Written by Jeannot Ruel
When they use the time-honoured method of baiting a worm on the lower end of a line with a wobbling spoon, a lot of anglers think that they have to literally “sew on” the worm and thread it firmly in various spots to avoid losing it or having it stolen by nibbling fish. While this baiting technique may often be necessary when casting, it is actually not recommended when trolling, as the worm turns into a shapeless, lifeless bundle that does not appeal to fish. Using a fairly long worm and threading it only through the nose onto a small hook will allow the bait to wobble in a lively manner in time with the spoon (see Drawing 1A), which makes it much more appetizing for fish.
If the trout is not biting properly and takes away the back of your bait, it means that the fish is too cautious to dash for the bait and swallow it whole. To overcome the problem, you can thread a trailer hook through the middle of the bait (see Drawing 1B) and let the back wobble freely. The same method can also be used when casting. Another way to outsmart cautious fish would be to wait for the fish to nibble at the bait and finally swallow it. To achieve this when slow trolling, leave the reel’s bail arm open and hold the line with your index finger. As soon as you feel a slight hesitation, straighten your finger to release the line. The assembly immediately stops moving, and the spoon starts to wobble freely and lazily as it slowly drags the worm towards the bottom, which tricks the trout into thinking that its first bite killed the prey. Allow the line to slowly come off the reel for a few seconds, and turn the handle to engage the bail arm and reel back the line. In most cases, the trout will have already seized its lifeless prey and attempted to swallow it when you’re ready to strike.