How to fish the Anise Worm®


The world of soft plastic lures has seen many changes over the years, and the lures come in all shapes and sizes but the good old artificial nightcrawler remains one of the favorites to this day. One such scented worm that continues to catch fish is the Original Anise Worm®. The Original Anise Worm® has long been a secret weapon of tournament bass anglers and weekend fishermen alike. It's a pre-rigged worm, so it is ready to fish right out of the package. And it will catch other gamefish as well. Newer products include the versatile Bluegill Anise Worm® and Freedom Anise Worm®, each with their own applications and techniques.

Slow and Lazy

After all these years, the old motto is still on the packaging... Fish Slow and Lazy. There is a reason for that. These lures work best when fished with patience. This pre-rigged worm comes right out of the package with a slight bend in the middle of the worm. This feature gives it a slow, natural fall through the water column that fish find hard to resist. The slight bend also causes a gentle roll of the worm on the retrieve. The lightweight Anise Worm® will cast best when using a long, light action spinning rod spooled with low-diameter monofilament of 8 lb. test or less. At the terminal end of the line simply tie on a small snap swivel, preferably a ball-bearing type to reduce line twist. Snap the Anise Worm®'s leader loop onto the swivel and you are ready to fish.


Up High

When fishing the shallows, under piers, or in open-water pockets among lily pads or other vegetation, or when going after suspended fish, the Anise Worm® can be fished unweighted. This provides for the most natural presentation. For even less weight, use only a fast-lock snap without a swivel. Cast the worm to a likely is where the patience comes into play.and let it fall slowly for several seconds, even to the bottom if there aren't too many snags present. Keep a close eye on the line, as a fish may grab it on the way down. Gradually reel the worm in, varying the speed of the retrieve. Try a twitch of the rod tip followed by a pause. Keep it at a slow to medium speed retrieve. One nice thing about the lightweight Anise Worm® is that you can throw it unweighted beyond a sunken log, and just pop it right up above the log with a pull of the rod or a brief increase in reel speed. Vary the hookset as well. You may have to set the hook immediately or wait a second or two before setting it depending on how aggressive the fish are.


Down Low

The Anise Worm® is equally at home plumbing the depths for lunkers. When fishing the edges of weedlines, points, or drop-offs, you can still do the unweighted slow-fall, but to cover more water, add some weight to the rig. This can be done by attaching a few small split-shot weights to the main line ahead of the Anise Worm® leader, or by attaching a bullet weight ahead of the swivel on the main line for a Carolina-style rig. Or if the bullet weight hole is big enough, you may be able to slide the Anise Worm®'s leader loop and knot through the backside of the bullet weight, then slide the weight all the way down to the worm like a Texas rig. Cast along weed edges as close to the cover as possible. Again, watch the line for a hit on the way down. You can fish at different levels depending on retrieve speed and the amount of weight that has been added to the rig.

Color Selection

Some of the Anise Worm® colors resemble colors of actual forage. The black worm with yellow stripe resembles a salamander color, the black resembles a leech, and the natural is designed to look like a real nightcrawler. Other colors don't look natural at all, but the fish still slam them. On clear, sunny days when fishing clear water, use brighter colors such as white, chartreuse, purple firetails, and sparkle or metal-flake colors. Fish can key in on these bright colors from great distances. On cloudy days or when fishing stained or murky water, use darker colors. Some colors are favorites and consistently produce fish on certain bodies of water. Check with your local bait shops for local favorites. See our color chart for available colors.

Fishing the Bluegill Worm

The Bluegill Anise Worm® is arguably more versatile than the original. It's small size makes it a great choice for bluegill and other sunfish, as well as perch, crappie, and trout. Yet it is still large enough to be a great finesse bait for largemouth and smallmouth bass. It is also a pre-rigged worm and can be fished with the same techniques discussed above for the Original Anise Worm®. See the article The Bluegill Anise Worm® - Not Just for Bluegills for additional tips and tactics for the Bluegill Worm.

Fishing the Freedom Worm

The most versatile offering yet from Bass River Outdoors is the Freedom Anise Worm®. It is not a pre-rigged worm, but rather the first unrigged soft plastic worm in the Anise Worm® line, so you are free to rig it any way you like.

Freedom Worm in Watermelon with Lazer Sharp Wide Gap Worm Hook

Make a Texas rig or Carolina rig with it, rig it weedless or not, or wacky worm style for fishing it vertically into holes in vegetation. See the article The Freedom Anise Worm® - Rig It Your Way for expanded tips and tactics for the Freedom Worm.

Alternative techniques

Going after walleye? Catfish, salmon, or trout? Ice fishing? Check out the Unconventional Tactics section of the website for other great ways to use the Anise Worm®.