The Best Bait Ever: Worms


Not even anglers know that you catch fish with worms. Without question, together with the bait fish the worm is probably one of the oldest and best fishing lures, which can be found almost everywhere in the world and which also catches fish well everywhere. In this article I would like to show you why this is so and how you can bait worms correctly, keep them and collect them yourself.

Table of Contents Why the worm is so catchyFish love wormsWorm speciesThe dew worm (Lumbricus terrestris)The dung worm / compost worm (Eisenia fetida)The giant red worm DendrobeanaThe earth wormThe “green Worm “Wormhooks and baiting wormsArtificial wormsCollect wormsDigging wormsDigging worms out of the groundRoot worms from the groundNightly thawwworm searchPlaces to collect wormsThe best time to collect wormsHold worms while fishing: Some TipsHolding and storing worms for a long timeBreeding worms yourself – A guide for your own worm boxThe boxWorm earthFood for wormsThe placeOther careConclusion

Why the worm is so catchy

One thing is certain: fish can smell very good. But that does not mean that fish can smell the same as we can. There are also big differences between different types of fish.  Fish can mainly smell free amino acids and worms are full of them. Worms have a very high quality protein, which is even higher quality than fish meal protein. This has been shown in various experiments. No wonder that even fish bite on worms, even if they do not know them as natural food. Because almost all fish are opportunists and if there is something tasty on the bottom of the water and smells good, it is usually not spurned

The other reason is that worms can fall into water, this is especially true in waters near meadows. Many fish already know worms as food. Furthermore, worms resemble many fish feeders that are in the water, e.g. leeches.

Fish that love worms

The worm can catch almost all fish. It is even regularly reported that pike are caught for worms. One thing is for sure with a worm as bait, you never know what will bite in a water with many species and that’s what makes fishing with worms so exciting.

  • Perch can be caught mainly with lively dung worms. But also half a thaw worm in mid-water with the pose offered is Top
  • Catfish even the biggest freshwater fish can be beguiled by thaw worms. Particularly popular in combination with the Wallerzholz are 8 to 15 thaw worms on a triple
  • eels one of the best eel baits. On the ground or just above it, the thaw worm also catches the thick broad-headed eels and not only the pointy-headed variant.
  • Carp not only with boilies and corn one catches carp, but also worms are seldom spurned, as bottom-dwelling small creatures (zoobenthos) are the main food of the Rüssler.
  • Tench love dung worms. There is hardly a better tench bait than a bunch of dung worms on a 6 to 10 hook
  • Bream are easy to catch with all kinds of worms, just like carp.
  • Roach a great bait for the capital Roach is half a tauworm. Also small earthworms and dung worms are great.
  • Whitefish: what applies to roaches also applies to all other smaller whitefish
  • Chub (Aitel) even the often affectionately called stubborn fish likes worms. Especially rope worms are top chub baits.
  • Trout: Worms are almost too good bait and unfortunately small trout swallow worms very quickly. Therefore at least 1`er hook or bigger are announced.
  • Tadepoles are probably the best burbot bait besides fish shreds.

Types of worms

There is a variety of worms and they are all excellent natural baits. How to collect worms and how to keep them is explained further down in the article.

The tauworm (Lumbricus terrestris)

One of the biggest German worms. The Tauwurm sold in the fishing shop usually come from Canada “Canadian Nightcrawlers” and are relatively large on average. Tau worms are found almost everywhere in Europe and even North America and Asia have similar worms. They all help to decomopose dead natural material, especially dead plant parts, which they drag into their burrows and feed on. Dewworms can be found on all meadows and also in many gardens.

For fishing, Tauwurm are a common sight for almost all fish Top

The dung worm / compost worm (Eisenia fetida)

Manure worms are not only found in manure, but above all in the compost heap. Especially when no citrus fruits land on the compost

. The worms don’t like them at all and banana skins are also bad for the worm compost. On the hook they are very lively, which, as mentioned, is especially interesting for perches. The best way to collect the worms is to collect them from a compost or of course a dung heap at the farmer’s place. Ask nicely and you may collect some worms from almost every farmer. In dung heaps there are usually less worms than in a good compost. If you feel disgusted here, you can also put on rubber gloves. If you put the worms on the hook, or if you hurt them, a yellow, strong smelling liquid comes out. But this does not seem to bother the fish.

