How to Float a Nightcrawler to Catch Trout in California Lakes

Are you interested to know how to float a nightcrawler to catch trout? Utilizing natural bait for trout has various advantages over artificial plastics or flies. The looks, scent, and acts are all natural in the water, and no plastics, spinners or fly’s can copy that. You can’t get much better then the real thing. 

More trout have met their match through a nightcrawler on a bait hook than most other baits. It bodes well. Nightcrawlers are promptly accessible at pretty much every general store and tackle shop, and trout love them. A nightcrawler to a trout is the equivalent of putting a thick, juicy steak before a human. It’s beyond what we can stand up to. Learn more about how to float a nightcrawler to catch trout in California lakes through this blog. 

Trout Fishing Setup Using A Floating Nightcrawler

Trout fishing with worms off the base is just compelling if the worm is drifting off the ground. Instructions to fish worms for trout is a genuinely easy method. However, when it comes to floating the worm off the bottom there are a few things you should know.

In this trout fishing method, Jordan from Addicted Fishing goes over precisely how to set up, fish, and catch trout utilizing this trout fishing technique in a Youtube video. Rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout and more will all eat this floating worm when set up properly.

  • Choosing a Rod

Jordan endorsed the Okuma Guide Select Pro Rod. It is a 46-pound rod, but you can go lighter or heavier. Make sure to pick a rod with a sensitive tip so that you can see the bite register when you fish on the bottom.

  • Use a Sliding Weight and Bead

To keep the bullet weight from sliding and damaging your swivel knot, you can use a 5-mil to 8-mil bead. Use the sliding bullet weight on your main line, then attach the bead and tie on your barrel swivel. Only use the bead after the weight is attached to your line. You can use a 1/8oz up to 1oz weight depending how far you want to cast and depth of the water.

  • Attach the Barrel Swivel

Any size or color of the swivel will work, you can find a barrel swivel kit easily on Amazon. Attach it to the line, and after seven wraps, you will have a clinch knot of about 8 to 12-pounds depending on what type of line you are using.

  • Have the Right Length of Fluorocarbon Leader

We recommend 10 to12-pound test of 100% pure fluorocarbon leader. The right leader length depends on how clear the lake is that you are fishing. You can go all the way from 6 to 2 feet. It is best to test your leader length with 2 fishing poles, one with a longer leader and your floating worm the second with a shorter leader and floating worm. If you know there are many weed beds and vegetation at the bottom of the lake, you will probably need a longer leader to get above that.

  • Picking Your Worm Hook

You can use a size 8 to 4 hook. like the best seller Mustad 33637B Classic Worm Bait Holder Hook. However, I wouldn’t go much bigger then that.

  • Make the Worm Float

Stick the nightcrawler using the hook right through the head of it, and slide it up the hook. Have about an inch of the worm on the hook. Use a worm blower and go behind the hook point to insert the pin and slowly blow it up at the worm’s tail. Just enough air will keep the worm afloat.

Trout Fishing Tips To Effectively Rig a Nightcrawler

Although your fishing may have advanced fundamentally from the days of throwing a worm on a hook and casting out. Here are three uncommon ways to catch trout or darn near any other species using nightcrawlers. 

1. Underneath the Bobber 

An enthusiastic nightcrawler under a bobber like the thkfish Fishing Floats and Bobbers is a fantastic method of catch top water trout. 

Dangling a nightcrawler under a bobber catches anything from panfish to bass, and even catfish, and every type of trout you can imagine. Indeed, throw a worm out there under a bobber, and you won’t have even the remotest clue what could swallow it down. 

2. Utilizing a Drop Shot Rig for Nightcrawlers

In more deep water, or when fish are on the bottom, maybe the deadliest nightcrawler presentation is a drop shot setup, dragged along the bottom. Again, anything will snack a nightcrawler, steadily “worming” its way along the ground. 

To fix, use a 3 to 4 foot 100% pure fluorocarbon lead. Halfway down tie on 1 or 2 worm holder hooks in size 4 through 8 using a dropper loop, string on a nightcrawler or two. Tie on your 3/16oz to 1/4oz drop shot weight at the bottom of the leader and you’re ready. Cast it out, and step by step, rewind it. The combo is incredibly effective and is an unprecedented device to discover fish when you haven’t been on the water for quite a while. 

