An angler has many options when it comes to selecting fishing bait, but if there were such a thing as a universal bait, it would have to be the night crawler. These large earthworms appeal to a huge array of freshwater species, with trout, bass, catfish, carp, crappies and bluegill just some of those that go after a worm with zest. Another bait that often produces results is the grub.
The best way to capture night crawlers is to take a flashlight on a damp warm night and shine it on the ground where the worms are. Anglers can catch worms by hand in their own backyards before the worms can quickly head back down their holes. Many anglers keep night crawlers fresh for future outings by keeping them in their refrigerators in a plastic coffee can with some leaves or dirt for bedding. On the water, the night crawler works best where there is the least current. People rig them on a hook by threading the hook through them repeatedly so the worm cannot wriggle off. Night crawlers word equally well either suspended 2 feet beneath a fishing float or lying on the bottom with a heavy split shot to keep them there. In some cases an angler will inject air into a night crawler to give it bouyancy, which keeps it up in the water level even while a weight anchors the rig to the bottom.
Panfish and Worms
When targeting the smaller fish that are capable of skillfully nibbling a large worm from a hook while avoiding capture, the angler should prudently downsize his offering. By putting just a smidgen of a worm on a hook, the angler can outsmart fish like bluegill and crappies, which typically will pull a larger piece off while avoiding the sharp point. Many people will slide the piece of worm past the point of the hook and onto the shaft, forcing the fish to get close to the hook if it is to garner a meal. Once panfish of this nature begin biting in earnest, the angler need not bait her hook with anything but a tiny bit of worm. These kinds of fish will wind up competing against each other to see which one gets to the bait first as soon as it hits the water.
Grubs are one of the best natural baits an angler can use and they are not difficult to find if she knows where to look. These insect larvae usually live under large rocks, dead logs and inside rotted stumps and trees. By hooking a large grub through the head and then again through the back end, the angler in essence creates a ball of bait that will stay on his hook. He may cast it into semi-strong current with just a single split shot to give the line enough weight to carry a short distance. If fish are in the mood, they will immediately hit a grub. If not, the angler should focus on another type of bait for that day without wasting too much fishing time on the grubs. Smallmouth bass in particular show a fondness for grubs. They will normally gobble them up without hesitation when presented in this manner.