The giant red worm Dendrobeana

This worm looks very similar to the dung worm and is also a top bait. But I find these worms much less lively than the normal dung worms and they don’t smell as strong.    They are commercially available everywhere in fishing shops and many hardware stores or even online.

The Earthworm

The white worms are present in almost all soils in Europe. They are smaller than ropeworms, but still larger than the giant red worms. When digging, they are often the most commonly found worms. Do not underestimate these worms! Even if they are not sold everywhere, like ropeworms I find that they catch much better than the other worms.

The “green worm”

A somewhat wiry little green earthworm, which can sometimes be found under stones, under which there is earth, even at the water. It is by far the best worm you can find for fishing. My guess is that these worms fall into the water more often than others and some fish already know their smell.

Worm hooks and baiting worms

Worms can be baited in different ways. It depends on what you want to do and which fish you can expect, and you should not only think of the target fish. Whenever possible I like to fish with a worm bundle, that means several smaller worms on the hook, because that brings a lot of scent and moves great. It’s a problem if small fish constantly nibble the worms off the hook.

Then it often only helps to pull the worm onto the leader with a bait needle. This is also the method when it comes to getting the worm out in the open.

In goby-contaminated waters, it is no longer possible to fish with the worm on the bottom? Wrong or at least half wrong. Because if you give the worm buoyancy and let it float at least 20-30cm above the ground, the little pests hardly have a chance.

Artificial worms

Artificial worms are now available in all kinds of variations. There are mainly two types

  • Rubber worms, which are not necessarily flavored and are excellent for finesse rigs;
  • Realistic imitations, which can even be offered in pose or on the ground as a substitute for natural bait, for example from Berkley the Gulp! worms.

Collect worms

If you collect your worms yourself, you can save a lot of money. Many anglers also swear by worms they collect themselves, as they are more durable and fresher than those they buy. There are many different methods of collecting worms and all have their advantages and disadvantages. Basically it is relatively easy to collect your own worms with relatively little work.

Worms generally like it moist, so it makes little sense to look for them in very dry soil.

Digging up worms

One way to get many worms really quickly is to dig them up. Of course you need a place or a garden where you can dig up worms and where you are allowed to dig. The good news: Worms are almost everywhere in the ground and with a digging fork you can collect many worms really fast.

Shaking worms out of the ground

With this method you hardly have to get your hands dirty and it is very easy and successful. Until you have seen it with your own eyes, you hardly believe it works. Here are the three simple steps:

  • A digging fork is stuck in soil that is not too firm;
  • The fork is shaken for 1-3 minutes so that vibrations are spread in the soil. You can feel this very well when you stand next to it;
  • Now you only have to pick up worms, because the worms come out of the ground. I always wait until they are completely outside and don’t pick them up too soon

The worms don’t get hurt and can be kept for a long time!

Nightly thaw worm search

This method is one of the best to get big thaw worms. Unfortunately, it requires some effort and skill.

Night-time thaw worms come out of their holes at night to look for food, such as dead leaves and blades of grass, which they pull into their holes. When they are a little rotten they eat them. We can take advantage of the fact that the worms come out of their holes and just pick them up at night.

It’s not quite as simple as that, because the worms are quicker and faster than you think. Often they lie only halfway out and still have their bristle-covered tails in their holes. The worms feel vibrations especially on soft ground and they also take the light of our flashlight. They take red light much worse than white light. Therefore I often search for my worms with a bicycle tail light with batteries. There are also head lamps with red light, these are of course the best. Some crepe paper from the hobby shop with a rubber around the torch can also provide red light.

Places to collect worms

When the grass is high the search for worms is a bit difficult. The best places to look for worms are football pitches and parks and cemeteries – they are also watered in summer and the grass is usually well kept and short. Of course the own garden is also a possibility.

