Gone Outdoors

How to Bait a Hook Using a Worm

by Richard Corrigan

It doesn't matter how many costly lures you have in your tackle box; sometimes the simplest things are still the best. A live worm on a hook can catch everything from sunfish and perch to trout, bass and catfish. Learning to bait your hook correctly is the first step toward taking a hefty stringer of fish home to the frying pan.

Hooking Large Worms

Large worms, usually called nightcrawlers, are available at almost any bait and tackle shop. They're generally around 6 inches long, and you can put a whole worm on your hook or break it into pieces. Whole worms are best for big game like bass or walleye, but panfish can easily be tempted by a smaller piece. For whole worms, pass your hook through the worm's body three or four times, starting at the head, and let the tail trail behind. Smaller pieces can be threaded entirely onto the length of the hook.

Hooking Small Worms

Smaller worms, sometimes called red worms, aren't always as easy to find in tackle shops, but you can easily collect a few by turning over rocks and logs in your backyard. Red worms are the perfect size for panfish, and also work well for trout. You can thread an entire worm onto the hook by inserting the hook into the head and bringing it out the tail. Another option is to put several small worms on your hook, passing the hook a few times through the body of each one.

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