Written by: Steve Kaye
Published in Reel Angler Magazine
The question I get asked more often than any other
about Steelhead fishing is, what is the best bait for Steelhead?
My answer is all of them. There is a time and a place for everything.
Many factors contribute to weather or not a Steelhead will bite
a bait at any given time. Steelhead is a fish
that can be very predictable one day and then completely defy any
logic or reason the very next day! I feel that the best way to approach
a days Steelhead fishing is to have a selection of baits and lures
and to take turns rotating three or four of them through each and
every run or pool that you fish that day. Selection and changing
your bait regularly is one of the secrets that will make an angler
consistently successful. One of the Baits that I always have with
me when I am fishing for Steelhead is the rubber worm. This bait
is one that I feel that anglers should have as part of their angling
arsenal. If you are not fishing the worm you are missing out! Over
the years many anglers have told me that they have had little or
no success with this silly looking bait. I feel that these anglers
probably don't have much confidence in this bait and don't spend
much time fishing it or they don't know how to effectively fish
the worm. This lure is really no different than any other, you fish
it under a float just like you would a gooey bob or a piece of roe.
The main difference with this bait is that it causes a fairly instant
reaction from the fish. They either attack or they get out of the
way. Because of this reaction response I usually fish the worm as
the last bait through each spot. The other important tip to remember
is that you don't have to spend much time fishing the worm, if they
want it you will know it usually in very short order. My motto is,
fish it fast and fish it last!
When it comes to worm selection the most common question
is what is the best colour? Rubber worms come in more colors than
you can imagine. The most popular colors are different shades of
pink, orange, peach and red. Some anglers have hade good success
with worms that are a natural or purple colour as well. The best
advice I can give here is to experiment but if in doubt start with
pink (bubble gum) it seems to work just about everywhere. Worms
come in a variety of sizes, the most common are 6inch and 4inch
both work well and little of each is a good idea. When you decide
to hit the river you should pre tie all of your worms the night
before. For this you will have to visit a sewing store and purchase
a needle that is 6 inches long, with this you can work your leader
about 3/4 through the center of the body and then tie on the hook.
Do not try to hide the hook in the worm, instead let it dangle at
the tail. 10lb or 12lb leader and size 1 to 2/0 hooks are perfect
for rigging these baits.
anglers that I have talked to seem to feel that worms are most effective
when the river has some colour to it, personally I never hesitate
to fish my worms no matter how dirty or clear the river may be.
Remember that to effectively fish the worm, fish it in every spot
you fish in, don't spend much time fishing it, just cover all the
good spots a few times and them move on. Is the rubber worm the
ultimate Steelhead bait? Nope, there is no such thing, but they
are very effective when fished properly and should be an important
part of your steelheading arsenal! Remember the key to successes
with the worm is to Fish it fast and fish it last. By the way if
you do find the ultimate Steelhead lure, one that works every time
in every possible condition be sure and give me a call, we could
sell it and make a fortune!