Worms are the bait of choice for teaching beginners how to fish. Unlike lures, which often take some knowledge to use, worms will attract fish on their own with their wiggling action and scent. Unfortunately, worms that are put on a hook too loosely are easily stolen by savvy fish, while a worm that is put on the hook too tightly may not have enough wiggle to attract fish.
Rub dirt on your hand to try and minimize the human scent you leave on the worm as you hook it.
Spear the worm at one end and push it up the hook. Leaving a little loop dangling, spear the worm again and push the worm up again. Continue to spear, hook and push the worm up the hook until you have hooked the entire worm. It is important that the loops left to dangle is enough to provide wiggle action to attract fish, but not enough for an opportunistic fish to grab and yank the entire worm off the hook. This is the best way to hook a red earthworm.
Cut the worm. If you are using night crawlers or other large worms, you may want to cut the worm into pieces so that you can fit it better on your hook.
Slip a piece of worm onto the hook like you are putting a sock on a foot. This is the best method to hook pieces of large worms.
Hook the worm on one of its ends and then wind the worm around the hook, and then hook the loose end. This is an alternate method to Step 2 and is the best method for people who don't like to pierce the worm many times. Occasionally, the worm will wiggle parts of itself loose with this method and make it easier for a fish to snatch.
Hook several smaller worms onto the hook. This is the best method for small manure worms, as one of these little worms may not be big enough to hide your hook from view. Wary fish won't strike if they can easily see the hook.
Refrigerate the worms in their dirt container before using if you are squeamish. Some worms will thrash wildly when hooked. If they are refrigerated, they won't react as much when hooked. As soon as they hit the water, however, they will usually awaken and wriggle enough to attract fish.
- worm image by Ksenija Djurica from Fotolia.com