When it comes to river fishing there is probably no bait that is more effective than live worms and to rig a live worm effectively the proper bait or worm rigs need to be employed. In this article I will outline and discuss some effective river fishing bait rigs for rigging live worms so that you can experience more success on your next excursion fishing in a river with this very popular fishing bait.
My mentor taught me how to fish in rivers with worms more than two decades ago, and the techniques and principles that he taught me have stuck with me for than entire time. To me there is no fishing scenario better than standing in the flowing water of a river or stream and fishing for trout, bass, whitefish, or even walleye. Something about literally standing in the water that I’m fishing simply “speaks” to me and is something that I truly love. River fishing while wading is an amazingly enjoyable experience and a wonderful way to “fish”.
When it comes to river fishing with live worms the proper bait rigs are of the utmost importance, but the type of gear that you use is important as well. What do I mean when I use the term “gear”? I’m referring specifically to the size of the rod, reel, and fishing line that you use while river fishing. For most species of fish (excluding very large fish such as salmon or steelhead) ultralight gear is a must. This means using an ultralight rod and matching reel that is spooled with four to six pound mono filament fishing line. By doing this you make the focus of your offering the worm, which makes the worm that much more effective as bait. Using ultralight gear not only makes catching fish while river fishing more enjoyable, it also makes it more effective.
With that being said, let’s get down to the worm rigs themselves, what do you say? Both of the rigs that I’m going to discuss are worm rigs for rigging live worms such as nightcrawlers or red worms for fishing in rivers. The first is called a gang hook rig, and is the simpler of the two worm rigs. The gang hook rig consists of a set of gang hooks that have been attached to your line using a small swivel. A worm is rigged onto the gang hooks and weight is added to the rig by pinching split shot sinkers to your line above the swivel. When it comes to worm rigs, this simple rig is very effective especially in rivers where the water is clear to semi clear.
If you are river fishing in water that is stained to muddy, a little more “attractant” is helpful with your worm rigs to draw the fish’s attention to the worm, when it would otherwise be difficult to locate. When the river that you are fishing is stained to muddy a spinner harness of some sort is an excellent choice when you are talking about worm rigs. Spinner harnesses have a spinner attached to the line and many times has a few colorful beads in between the hooks on the harness itself. The spinner and beads help to attract the attention of the fish, and then the live worm that is rigged on the hooks (harness) “seals the deal”.
In any case, either of the bait rigs outlined above are excellent worm rigs for fishing with live worms in a river fishing scenario while you are wading.