Natural baits such as nightcrawlers, earthworms, bloodworms, sandworms and others can be effective baits for in freshwater, brackish and saltwater fishing. In addition to fishing cut sections of worms on a top and bottom rig, these worms can be fished with a variety of other methods.
Natural worms can be rigged using the basic Texas rig that is common used for fishing plastic worms. A light wire hook is passed thru the worm’s upper body, then back out and then the hook is hidden in the worm’s mid point. Texas rigs can be casted or slowly worked over fish that will otherwise refuse to bite.
Spinner rigs are another setup for fishing natural worms. These feature a small propeller, beads and a pair of trailing hooks. The rig allows baits to be casted and worked above rocks, along stream beds or near other structure.
Carolina rigs are popular for fishing live worms. These rigs incorporate an egg sinker above the swivel, which allows anglers to fish deep areas. Carolina rigs are popular for slowly fishing worms along edges of channels or other structures.
Dropshot rigs are another way to fish natural worms. These rigs present the bait on a branching leader, with a weight attached below at the terminal end. Dropshot rigs are often tied with a dropper loop or other method of creating a sizeways “T” configuration. A circle or other suitable hook is attached to the dropper leader and rigged with a bait. Dropshot rigs are extremely effective on suspended fish or fish that are lurking in eddies behind structure such as rocks or pilings.
A another option when conditions warrant using a natural bait over plastics are the new generation of scented baits. These unique baits are made from a mixture of natural and artificial ingredients. They look, feel and taste natural, which can make the difference when fish are reluctant to bite. Processed baits are durable and do not need to be kept cold. They can be stored with other tackle for long periods of time and most are re-usable. These baits can be fished using the same rigs that are used for fishing either natural or live baits. Several companies offer scented bloodworms, sandworms and other worm look-alikes.