A Quick Guide On How To Fish With Worms

If you were introduced to fishing as a kid, chances are you learned how to fish with worms. Live worms come packed in rich black dirt, inching their way up, down and all around. Once you feel the satisfying ‘thump’ of a fish taking your bait, live bait fishing will have you hooked for life!

But fishing with worms isn’t just for kids. Many anglers use worms to catch species such as bass, trout, crappie, bluegill, perch and more. The truth is, most fish will probably eat a worm, no matter if it’s freshwater or saltwater, big or small. If you are looking to learn how to fish with worms, this quick guide will help you get started. Let’s rig and roll!

Learn How To Choose the Bait


You’ll want to stock up on worms with thick bodies that are anywhere from 4” to 8” long. Most bait shops will have a selection of red worms, earthworms and nightcrawlers.

Learn How to Choose Your Tackle


A live bait hook, aberdeen hook or octopus hook have long shanks that are a great fit for live worms. Match the size of the hook to the size of the worm. A size 3/0 to 5/0 should do the trick. You’ll also need your choice of bobber and a couple of light split shot weights. 

Rig Your Rod


Use a lightweight fishing line that will be undetectable by fish in clear water. Tie a clinch knot to secure the hook to the tag end of your fishing line. Place the bobber two to three feet up from your hook, depending on the water depth. Add a split shot weight to your line to prevent your bait from floating to the surface. Check out this basic bobber rig video for more details.

Hook the Worm


Thread the worm along the shank of the hook, piercing through the worm two to three times. Leave a portion of the worm dangling off the end to entice the fish with it’s wiggling action. 

Bait Presentation


There’s no need to work this bait. Allow the bait to drift with the current and keep your eye on the bobber. When you see the bobber submerge, set the hook! 

Now that you know how to fish with worms, use our interactive map to find places to fish near you.


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Alycia Page

Alycia Page

Alycia Page is a writer, avid sportsman, and Southwest Florida native where her roots were planted four generations ago. Alycia works as a contributing blogger to numerous organizations promoting tourism, conservation, fishing and outdoor involvement. When not casting lines along the Gulf Coast, she can be found hunting, camping or chasing new adventures. For more outdoor inspiration, visit her personal blog at tideandtale.com or on Instagram @tideandtale.