I got a lesson on fishing plastic worms at Lake Martin after our tournament on Saturday two weeks ago. My motor home was parked in a campsite right beside the boat ramp and late Saturday afternoon several people walked down to it to fish. I had a ring side seat while I ate supper.
There were a couple of kids as well as two adults fishing there. One guy was an expert. It was easy to tell by his explanations to everyone nearby about where he was casting, why the bass were there and what a strike felt like. He also had a lot of different reasons why he could not hook the bites he kept getting on plastic worms.
My favorite was his explanation when he reeled in after "setting the hook" after a bite and not hooking anything. His worm was down on the shank of the hook, not straight like it was when he put it on. He showed it to the other guy and said that had to be a catfish, they hit like that.
I started to tell him to rig his worm back up and drop it in the shallow water where he could see it. If he "set the hook" while watching it and knew there was no fish there, catfish or any other kind, he would pull the worm down on the hook just like before. It is the snatching action, not the fish, that makes the worm slide down on the hook. You can do the same thing in a swimming pool.
Another time when he missed the bite and the worm did not slide down on the hook he said the worm was too big and the bass were not able to swallow it. He did not seem to have an explanation as to why he could not hook the fish when he switched to a smaller worm.
Since this guy never hooked a single fish, my guess is there was a warmouth at the end of the ramp he was fishing. They tend to hang around places like that. They also like to hit at worms but are very hard to catch. Or maybe he was right, it was catfish and bass looking for smaller worms.
I always enjoy listening to fishing experts. Sometimes I learn something, sometimes I get a good laugh.