Creating the perfect lugworm hookbait

Lugworm is probably the all round favourite with shore anglers taking the country as a whole. Getting top quality lugworm is always worth the effort and due to the cost looking after it is equally important. Simply threading a worm or bunch of worms onto a hook will always catch you fish, particularly when the fish are really ‘having it’. But when they are not quite so keen and feeding in a more cautious manner turning bites into fish on the beach is very important. In competitions it is critical. After all success will depend on catching more or bigger fish than the opposition so you can’t afford to miss a chance. For the pleasure angler it’s not so critical but I still want to maximise my session and not miss bites. The one you miss could just have been that fish of a lifetime.
If you thread several worms, or even one big worm onto a hook it is possible for the fish to hit the bait but miss the hook. Therefore I try to eliminate this by keeping the bait compact or in the case of bigger baits using a 'Pennel' rig with a second hook.
Step 1 - First I thread the first worm on head first. This is usually a smaller worm and I do it this way as the broken off tail end tends to slide back over the eye of the hook easier than the head end. This stops the worm from sticking above the hook and increasing the chance of the fish missing the hook point. Obviously with the second 'Pennel' hook it isn't such an issue.
Step 2 - First worm sitting on the hook shank. Notice the worm is threaded through the middle to keep it intact. This ensures as much juice stays in the worm as possible and also the worm will slide smoothly along the hook shank and not catch on the eye where the skin is broken.
Step 3 - The second worm is then thread on tail first and is a bigger worm to bulk the bait toward the hook point.
Step 4 - Lastly the third and biggest worm is thread on tail first. As you can see at this stage the worms are quite spread out and the fish could easily strike the bait away from the hook point.
Step 5 - By using a second 'Pennel' hook (usually a bit smaller than the main hook) in the top of the bait it increases hooking chances and helps keep the bait compact. The 'Pennel' hook is pushed down to compress the bait.
Step 6 - You should have now have a juicy bait all ready to go and hopefully catch a biggie!