The plastic worm is one of the most popular fishing lures on the market. Look in any tackle store and you'll find a selection that can baffle many beginning anglers. You'll see every color and size imaginable. Some with curly tails, some with paddle tails, some with air pockets, some with smooth sides, while others have a ribbed side. So, which one do you choose?
Ask ten people and you're going to get ten different answers. If you're confused, you're not alone. Here are some ways that will help you pick the right worm.
First off start with a 4" worm. Smaller baits get more bites. Then choose a transparent color, such as smoke, if fishing in very clear water. June bug, red shad and motor oil work well in stained water. Choose black, black with chartreuse tail or black and blue in dirty water.
Now that colors are established let's look at selecting the right action worm. I believe that you should choose the worm action that best suites the fish's behavior at the time. If it's extremely cold or hot, fish are sluggish and prefer a straight or paddle tail worm. Too much action with a curly tail will spook fish by seeming to be unnatural.
Curly tail worms work best when water temperatures are between 68° and 80°.
Personally, I don't use a lot of worms with long swimming tails. I think they have too much action. If they'll hit that they they'd hit a lot of other lures.
Rig your worms with a hook that matches the size of the worm. For 4" worms choose a 1 straight shank hook. You can use up to a 3 with a small worm but that's as large as you should go. The larger the worm, the larger the hook.
If you don't know how to rig a worm to be weedless and hang straight, then ask someone at your tackle retailer to show you. It's simple. Once you see how to do it you'll never forget.
The neat thing about worm fishing is that it works anywhere. Worms are lures that can be worked in many different ways. Although most anglers fish worms on the bottom they work great on top of the water too. Just select a buoyant worm and rig it without a weight and with a light hook.
Have a stiff action rod that will allow you to set the hook when you detect a bite. Set the hook as soon as you can get the slack out of your line.
No matter which worm you use remember to fish it slow and near cover. It's a lure that works any time of year.
Keith Warren is the host of Hunting & Outdoor Adventures and the Texas Angler Television Show, both of which broadcast statewide. Catch the Texas Angler from January through June and Hunting & Outdoor Adventures from July through December on Fox Sports Southwest Cable Network on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. CST. You can write to Keith Warren at P.O. Box 310379, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-0379 or visit online at www.texasangler.com.