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How to Troll Nightcrawlers for Trout

Trolling nightcrawlers for trout can be a very effective way to catch trout in any swift-moving river. Nightcrawlers are the bait that can be purchased from most fishing stores and should be used when trout fishing at night.

Trolling is an effective way to fish because the nightcrawler moves through the water more naturally than other types of lures or artificial baits, creating a more realistic presentation.

It is important that you fish during the hours just before and just after daylight to take advantage of feeding patterns and to avoid spending your day resting on tired legs and an empty net.

Do Trout Go for Nightcrawlers?

Trout will devour nightcrawlers because they are a natural food source and easy for the fish to eat. The reason being is that trout have a small mouth which makes it difficult for them to eat lures or other types of artificial baits.

Trout will take nightcrawlers because they move through the water easily and are very easy for the fish to eat.

Materials Needed to Troll Nightcrawlers for Trout

The materials that you need to troll nightcrawlers for trout are a walleye hook, fluorocarbon line, and a worm threader.

Walleye Hooks

Walleye hooks are used for trolling nightcrawlers because it makes a hole in the side of the worm which allows more water to pass through. This increases movement and action, making it even more appealing to fish.

In addition, walleye hooks are designed with a barb that will allow you to push or pull through the worm without having to worry about getting stuck on your hook.

Fluorocarbon Line

Fluorocarbon line is used for trolling nightcrawlers for trout because it has low visibility underwater. The reason for that is fluorocarbon is a very thin line that will not make a lot of noise in the water.

Fluorocarbon is made from a material called fluorine, which allows it to resist ultraviolet rays, making it durable for long periods of time.

Worm Threaders

Worm threaders are used for trolling nightcrawlers because they help get more of the worm through the hook.

Without threading, you will only get half of the worm on the hook. This reduces movement and action making it less attractive to fish. A threader is designed with an eye at one end which makes it easy to put a hook through the worm as well as push or pull your line without getting stuck on your hook. In addition, a threader is easy to use.

All you have to do is insert the hook into the eye at one end that allows you to then push or pull your line without getting caught on your hook making it even more appealing for fishing trout with nightcrawlers.

Trout Trolling Setup With Nightcrawlers

The setup for trout trolling with nightcrawlers is as follows:

– Snap a braided line at the end of your fluorocarbon line.

– Put on a sliding snap swivel to one end of your braided line. A sliding snap swivel is what you will use to clip on nightcrawlers. It serves two purposes and they are as follows:

  • Allows you to change out worms easily
  • Slides freely along your line without getting caught on it. This is an important feature because fluorocarbon does not stretch so if the snap swivel gets stuck or is too tight, it can break your line causing you to lose your nightcrawler and any fish you may have been fighting.

– Clip weight gain to the other side of the clip swivel. I recommend Dave’s tangle-free weights because they are made out of a material called tungsten which is more dense than lead, making it easier to troll at a slower speed. Also, tungsten weights do not have rough edges so they will not cut or wear down your line as quickly as lead weights would.

– Fix barrel swivel onto your clip weight gain and attach fluorocarbon line to it. You want to use a small size barrel swivel because it is lighter and sits closer to the bait.

– Add a bait hook to the end of your line. Bait hooks can be used for trolling nightcrawlers because they are small and made with a light wire that is thinner than most other hooks. This allows the bait to move more freely, which will attract trout and increase your chances of catching them. However, you want to use a size #3/0 hook so it can hold more of the nightcrawler on the hook.

– Add a nightcrawler unto the hook. You can purchase nightcrawlers at your local bait shop. The nightcrawler should be alive and healthy when you add it to your hook because a dead worm will not move, which will reduce the chances of catching a fish.

Additional Tips on Trout Trolling

  • Size of Nightcrawler – the appropriate size nightcrawler is going to vary depending on the conditions. If the water is very clear, a larger nightcrawler should be used. If it’s dirty or stained, a smaller nightcrawler should be used.


  • Slow Death Hook – Trolling a slow death hook with a worm threader allows you to get more of the nightcrawlers through the hook so that you have more movement and action in your presentation.

Overall Thoughts on How to Troll Nightcrawlers for Trout

You have all the necessary materials to successfully set up for trout trolling with nightcrawlers. The process of setting everything up for this type of fishing is not difficult and only takes a few minutes before you can start fishing.

Most importantly, remember to use fluorocarbon line because it makes less noise in the water and has low visibility which allows you to make more natural movements while releasing less scent in the water making your chances at catching fish that much greater.

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