishing. These creepy crawlers of the ground flat our catch fish.

I always laugh when people are like I will not be caught dead using nightcrawlers anymore. I have matured and advanced my fishing game to far to resort to using a bait like worms. That is absolute crazy talk. These little guys will catch you more fish someday then any other bait. Bass fisherman will find themselves using an artificial finesse worm because they work. You are never too old to use worms. It is because of this we have come up with some great ways that every angler should be using nightcrawlers. There aren't many species in the lakes or rivers that will not hit them, so you better be using them. 

3 Killer Ways To Catch Fish On Nightcrawlers

1. Bobber And A Hook

Bobber Rig

Simple bobber and hook rig

There are many anglers out there that will laugh at this point, but in all honesty, it is the truth. This classic technique will suspend a nightcrawler at whatever depth you want and allow for it to move about freely. It is this frisky movement that drives fish crazy. The fish you will most likely be targeting will be panfish to largemouth bass. I have caught walleye, crappies, and large cats as well using this technique. It is a cheap and easy way to go fishing. It does not require a huge experience level to be able to fish with this rig. It will catch probably anything that swims by it and will provide all the action you have ever want when fishing a lake or pond. 

If you are taking a child fishing and the pressure is there to catch something, always take a pack or worms. You can always use the box of worms as a last resort. By throwing a worm out on a bobber you honestly never know what will hit it. But you will be the hero by keeping the poles bending worm after worm.

2. Weighted Worm Rig: Split Shot Rig

Weighted Worm Bottom Rig

Weighted Worm Bottom Rig With Egg Sinker

There will be times when fishing that the water may be deep, time of year the fish congregate near the bottom, or you may have found some sort of sunken debris in a lake that will be a good area to fish. When this happens, and you are fishing with worms, getting it to the bottom can be a challenge. Having a bobber on my limit where you can fish so the best option could be a weighted worm rig.

This rig is a cheap and easy to put together. First, you must start with a hook. The hook I prefer to use when fishing with live worms is a 3/0 Mustad straight shank hook. This hook will allow for me to put the hook on easier. After this, you need just a few small Gremlin Split shots to weight the line down and get it to the bottom. The preferred way to swim this rig is to drag it along the bottom or float it just barely off the bottom. I assure you that almost anything in the lake will hit this rig. How you work, it often will determine what bites. By working the weighted worm rig slowly across the bottom, you will attract more bass. By letting it sit there in one place often, panfish will find it and attack. No matter what way you retrieve it something out there will hit it. This rig is relatively weedless and should not get hung up on much. The only challenging thing can be placing

The tricky thing can be putting the worm on the hook. An experienced angler will know how to do this, but maybe you are new to the game so let us tell you the best four-way to do it.

- Cut Worms into Worm Pieces

Smaller Mouthed fish require small hooks. These species often include bluegills and crappies as well as other panfish species. Because of this, a worm is carefully cut into smaller pieces before the worms placed on the hook. The best way to cut the worm into pieces is by using scissors or a small knife. Just put a little piece of the worm on the hook by threading it through it like a sock or placing multiple pieces to fill up the hook.

- Several Small Worms on One Hook

When fishing with small worms, you can put multiple nightcrawlers onto the same hook. Hook each worm through the midsection of the worm's body. After placing the worm on the hook, slide it up the shank of the hook. Add as man worms that are necessary to fill up the hook. 

- Threading a Worm Over The Shank Of The Hook

 Another way to put a worm on the hook is to pierce the head then move the worm over the shank like a sock. Concealing the hook is hides it from the predator fish. By hiding the hook, it always makes for an excellent presentation on the hook.

- Fishing With Large Worms For Big Fish

When fishing with big worms or nightcrawlers, place the entire worm on the hook. Pierce the worms head then proceed to fold it over the hook piercing it all the way down. It should resemble what looks like a ladder on the hook. Always leave the tail loose to give the presentation more action in the water and attract more fish.

3. Trolling Crawler Harness

Trolling Crawler Harness

Trolling Crawler Harness For Deep Water Worm Fishing.

When you think about trolling, the first thing that comes to mind is offshore trolling for wahoo or freshwater trolling for striper. When often trolling times the lure of choice is a hard plastic crankbait or diver. In reality, though, you can troll nightcrawlers just as effectively. There are many species of fish that will hit a nightcrawler trolled behind the boat. Those species include walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, and crappies.

So what is a trolling crawler harness? It is a very simple rig. The rig is a piece of monofilament fishing line about a foot in length with a couple of spinner blades and a hook. To get this rig to sink some weight needs to be added to it. An egg sinker with a swivel is usually the way of choice for getting this to sit at the appropriate depths. So this is a must add a method to how you fish nightcrawlers on open water.


Giant Worm

No matter your experience level, species of fish, targeted or the time of year, It is always a perfect time to consider using worms. With our techniques, it will help you fish successfully and hook up with more fish. If you have any other techniques or want to tell us how these worked out for you, then email us at or leave a comment below. Fishing with worms can be fun, with our fishing tips knowing how to rig nightcrawlers you will be able to alleviate this worry and enjoy an all-day fishing trip.

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