Will Trout Eat Worms?


Trout eat worms and many anglers have been using them as bait for a long time. Redworms, mealworms, and earthworms are among the most successful live lures that trout fishers use. Trout love worms and anglers that use them often are successful, especially when trout are deep during the cold waters of the early season.

Some trout struggle to be attracted to big worms. Anglers often make their baits smaller or use mealworms and red worms, which are appealing and manageable to trout. Worms are easily available, and they initiate evolutionary feeding signals in trout.

You can either buy some varieties of worms, dig them up or rear them using a worm farm kit.

Do Trout Like Artificial Worms? 

If you struggle to obtain live worms, artificial worms can also be effective bait for trout. Artificial worms are becoming increasingly popular among fishers because you can get them quickly, reuse them, and they can be appropriate when fishing with kids. 

Artificial worms come in different colors, sizes, and types. Many anglers struggle to choose one that gives them the best chance of being successful. Pick a color that has high contrast but is not unnatural. Anglers typically use darker colors that have high contrast in overcast days or murky waters and brighter colors on clear sunny days. 

Plastic worms are effective lures for trout because they have realistic texture, shape, and buoyancy that imitates natural food for trout. They can sink, float, or be neutral in a column of water, depending on the manufacturer and the type of the bait. 

Effective Varieties of Worms to Use as Bait 

Anglers that use worms as bait have alternatives including:

1. Nightcrawler  

Many anglers opt to use nightcrawlers as their bait. Nightcrawler is available in stores in grey or brown color. They are large, and anglers often split it before luring trout with it. If you use the intact nightcrawler as bait for trout, its size may intimidate some trout. 

2. Red Wigglers  

These worms get their name from their tendency of wriggling incessantly and color. They are an excellent bait for anyone that wants to lure trout. Red wigglers are also known as composting worms or red worms. Vermiculture is the practice of farming them, and it often provides a reliable flow of these baits for purchase. Red wigglers come in varying sizes, so ensure the size of your red worm bait is appropriate for catching trout. 

3. Garden Hackle 

This type is appropriate for catching trout in higher elevation waters. One or two of them are often adequate to cover your shank and hook. You can make this bait more natural by rigging them through the sex collar with a #8 to #12 hook. 

Storing Your Worms 

While you are free to use live or dead worms as bait, live, wiggling worms are often more appealing for the trout. They are more attractive because their movement captures the attention of the trout, and they disperse a scent that the trout can smell.

The thought of keeping live worms in preparation for your fishing trip can be discouraging. However, it is not difficult to keep them alive for different fishing outings you are preparing to have. 

If you want to store worms, cold and moist surroundings are appropriate. While this environment can be challenging to have on the road, keeping them in a refrigerator until the last minute before your departure can work. Once you remove them, ensure where you put them is cool and shady.

If you are using worms that you have collected from their habitat, keep them in the moist dirt. This environment prevents them from drying out. However, this storage is not ideal for wax worms or mealworms. Keep these worms dry in the wood shavings and grains that they come in. 

Keep the top attached at all times to prevent the worms from drying out. You may make a small hole in the container to allow air to flow, but it should not be big enough for the worms to escape. Add a few drops of water to the soil to keep it moist. Ensure the slides you add do not oversaturate the dirt. The worms will come to the surface and die if you put a lot of water.

Best Way to Catch Trout With Worms 

Use #6 to #12 bait-holder hooks for worms. These hooks have barbs on their shank, which ensure the worms do not slip. Leaving the ends dangling, thread the bait on the hook. You can use little weight to enable the worms to drift with the current.

Use a hypodermic needle or worm inflator to give the bait air that floats it. Cast the worm and let it sink. The egg sinker will hold the lure on the bottom. Once a trout nibbles, the line will slide through the sinker. 

High-Water Rivers 

When for trout in these waters, a 5-inch nightcrawler hooked once via the collar is an excellent lure for trout. Use #8 bait-holder hook with a barbed shank to retain the worm better. Hooking the bait in this manner ensures the worm is free on the ends to wiggle with the current.

