Outdoor Articles

The Art Of Live Worm Fishing

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

The title of this article may sound a bit strange. You don’t normally expect the terms ‘live worm’ and ‘art’ to be used in the same sentence, but I figure if the term ‘art’ can be related to flea flicking, why not with live worm fishing as well? You see, about 20 years ago, I had the pleasure of knowing the best live worm fisherman that I’ve personally ever seen, and he taught me some fishing tips and techniques that, in my opinion, made him an artist. Much of his fishing was done in the flowing waters of both rivers and streams for species such as trout, smallmouth bass, and walleye. I’ve been using these same tips and techniques since they were taught to me more than 20 years ago, and they work. These tips and techniques constitute, The Art of Live Worm Fishing.

  • Light Gear And Line – My fishing mentor believed in using light gear and line when fishing with live worms. As a matter of fact, he believed in ultra light gear (which is what I prefer to use), but light is tolerable as well. As far as fishing line is concerned, my mentor used four pound test monofilament (which again is what I use to this day), but line up to six pound test is also tolerable. The theory being that fish have very sensitive senses and can detect line in the water, so the lighter the line, the less apt the fish are to detect it and become wary. I’ve actually been fishing with six pound test leaders and wasn’t catching anything, so I changed to four pound test leaders. I immediately began catching fish, so after this experience, I know that the diameter of your fishing line makes a huge difference.
  • Be Efficient – My fishing mentor believed in being as efficient as possible when on the water, which is why he employed a bait bag to carry his worms. He fashioned a bait bag from an old sock 20 years ago, but today there are much more functional versions available. You see a bait bag carries your worms while you fish, so you always know exactly where they are and the are literally at your fingertips, waiting to be used. Baiting up takes seconds when a bait bag is being employed, as opposed to searching for your worms every time that you need to bait up. The art of live worm fishing includes the use of some manifestation of a bait bag, in my opinion.
  • The Use Of Gang Hooks – The art of live worm fishing entails more than just “threading” a worm onto a hook. To be an effective live worm fisherman, a set of pre-tied gang hooks must be employed. You see, pre tied gang hooks are the only way to present live worms in a natural manner, which is an integral part of becoming a truly effective live worm fisherman. Using a live worm, rigged on a set of pre tied gang hooks and allowing your offering to flow naturally with the current, while it bounces along the bottom, is the most deadly fish catching rig in the world. I’ve been using this exact technique for my entire fishing career, and it never fails me. Gang hooks and live worms go together like the computer and the internet. You can’t have one, without the other…right?

The bottom line is that when done properly, live worm fishing can be everything that any other art professes itself to be. I’ve always said that if flea flicking is an art, so is the way I was taught to fish. As I said, my fishing mentor, the man who taught me these tips and techniques, was an artist. He took live worm fishing to the realm of being an art form.

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