If you enjoy catching fish like I do, there is one bait that outperforms almost all others and that bait is what Hank Hill once referred to as, “the good old American worm.” It’s hard to argue the effectiveness of the live worm for fishing, but what’s interesting about this is the fact that a majority of fishermen make the mistake of rigging a live worm for fishing in entirely the wrong way. I mean, sure if you take a worm and wrap it around a hook, then throw it into the water you are likely to receive some bites and may even catch some fish, but does this mean that you are using said worm in the most effective way that you could.
And this is where the gang hook setup comes into play. What you will learn below is how a gang hook setup is, without a doubt, the only way to hook a worm when fishing. I have been using this setup for approximately thirty years, ever since I was introduced to it by my best friends’ father on a river in Central Pennsylvania where we were spending the morning fishing, and the setup has been a part of my arsenal ever since.
A gang hook setup consists of two fishing hooks, generally small fishing hooks, that have been tied an inch to an inch and a half apart, creating what is called a set of gang hooks. A set of gang hooks is attached to your line by using a swivel (usually a barrel swivel) and your worm is attached to the hooks. Because there are two small fishing hooks, each hook simply gets inserted into the flesh of the worm once approximately an inch to an inch and a half apart, which allows the worm to be presented in a completely outstretched and natural manner with little to no visibly hook.
Why is presenting a worm in an outstretched and natural manner important when you are fishing? Mainly because the more natural your worm appears to the fish that you are attempting to catch, the more effective it will be and thus the more opportunities you will receive to hook said fish. Pretty simple, right? Well, it sure is, but just like with many things in life, it’s often the simplest things that are the most effective.
The main point of gang hooks is that there is never too much of your worm dangling in the water without a hook in it, so it’s also important to vary the size of the worm that you are using as bait to the gang hook configuration that is being used. For example, when night crawlers are being utilized as bait and #10 gang hooks tied on six pound test line are being used, rigging up the entire night crawler isn’t advisable. Rather, it’s a good idea to pinch the night crawler in half so that not more than and inch or two of the worm is left dangling free in the water. You always want a little bit of worm dangling, but not too much or clever fish will steal your worm more often than not.
The bottom line is that a gang hook setup is the best and most effective way to hook a worm for fishing. If you use worms and want to experience more success on the water, add gang hooks to your repertoire sooner rather than later.