Ringworms are an awesome finesse-styled worm that is very popular for smallmouth bass and walleye. You can catch many other species of fish on these worms as well. Most ring worms on the market are 4″ long which is a perfect size finesse-style fishing. It’s an action bait that will also catch some big fish too.
Rod, Reel & Line
Ringworms are usually fished with finesse gear. Lighter rods and 6 to 8 pound test line is the norm, but you can go lighter or heavier depending on the situation. Take a look below to learn some of the best ways to fish these baits.
Drop Shot Rig
The drop shot rig is one of the better ways to rig a ringworm. Hop it, twitch it, swim it. They all work.
A simple jighead works great with ringworms. You can use the regular jigheads that most anglers would use with live bait or try a longer shank jighead to increase your hook-up percentage when fishing for walleye and smallmouth bass. Both species of fish are known for biting the back end of this bait.
Ringworms look awesome on a scrounger jighead. Rip it up off the bottom or swim them slowly.
Spinner Rigs / Underspins
Spinner rigs and/or underspins are great for casting and trolling ringworms. A steady retrieve works great for walleye and northern pike. You will also catch plenty of bass this way too.
Best Fishing Techniques
Hopping Them Along the Bottom
Ringworms look great when hopped along the bottom. Most anglers use a jighead, but you can use a drop shot rig also for this technique. Use a lift and drop retrieve to work the bait along the bottom. Most fish will hit the ringworm on the fall when fished this way, so be ready for a bite as you drop the bait back down towards the bottom. This technique will work well for a variety of different fish.
Swimming a ringworm is a very popular technique, especially for smallmouth bass. You can swim a ringworm and catch many other types of fish as well. The key to this technique is to use the appropriate weight so you can get your grub down to the correct depth. Lighter weights will make it easier to fish shallow and heavier weights will help you fish deeper water. Most anglers would swim a ringworm on a regular jighead, but scrounger jigheads and underspins are also great ways to swim a ringworm. Using a ringworm as a trailer on a bass jig is also another great way to swim these baits.
This technique is not as popular as the other two techniques listed above, however, vertical jigging can be very effective for walleye and you will also catch bass, pike and some other fish with this technique. Just drop the bait down on a jighead, jig it up and let it fall. Repeat the process until you get a bite.
What Eats Them
Many other fish will eat a ringworm as well.