Outdoor Articles

Fishing, Live Worms, And The Worm Ball

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in Freshwater Fishing

It seems to me that many anglers who fish with live worms still do it in exactly the same way that they did when they were kids. That is, tying on a single hook (many times a snelled hook), clipping on a red and white bobber, maybe adding a split shot sinker for a little weight, throwing it into the water, and calling it fishing. Is this because many anglers just don’t know any better? It’s hard to say for sure, but one thing I do know for sure is that what I just described isn’t the best or most effective way to fish with a live worm. Not by a long shot. I’m not a flea flicker by any stretch of the imagination, but ‘A river Runs Through It’ is my favorite movie, and in that movie the reverend McLain is quoted as saying, “Anyone who does not no how to catch a fish, should not be able to disgrace a fish by catching it.” I couldn’t agree more, and the aforementioned fishing method is a disgrace.

The first and most important problem with the above fishing method is the way in which the worm is being presented. With a single hook the only way to keep the worm hooked is by “threading” it onto the hook or hooking it over and over again, thus creating the infamous “worm ball”. Although this will obviously catch a fish or two, larger and more experienced fish tend not to fall victim to such rubbish. The most effective way to present a worm (or any other live bait) is by presenting it naturally, which is to say having your offering appear as much like it would in nature as is possible. How many times have you seen a worm in nature that looks like a worm ball? Exactly.

The only way to present a live worm naturally is through the use of a set of gang hooks. What are gang hooks? Gang hooks are simply a pair of small hooks tied in tandem, enabling an angler to present a live worm outstretched, the way God intended. You can tie gang hooks yourself, or you can buy them ready to fish, the choice is yours, but the point is that if you’re going to fish with live worms, gang hooks should be employed.

The other piece of fishing equipment that should be employed if you fish with live worms is a bait bag. What’s a bait bag? A bait bag is a small bag that hangs off of your fishing vest, belt, or shirt and carries your live worms. Now, you may be thinking, whatever, I just carry the container with me that I buy the worms in. Again this is fine if you like doing things the way you’ve always done them. But if you move around while fishing, you know that carrying that container of worms with you is a pain in the butt. It gets crushed, misplaced, and forgotten. With the help of a bait bag, live worms are purchased just like normal. The difference is when you get to your fishing area you simply transfer the worms into the bait bag, leave the container in your vehicle and go! This way you not only always know where your worms are, they are also always literally “at your fingertips” waiting to be used. If you fish with live worms, and are mobile at all, you have to have a bait bag. Again, whether you fashion one yourself, or purchase one, it makes little difference. The point is that a bait bag should be a part of your fishing repertoire.

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