Nightcrawlers are one of the most common baits for freshwater fishing. Most fish will eat a worm and nightcrawlers are perfect for catching a variety of different fish: big and small.
Catching Panfish with Nightcrawlers
Most anglers will use nightcrawlers or pieces of nightcrawlers to target a variety of panfish such as perch, bluegill, rock bass and many other types of sunfish. When using a piece of a nightcrawler, there are a few very easy rigs to use to help you catch a lot more fish.
Use Smaller Hooks
A small hook is key to catching panfish. When you use hooks that are too big, the smaller fish will usually try to peck at the worm to grab it from the hook. With a smaller hook, they will usually eat the piece of worm and the hook, which will help you catch a lot more of the fish that bite your bait.
Tip Smaller Jigs
Smaller jigs work great with a piece of nightcrawler. Whether you use a plain jighead, hair jig or jig with soft plastic, just add a piece of nightcrawler to your jig and you’ll catch plenty of panfish.
Tip Smaller Spinners or Spinner Rigs
Spinners do a great job of attracting fish to your bait, but many panfish won’t bite the spinner. Add a piece of nightcrawler to your spinner and you will catch a lot of panfish. Many anglers usually report bigger catches by using spinners as well.
Catching Bigger Fish with Nightcrawlers
They can be used to catch big fish such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, trout, catfish and carp. When fishing for bigger fish, you will usually use the full nightcrawler and the bigger, thicker nightcrawlers tend to work better. To learn more about fishing for game fish with nightcrawlers, click on the specific fish links above.
How To Rig Nightcrawlers
Nose Hook Them
Go Through the Head a Couple Times
Wacky Rig Them
Run a Long Shank Hook Through a Larger Part of the Worm
How to Get Bigger Nightcrawlers
Feed Them & Give Them Water
If you regularly feed your nightcrawlers and add a little bit of water to their dirt or bedding, you will have bigger, thicker nightcrawlers.
Need Them Big Quick, Soak Them Then Dry Them Out
If you want to get your crawlers bigger much faster, then you can use this trick. However, some of your nightcrawlers may not leave as long by doing this trick, so we only recommend doing this with the amount of worms you plan on fishing with over the next couple of days.
Here is the trick.
Soak your nightcrawlers. We don’t want to drown them, but you do want to soak the worm bedding with several tablespoons of water so that everything is very damp. Don’t totally flood the container, but you do want every part of bedding to be soaked with water. You can leave a little bit of water on the bottom of the container, but try not to leave too much because you don’t want to kill all your nightcrawlers.
Make sure your nightcrawlers are kept in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours.
Then, take all of the nightcrawlers out of the wet bedding and put them in dry bedding. If you compare the size of your nightcrawler from the previous day, you should see a substantial difference in size.