Posts Tagged ‘bait’

Set Your Hook

The Best Way To Fish With Worms

ESP Boss discovered a worm threader about three years ago while on vacation in the White Mountains. NOTHING was working to catch fish; not PowerBait, not salmon eggs, not corn: NOTHING. But, there was one “old geezer” who seemed not to be effected by the lousy fishing conditions.

He told ESP Boss and The Queen Mother his fishing secret:


But not just sticking a worm on a treble hook and tossing it in. Nope, the man explained that he was fishing with night crawlers and a worm threader.

Of course, like most good fishing tips, there was a part of the worm threader tip that the man didn’t explain: how to USE the thing. Now, a worm threader seems pretty simple, but there is defiantly a technique to making it work well.

You’ll need:

  • Night crawlers or other live fishing worm
  • Worm threader
  • Single hook with a leader (as opposed to double, or treble)

Everything you'll need to fish with worms!

For all these photos, I use a whole nigh crawler so you can really see what is going on. When I’m using this set up for trout of sunfish, I usually use 1.5″ to 2″ of worm.

The first step is to insert the threader through the body of the worm. You don’t want to go from end to end, rather begin by puncturing the worm about 1/4 of the way up from on end.

This can be difficult since the worm will slide on the tip of the threader and try to curl around your fingers.

Once you have inserted the threader, you will slide it along the mud vein and out the end of the worm. The threader is now encased in the worm. You’re not “sewing” the worm onto the threader but rather sliding the theader through the body of the worm.

3/4 of the worm is on the threader

The tip of the worm threader has a small hole in it. That is where you will place the point of the hook.

The hole is deep enough to hold most of the tip and barb.

Holding the worm threader in one hand and the leader of the hook in the other hand, you will then slide the worm OFF the threader and onto the hook and leader. This is where it can get tricky!


You’ll be forming a V with the threader and leader. It’s a lot easier to do if you keep the leader taut to maintain the V shape.

If the tip of the hook comes out of the tip of the worm threader, you’re best bet is to take the worm off and start again. You can’t really fix it at that point.

The hardest part (once you get the worm started) is getting it over the knot and eye of the hook. The fishing hook is thicker there. You might want to use a shorter section of worm.

See the V shape this makes? Keep tension on the leader to maintain that shape.

Once you have the worm threaded onto the hook, you can cast like normal. Since the hook is incased in the worm, you’re less likely to have a fish steal the worm. And, it makes it very difficult for the worm to fall off. (Always a plus!)

Keep sliding the worm down the leader. See how much is left on the threader? That's why I like to use a smaller piece of worm. Plus, worms tend to get longer & thinner when you're working with them!

Readers Weigh In:

  • What’s your favorite way of fishing a worm?
  • Have you ever used a worm threader? What are your tips for making it work well?
  • What is your go-to bait (or technique) when the fish just aren’t biting?

Set Your Hook

5 Homemade Fishing Baits

Have you ever thought about making your own fishing bait? Personally, I’ve never tried it, but my friend Bob swears by it. He has a super-secret recipe that he’s forbidden me to share! (But he gave a bit to The Queen Mother for Christmas so she’ll try it out in June when she and ESP Boss go on vacation!)

This week, I’ll be sharing with you five “recipes” for making your own fishing bait. In a few weeks, when the “Royal” Family heads to Ashurst Lake to do some fishing, we’ll test all 5 baits head-to-head against a store-bought bait and I’ll bring you the results.

Before using these, or any homemade baits, be sure to check with your local fishing regulations to make sure that homemade baits are permitted. You also need to make sure there are no ingredients on a do-not-use list.

An important thing to consider when making your own bait is to keep track of your “recipe”. You don’t want to catch your limit of fish and then realize you’re not exactly sure what was in your bait!

I recommend that you store your baits in the refrigerator until ready to take to the lake. All baits seem to work better when they are warm (and smelly) but I don’t recommend storing the baits in the garage. The neighbors might complain!

In the photo below, my grandma (ESP Boss’ mother) caught this ENORMOUS catfish using store-bought bait. I can’t wait to see what I can catch using these recipes!

Catching fish runs in the family!

Fancy Catfish Bait


  • 1 can Fancy Feast Cat food
  • Flour

In a large bowl, pour the entire contents of the cat food can, including juice. Start adding flour slowly, kneading it by hand until it is dry enough to not stick to your hand, but damp enough to hold its shape. Form into balls just big enough to cover a treble hook. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Any-Fish Doughballs


  • White bread
  • Juice from a can of tuna fish (packed in water, not oil)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Garlic powder

Mix the juice, garlic powder, and shredded cheese into bread and form into balls.

(Across the board, all the people that swear by doughballs say that the stinkier they are the better!)

Gourmet Bait


  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Run the raisins and parmesan cheese through a food processor to make a paste. Heat apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, brown sugar and corn syrup over a low flame until hot but not boiling. Cool the mixture and then add it to the raisin paste. With your fingers, form into balls. This can then be thickened using either flour or corn meal till the desired thickness is achieved.

There are many recipes for catfish bait. You can make catfish bait; by following this recipe for catfish bait. You need some white flour, 3 ounces of water, 2 ounces of b.b.q. sauce and 2 ounces of garlic. All this has to be mixed to which required amounts of flour is added to get the desired thickness. Try this bait and you will find that it makes one of the best bait for catfish!

Another type of homemade catfish bait can be made using tuna, cheddar or limburger cheese, garlic powder, flour and vegetable oil. First you have to mush half of the tuna and cheese in a large bowl and then add oil till the required consistency arrives. Add a tablespoon of flour to every one-fourth cup of tuna and cheese and six shakes of garlic powder to a cup of tuna and cheese. You then freeze this catfish bait to be used when going fishing.

Cheesy Trout Bait


  • Velveeta cheese (full block)
  • 1 Tbs. anise oil
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • Red food coloring (optional)

Place the cheese in a microwave safe bowl and heat it until it is melted. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients and the anise oil. Slowly stir dry ingredients into melted cheese, adding water as needed, until the mixture becomes a heavy dough.

Add red food coloring (optional) a drop at a time until the desired shade is achieved.

Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a rapid boil. While waiting for the water to boil, pinch off enough of the dough to form a small ball and roll it until it forms a ball. Form all of the dough into balls. Drop in a few dough balls into the water at a time. Cook the balls in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes and then place on paper towels to dry off the excess water.

Crunchy Bait


  • Sweetened corn flake cereal (like Frosted Flakes)
  • 1 can dog food
  • 1 can cream of corn
  • Garlic salt

In a large zippered bag, lightly crush the sweetened corn flakes. In a separate bowl mix the dog food, cream of corn and garlic salt. Add the crushed cereal until the mixture forms a heavy dough. Form into balls.

Readers weigh in:

What are your favorite homemade baits? Do you have any sure-fire ingredients? What is the best bait you’ve ever used and what did you catch with it?

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