Best Trout Worms – Choosing the right bait

I love fishing with worms. They are easily available right on the river’s edge in most places or you can pick up a tub from your local bait shop. If however, you cannot get your hands on any live worms then soft plastic synthetic trout worms are the next best thing.

I have a compost patch in the yard and this provides a plentiful supply of fresh worms all year round, but what happens if you are out and about and decide to drop everything and head off for a fish. You might find the bait shop is sold out, conditions may change during a fishing trip and you can’t get your hands on any.

The one drawback with live worms is they need a bit of looking after. This is where the soft plastic variety (plasticus varietus) 🙂 come in very handy.

guide to catching trout with worms

 A nice ‘brownie’ caught on a worm

Plastic Worms for Trout

So let’s take a quick look at the best plastic worms available for trout fishing. There are a few basics when it comes to bait selection and I tent to stick to the following criteria when buying soft worms:

  • I always go for floating worms – Even if you use lead shot to pull the bait down into the swim you want the worms itself to float up off the bed.
  • I tent to go for something scented as well. This attractant draws in even the most cagey trout.
  • Stick to worms about 75mm in length – You don’t need huge worms like Bass worms for trout and this size works best for me.
  • Color variety is important too as you want to be able to switch them out depending on the color of the water on the day.

Trout Worm Guide

My Favorite Trout Worms

There is nothing really scientific about plastic trout worms but they are deadly on trout. They make a quick impromptu fishing trip simple because you just tie up a quick rig and pop on one of the plastic worms – no mess, no fuss – just straight into fishing. Some plastics look very odd but the action in the water is exactly the same as a real live worm and can be used to great effect against shy or spooked trout.

The scent on the worms really draws the fish out and they cannot resist taking a bite. I always stayed away from plastics because I didn’t think they would be as good as the real thing – how wrong I was…

Here are my top 3 trout worms

Berkley PowerBait Floating Trout Worms

Berkley PowerBait Floating Mice Tails

Berkley PowerBait Power Honey Worms

Choosing the right Worm

You can get all shapes and colors when it comes to plastic worms but on a clear day when the water is running clean, you should stick to the most natural looking worm in the bag. Trout are notoriously fussy eaters – especially when the water is gin-clear so the more natural the bait looks the more chance you have of landing the prize.

Worm Color – What color and when:

A general rule of thumb for fishing trout worms is that the clearer the water the pickier the trout will be and thus you should stick to the more natural colors.

Worm Size – How big does it need to be:

75mm or about 3 inches is perfect for most trout and in most conditions so stick to that. If you find you are not getting the fish to bite try dropping down to a smaller trout hook size and a shorter or chopped up worm.

Working along the banks of a fast-moving river is ideal for this type of fishing as there are always going to be live worms washed out of the river banks and into the swim. A hungry trout will not be far away and demolish your plastic worm as it runs downstream.

Hooks – What size and type do you need:

If like me you fish barbless hooks then a size #10 or so is perfect for this type of fishing. Check out our full review of trout hooks and get yourself set up before you head out fishing again.

If you can’t get your hands on barbless hooks then please squeeze down the barbs before you bait up.

Fishing Techniques For Trout With Worms

When I get to a river I will always have a good look around first to spot the best places to drop my bait in. Be careful to stay back a good distance from the river’s edge so you don’t spook any of the fish. A good pair of polarised sunglasses will help you out a lot here.

Big rocks and hollows are a great place to start but also where the stream goes from fast-moving water and starts to slow down. The fist will ait in these locations for prey to come to them so if you drop a worm in here and let it float down the river into the path of the waiting trout you are in business.

When you use floating worms you may want to weight them down a small bit with some synthetic shot just to get the bait down to their level quicker.

Wacky Rig for Trout

trout worms wacky rig fishing

trout worm on a wacky rig

The most basic way to hook up your trout worms is with the trusted wacky rig.

You just stick the hook through the middle of the body of the worm and let it wiggle about and gives the most natural presentation of the bait as it runs through the water.

You don’t need to worry about adding any weight to the line here as the current and weight f the worm will be enough to pull the bait down into the swim just enough to mimic natural baits.

Fish the line with a tiny bit of tension so you can feel the take. The trout will most likely suck the worm straight into their mouth so by having a small bit of tension on the line you will feel these delicate bites.

If you want to add a small bit of weight to your worm to get it deeper into the swim then add a few small split shot weights (lead-free if possible) and away you go.

The alternative is to add a small swivel up the line a bit to give you some additional weight. This will also stop the line from twisting sometimes caused by fishing worms.

Carolina Rig for Trout

trout worms on a carolina rig

carolina rig for trout

Another rig setup for plastic trout worms is the Carolina Rig. Similar in style and basic setup to the Texas Rig except you attach at swivel to the line and set a small barrel weight above it.

By using this setup your worm has a more natural action in the water. Each time you cast out the weight will drop straight to the bottom but the worm will sink much slower on the fall.

When you start to retrieve the bait you lift your rod tip and then let the weight pull it back down again slowly reeling in the slack line.

Fishing this method show be slow and steady but it does allow you to cover more ground and fish at a quicker pace than the standard Texas Rig.