3. Using a Nightcrawler Harness 

When you talk about trout trolling, it’s normal for the mind to conjure pictures of hard lures such as Rapala’s or speedy shiner’s. Nonetheless, nightcrawlers are one of the deadliest fishing baits for species like trout, bass, and even huge crappies. Crawler saddles are lengths of monofilament with a spinner forefront, or two followed by one or two hooks. hooking on a night crawler to one of these crawler harnesses is a deadly and effective way to catch trout, kokanee and landlock king salmon.  

Trout Fishing In California Using Nightcrawlers 

Trout fishing using nightcrawlers is a respected strategy, particularly in the cold waters of the early season when trout are profound. For best achievement, nonetheless, focus on how you rig your worm. Fishing in high, turbid water, in low, clear streams, and in trout rivers and lakes each requires different strategies.

1. Trout Fishing in California High-Water Rivers

When trout streams agitate with early-season overflow, an enormous 4-to 6-inch nightcrawler threaded up a worm hook using a worm threader is extremely effective. 

  • Utilize a No. 6 or 8 Eagle Claw Baitholder or comparable snare with a thorned shank to hold the worm in place. This snaring strategy leaves both worm ends allowed to squirm in the current. 
  • Giant brown trout react particularly well to this strategy, as they snatch and swallow the entire worm.

2. Trout Fishing in California Low Streams

When conditions are inverse from the abovementioned, you’ll regularly locate that a little piece of nursery worm or nightcrawler will intrigue more trout than will a greater gob of meat. 

  • Utilize your thumbnail to squeeze off a part of the worm sufficiently giant to cover your snare altogether. 
  • Tie a No. 8 to 12 hook straightforwardly to your fluorocarbon line. 
  • A little new worm part radiates a lot of trout-drawing in aroma, yet the watchword here is unique. 
  • As your trap gets water-washed and pale-looking – which for the most part happens following 15 or 20 minutes of fishing – supplement it with a new piece of worm.
  • Since your worm area is not more than the actual hook, you can set the hook promptly after inclination of a tap or pull. 
  • You’ll gut-snare less trout along these lines and can all the more effectively discharge those fish you would prefer not to keep.

3. Trout Fishing in California Ponds and Lakes Using a Nightcrawler

Numerous anglers fish for newly supplied trout in lakes on the first day of the season, and worms can be mighty. 

  • For this situation, notwithstanding, change your gear, so the hook goes through a little nursery worm in any event twice. This bundles the worm on the hook.
  • Additionally, ensure the worm covers the hook, leaving no bit uncovered. That is because your worm will be standing by in a lake, giving trout a preferred investigation in moving water. 
  • Moreover, the grouped worm keeps a trout from simply snatching and snapping off a free end while getting away from the hook, as regularly happens when the worm is suspended underneath a bobber.

Rainbow Trout Fishing Using Nightcrawlers

When you need to draw a rainbow trout, fish with nightcrawlers. It will bring about the ideal result because: 

  • The trout tend to swallow the whole worm and hook, resulting in less trout shaking off the hook. 
  • Their development is very captivating to trout. 
  • They can get by for a long while submerged, during which time they’ll move a great deal.

There are additionally a few tips and tricks that may help you get more rainbow trout with nightcrawlers: 

  • Numerous fishermen think about red worms as an ideal substitution of nightcrawlers for rainbow trout. 
  • You can even slice a huge one down the middle to increase the smell. 
  • A baitholder hook is a decent decision with regards to nightcrawlers. 
  • When you need to make the nightcrawler float off the bottom, utilize a worm blower to infuse air into it. That will help trout think that it’s more superficial than when it’s lying at the base. Nonetheless, remember to wiggle it every so often. 
  • Two nightcrawlers on a drop shot rig means more significant presentation in the water and more odds of getting the rainbow trout’s consideration. 
  • For considerably more presentation, utilize a worm on your spinnerbait. This works best when the trout bite is slow.


Trout fishing in California with nightcrawlers or worms can be somewhat untidy. The soil or bedding that they come in gets all over everything and it will require you to get your hands dirty. But, with the tips mentioned above, getting your hands dirty will be well worth it.

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