Since the dawn of angling a long time ago, the worm has been used to catch fish. It shows the strength this natural bait has that hundreds of years on and we are still talking about them for catching fish.
Of course these days there is a fine art to fishing worms in the right way. So let me run you through some of the key points that make all the difference.
Which Worm to Use
This is the go-to worm for anglers and the one we buy in the biggest quantities. This is probably because they are a medium-sized worm that can work for everything. They are really easy to keep and usually come in a peat, which if kept in a cool, dark place can last up to six Weeks.
If you want to keep worms even longer, every two weeks just riddle the peat off and replace with fresh. This gives the worms something to turn over and they will survive for two months like this no problem. Personally, these are the worms I turn to the most, brilliant for roach, perch, skimmers, bream, carp, and tench. There is often no need for anything else.
These small worms are completely different to the others as they live in waste product. They are really soft and can be incredibly lively. Obviously getting hold of them in large quantities is particularly difficult and most anglers collect them from compost heaps. My thought on this type of worm is that they can be particularly good when bites are that little bit harder to come by. The size and activity make them appealing, especially to bream and skimmers. There the only downside is that they are not tough, so can be damaged easily when casting or if there are loads of small fish in the peg. Many top anglers swear by them as a hook-bait option though, so not to be ruled out.
These are the biggest worms used in coarse fishing; in fact, it is often a wonder how fish get a full worm in their mouth! These worms found their place in match fishing because anglers fishing for big perch realized their potential. These fish have huge mouths and are incredibly greedy, making a lobworm a worthwhile meal. On hard venues that see lots of worms, such as the Warwickshire Avon at Evesham, anglers swear by changing to chopped lobs to draw in their bonus fish. Personally, I have caught a lot of fish on lobworms, and wouldn’t go on a river match without them.
How to Prepare Worms for Fishing
The biggest question when preparing to feed worms is what to do before you chop them. Some anglers simply take a handful out of the bag and chop them up, but I am not a fan of this. The problem is, you can’t be sure what sort of condition the peat is in when it comes from the bag.
Also, I like to measure the exact amount of bait that I am feeding; therefore I only want to be feeding neat worms. Finally, worms are much harder to chop in soil than neat, making it a lot easier job once cleaned.
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Hook Bait Options
There are literally hundreds of combinations when it comes to worm hook baits. However, I’ve got a few favorites that seem to come good time and time again.
This is my go-to worm hook bait. Basically, nick the head of the worm through the hook, then simply cut the worm just below. Try varying the size, though. Tiny pieces can be devastating, although pieces as long as an inch also have their place.
Top & Tail
If I needed one bait for bream for the rest of my angling life it would be this. For some reason, it seems to stand out more than most. Hook the worm through the head, and then cut it in half. Put the hook through the other half at the broken end. This gives me an open end of the worm at either end, making it an attractive proposition for any passing bream.
The tail of a lobworm has probably caught more perch than most other baits. Also a favorite with eel anglers, it gives a small chunky piece for fish to get stuck into.
Single or even double worm is awesome bait for big fish. Carp, in particular, are suckers for the double worm. Don’t rule it out down the margins over a bed of any bait.
Feeder Feeding Techniques
Getting worms through a feeder can be a bit tricky, as they don’t bind together at all and will easily come out of the feeder if you aren’t careful. When fishing short distances, I prefer to use the Preston Plug It feeders. These have a solid core and allow you to pack the bait in then cap the ends with groundbait. Another favorite approach is to mix worms with groundbait or even pellets. This way you can pack the entire mix into the feeder, which holds it all together until the mix breaks free on the bottom.
Most people seem unable to talk about worms without mentioning casters. No doubt this is a tried and tested combination, but to be honest it is not one that I turn to that often. Personally, this is because I believe you are simply bulking out bait with live bait, potentially confusing your options. It does work well for roach.
But actually, if I do mix worms I prefer to do it with baits such as pellets or corn. That way you have something distinctly different, which allows you to draw all sorts of fish into the peg, and find out what they want to eat on the day. For example, here at the stunning Dam flask Reservoir today I have combined worms, pellets and corn in the hope of getting among the resident skimmers and bream. The corn should act as great holding bait for bigger fish because it doesn’t get eaten by little fish as easily. The pellets add that big-fish element, and hopefully, the worm will allow me to catch the fish on worms on the hook.
Be open-minded when it comes to combining worms. I have used worms and hemp together on many occasions for roach as well. An odd combination to some, but actually one that acts to draw and hold fish, rather than having casters eaten by potentially anything that comes into the peg.