Leave enough space for the worm to roll freely along the bed of deeper chutes and runs. Popular smelled hooks are not as useful as a single hook that you tie directly to your 8- or 6-pound-test monofilament line. 

Low, Clear Streams  

Sometimes the conditions favor using small garden hackle or nightcrawler as bait for trout. Pinch a section of the worm that is large enough to cover the hook. Tie a #8 to #12 hook to the fine monofilament. Heavy snells are likely to discourage picky trout.

The part of worm you use should be fresh as a fresh piece still exudes a lot of scents that appeal to trout. Replace the portion after it stays in the water for about 15 minutes. After this period, it becomes pale-looking and water-washed such that it is no longer enticing the trout. 

Lakes and Ponds 

Worms are an effective lure for anglers that fish for trout in a pond on opening day. Ensure the hook goes through the small worm more than once. This rigging leaves the short ends with room to wiggle and bunches the bait on the hook.

Cover the hook as the part that shows can scare away the trout as the bait sits still in the pond. Bunching the worm stops a trout from grabbing and snapping off the free end while avoiding being captured by the hook.

Trout dislike radiant light. The appropriate time to lure them is late in the evening or early morning. When the sun is less intense, they often come close to the water surface to look for food. Release the fish gently once you have caught it if you have no intention of keeping it. 

Here is a great video that explains how to set up your bait and fish trout using worms:

Alternative Baits to Worms 

If you need other options instead of using worms as your lure, consider these baits. 

1. Corn — people raise trout in hatcheries before releasing them into water bodies. In hatcheries, corn is an ingredient of their food, and upon release, they still recognize corn as food. Using corn to lure trout may not be effective for wild trout.

2. Crayfish — trout find crayfish irresistible, and you can leverage this attraction to help you catch them. 

3. Minnows — can be used as bait in some States. Know their legal status before you use them and get your fishing license suspended or worse. 

4. Gulp floating salmon bait — scientists from Berkeley designed gulp eggs to be compelling to fish. Some fishermen oppose using this lure as they regard it as a cheat. They come in varying colors that you may consider while acquiring them. 

5. Salmon eggs — you can combine salmon eggs with other lures, such as those of a nightcrawler. Trout love salmon eggs as they contain an excellent drift in the current.  

Is it Illegal to Use Worms as Bait?

Generally, using live worms as bait is legal in most states. However, specific regulations may apply as to how and where you can use worms. Read your area’s rules and guidelines before using worms as bait.

If they do not explicitly talk about fishing using worms, live or artificial, go through the definitions of types of bait and the catalog of illegal fishing methods. You may also confirm its legality with the relevant local authorities before you start fishing with worms. 

Do Worms Harm Fish? 

Worms do not harm fish. You can use them in the right sizes to catch fish for consumption or release. The hook is often responsible for the harm that may come to fish as the angler tries to remove it before returning the fish into the water. 

You must be careful while removing the hook if you want to return the fish into the stream, pond, or lake. Alternatively, you may use harmless hooks and artificial lures. If keeping the trout is an option after you have caught it, then keep it. 

If you are catching trout and releasing them back to the water, there are some steps you may take to give them the best chance of survival. First, file off the barbs of your hook. Lift the rod tip as soon as there is a strike to set the hook as delays can result in gut-hooking the fish that swallows the worm. Handle a trout set for release as little as possible with well-wetted hands.

Is Chumming With Worms Harmful to the Environment? 

Chumming is the practice of spreading large amounts of bait on water near you to lure fish. It is an option that can attract fish to your location, and make it easy for you to catch them.

It is legal in some states while others forbid it. Know your local rules regarding chumming with worms to avoid legal troubles. Chumming also leaves a mess in the water, so you should look for alternatives for catching fish. 

Look for alternative ways of catching fish. Find a location that fish are likely to be and try your luck there.  

In Conclusion 

Catching trout during specific seasons or in some locations can be difficult. If you want to fish successfully, a bait can come in handy in helping you. The lures you can use come from varying sources, such as those made using worms. Use small, light hook with worms to allow them adequate movement without killing them. Worms are excellent baits, and you may try using them to increase your chances of catching trout.

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