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One of the most simple but effective ways to catch fish is by using a good old fashioned bobber and worm. That’s pretty much all I used when I was a kid and we’d always come home with fish. In this post, I’m going to be talking about the best way to catch fish with a worm and bobber.
This setup can be used to catch pretty much anything out there. I normally use it for trout fishing but you can catch crappie, bluegill, salmon, catfish, or whatever else is swimming your waters. It’s a pretty simple concept but I’ll be talking about what rod/reel you should be using, what fishing line works best, if you need any weights, and how to actually fish it.
I’m not saying this will be the right or best way to catch fish but it’s what’s worked great for me over the years. You can just cast a bobber and worm into pretty much any body of water and will catch fish if they’re hungry. This setup just makes the process even easier. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details on how to fish with a bobber and worm.
Fishing Rod & Reel
The type of rod and reel you use isn’t all that important but the one thing you need to make sure is that you can cast it. Most people will be fishing with a worm and bobber from the shore so you kinda need something that’ll cast it out a bit.
For 95% of people, I’d recommend a spinning reel. It’s going to be the easiest rod to use and there’s very little that can go wrong. The good thing about them is that they can be used for any type of fishing. You can cast with them, troll with them, and whatever other types of fishing you’re doing.
There are going to be a number of different options to pick from and the price doesn’t matter at all. It won’t make much of a difference (for the average person) if you get a $40 combo or a $400 combo. Whatever you want to spend, go with that. The only thing you need to think about is the strength of the rod.
You can get ultralight rods, heavy rods, ones with faster tips, and a bunch of other things. If your rod is too light for the fish you’re trying to catch, you won’t be able to get a good hookset or your rod will break. If your rod is too heavy for the fish you’re trying to catch, you might not be able to feel the bite.
I’m going to assume you’re going to be fishing for smaller trout, bluegill, crappie, or something else like it. If you’re just fishing for smaller fish then you’ll be better off with a light rod with a fast action tip. You’ll be able to feel the smaller bites and land more fish. You could also jump to a medium rod if you know you’re going to use it for bigger fish too.
Just like with the rod and reel, the fishing line you use isn’t super important. You can use any type of line and any weight, and most likely catch fish. You will get slightly better results if you use the right stuff though, so it’s always a good idea.
You have three different types of fishing lines to pick from. The first is monofilament, the second is fluorocarbon, and the third is braid. All three have their pros and cons but the key difference is that mono and braid float while fluoro sinks.
If you want the most straightforward setup then you can use straight fluorocarbon. The strength of the line will depend on the fish you’re after but you normally want to use the lightest line you can get away with. A 4-6 lb test would work just fine. If you’re after bigger fish then use a heavier line.
The reason fluorocarbon is good is that it’s invisible to the fish. It’s clear so they have a tough time seeing it in the water. It’s not always 100% invisible but it’s the best option out there.
I normally do things a bit different though. I’ll normally use a braided line with a fluorocarbon leader. The braid will be around 20 lbs and the reason I like it is that it casts better in my opinion and it’s more sensitive to the bites. I’ll attach a fluorocarbon leader because it sinks and the fish can’t see it (I normally have a 2-foot leader).
You can connect the two lines with a swivel but you can also connect them directly if you want. I prefer a swivel because it’ll add a bit of weight for casting and it’ll stop the lines from twisting. If you want to connect them directly, here’s how:
The next thing you’ll want to do is put on one or two split shot weights. These are small weights that attach to your fishing line and will give a bit of weight for casting and will help your hook sink.
All you’ll have to do is put the weight on your line and squeeze it together with a pair of pliers. I’d recommend you use removable split shots to make your life easier. Here are the ones I use on Amazon.
If you’re fishing in shallow water then you’ll only need one split shot but if you’re deeper then you might want to add two or three (you just have to space them out evenly). I’ll put the split shot about 1-1.5 feet above the hook and it’s always been good enough.
Hook & Bobber
You’ll then want to attach your favorite worm hook to your fishing line. Anything will do the job but I like one that has a little barb on the backside of the hook to hold the worm in place. You probably don’t want to have to keep putting on a new worm, so this will help with that.
You really don’t need a big hook to catch a big fish. If it’s too big then you might catch a big fish but you definitely won’t catch many. Here are some good hooks on Amazon. They come already tied so all you have to do is attach them to your line. They come in a variety of sizes so you can try different things.
The final thing you need to do is attach your bobber. The type doesn’t really matter but you’ll want to adjust the length based on the depth of the water you’re in. You want your hook to be above the fish and not below them. Your hook shouldn’t be on the ground because it’ll get snagged and the fish aren’t really looking there. They can see things better when they’re above them, so that’s where your hook should be.
A big mistake people make when they’re worm fishing is that they use the whole worm. It’s all bunched up on the hook and hangs three or four inches off it. If you’re using nightcrawlers (long worms) then you’ll only want to use a piece of it (1/4-1/2). You’ll want to put the hook through the head of the worm and slide it up the hook. The worm should only be hanging around an inch off the hook.
The strategy with a bobber and a worm is pretty simple. If you’re feeling lazy you can just cast it out and wait for something to bite. I’m not that patient and I like to keep things moving so I’ll cast it out, wait a couple of minutes, reel it in, and cast somewhere else.
You don’t have to worry about twitching the rod or reeling it in right away because the worm should have enough movement in the water. You can always experiment with casting and reeling because everywhere is different but if you’re like most people, you’ll just want to cast it out, take a seat, and relax.
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
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