Hooking a worm for the first time can be a small adventure in itself. I remember the first time I encountered live bait. I couldn't manage to hook the worm, they were just too gross for me. My older brother helped me though, and like many people he hooked the worm as many times as he could on the hook so that it would stay put. The experienced angler may recognize this simple mistake, but many people may not.
The assumption of hooking a worm on any old hook is common but wont lead you to much success. There are two main reasons for this. The first is this, most often, people feel the need to use a larger hook because of how large the worm is and how many times it needs to be hooked. A larger hook may look necessary, but there are other options and using a hook that's too big for a fish's mouth won't get you a catch. The second reason lies in the technique of how you hook your bait. Much like my older brother, people feel the need to hook a worm again and again to ensure that it won't fall off the hook. The problem with this is that is makes a ball which doesn't look appetizing to a fish.
How to Rig a Worm Correctly
In order to correctly hook a worm you need to consider what type of fish you are going for. There are a few different techniques you can try based off of that. For fish with small mouths like crappie or blue gill, a technique is to cut the worm in to small pieces. Take the pieces and then slide them, one at a time, on to your hook until you cover its entirety. One helpful hint though is to leave a little bit hanging off so that it 'flows' in the water and looks like its moving. Also, barbed hooks will be helpful here because once you push the worm past the barb it should stay put without you needing to hook through it over and over again.
You may want to cast for larger fish if you're using larger worms. This will give you the opportunity to use that bigger hook if you're more used to using that with worms. For this, you are going to want to thread the worm on to the hook. This is similar to the ball but what you need to do is stretch the worm out and again, leave some hanging off so that the worm looks natural.
The Gang Hook Technique
There's one more technique to consider. This option is called a gang hook. For this one you'll need two hooks, a lead and then one to follow. Hook the worm on both hooks with some hanging off the edge of the lead hook (the one at the end of the line). This will set out the illusion that the work is stretched out and moving and will lead to more bites.
These are just a few different techniques to consider when you grab your next batch of bait worms. Remember to consider the size of the fish and be cautious of how you place your bait. Good luck!