Night crawlers have caught untold numbers of bream for anglers, and while it’s tough to say there is a right or wrong way to hook one, it’s probably fair to say that at times, one way works better than another.

Ken Nutter of Sumter, S.C., has found that especially true in late spring and early summer. If bream are being finicky when it comes to biting worms, he turns to one tactic that seems to get them out of their slump.

“Sometimes, you can just put a tiny morsel on your hook, and you’ll catch bream all-day long. Other times, they won’t touch anything so small. And sometimes, you’ll catch nothing but small bream on little pieces of worm. That’s when I turn to using a whole night crawler at a time,” Nutter said. 

“Instead of carefully threading the worm onto the hook, making sure the hook passes through the worm’s body several times, I forego that temptation. Instead, I pass the hook through just once, and I do that at the worm’s head. So you’ll have a whole worm just dangling from the hook by the very end of its body.” 

This allows the worm to wiggle and writhe with very little resistance, and that draws the attention of bream. Nutter said the best thing about hooking a night crawler this way, in his opinion, is that it usually keeps the small fish from bothering it.

“When you’re using tiny pieces of worm, you’ll catch a variety of sizes of bream. With this whole-worm approach, you’ll cut out a lot of the bait thieves. It takes a big bream to want to suck in a whole night crawler in one gulp,” he said.

Nutter said this trick works equally well with or without a cork.

“I’ll use it under a cork when trying to catch bluegills, and I’ll use it on the bottom when targeting shellcracker. One thing I have noticed is that when I use a whole worm, I will catch a bigger mixture of both species no matter if I’m using a cork or not, and that is unique to any other method I’ve used for catching bream,” he said.