The best time to collect worms

The best season to collect worms is therefore when it is still below 10 °C, because the equally warm animals are much slower then. The worms do not like dryness either. It is possible to collect worms in summer, but then much less of them come out of their holes. Also in frost and temperatures below 0 degrees it becomes difficult.

The best time is about 2-3 hours after nightfall. In dry summers you should wait until there is dew on the blades of grass. Hence the name Tauwurm.

Once you have found a worm, you have to be quick and grab the worm between thumb and index finger and pull it out carefully. You need some feeling for this so that you don’t tear the worm or squeeze it too hard. The whole thing is not easy at the beginning, but once you get the hang of it it becomes quite easy and you can collect several hundred worms per hour on a good night.

If you don’t feel like collecting worms, you can buy worms on the Internet at very reasonable prices. Even on Amazon you can buy all kinds of worms: View here >>

Keeping worms while fishing: Some tips

Especially in summer it can be difficult to keep worms alive. This is especially true for dew worms, less so for the heat-resistant dung worm. Because if you’re not careful, after a few hours you’ll have nothing but a disgustingly smelly mass of worms that won’t catch anything. That’s why we have agreed on some tips to prevent this from happening:

  • Put a cold compress under the worm box and keep the worms fit for a few hours;
  • Put worms in the cool box: A cool box on the water in summer has a number of advantages, so that even caught fish stays fresh;
  • Always put the worm box or can in the shade.
  • It is best not to use soil to keep your worms, as there is a high risk that they will suffocate because their windpipe will be covered by movements during transport
  • The best substrate for worms for a shorter storage period is damp moss (check for ants etc. beforehand or rinse well under cold water).

If you keep your worms in moss they become very firm after a few days and are better than fresh ones see picture on the right.

Worms keep and store for a long time

Storing worms at home is not difficult. You only need an escape-proof container and most worms can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks without any problems. However, if you collect them yourself, you should still regularly check for dead animals and remove them. If one dies, the other worms die very quickly.

Breeding worms yourself – A guide for your own worm box

Breeding worms yourself is not difficult. The following instructions are mainly for the compost worm / manure worm.

The box

In principle you can use many different materials. Cheap is a plastic box with lid or without. Very suitable are mortar buckets, as they are available for little money in every hardware store. A wooden plate e.g. plywood is suitable as a lid. It is important that water never accumulates, but can run off and that there are also a few air holes. With a drill no problem. Afterwards these can be glued with gauze (fly screen), so that the worms do not go on migration. Dung worms love to do this and hide in all kinds of corners.

Worm earth

It is best to use old compost earth. Alternatively peat dust is an excellent substrate for the worm breeding box.

You can now place an old T-shirt or jute bag on the soil and the food to keep it evenly moist for a long time.

Food for worms

Basically there are two very good and cheap foods for the worms:

  • Kitchen waste mainly peelings of carrots or potatoes. If these are not too moist, it is best. They should also be chopped up as finely as possible.
  • A pulp from fine egg cartons. This is made by cutting egg cartons finely and then crushing them with water. Squeeze out the water and you are done. The advantage of this food is that it does not rot so quickly.
  • Coffee grounds is a top food, which has already been hygienized by brewing coffee. Because it is important that the food never begins to go mouldy.
  • Old newspapers cut into strips and the printer’s ink at least a little washed out is another top food.

You always feed as much as the worms eat in a week. This is difficult to generalize, which is why experience is needed for your own box of worms. I would still recommend a little too little than too much.

The place

It is best to set up your worm farm in a cooler place. It may be a bit damp, but mould on the food should be prevented. In the cellar or on the shady side of the house (except in winter) are some examples of good locations.

Other care

The worm box is in itself very easy to care for, but still needs some attention every now and then. The ground should always be slightly damp and the food should be checked weekly.


Worms are one of the best and even collected the cheapest baits available. People have been using worms to catch fish since time immemorial and worms are one of the oldest baits. Worms can be fished in many different ways and can also be caught actively at the drop shot.

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