How to Find Worms for Fishing [A detailed guide incl. video]

Kristian Ole



Every angler knows that worms are essential parts of catching fish. Worms are the bait that will attract fish to the hook. But worms are not always easy to find out in the open. So how do you find them?

The best place to look for worms is in your garden or lawns. Worms love dark and damp locations like compost. It becomes easier to find them after rain or at night. Look for worms in places with soft, rich, and moist soils. Moreover areas with a lot of activity or where the ground has been disturbed.

This article will provide you with excellent tips that will help you find worms for fishing. You will learn what to look out for when searching for worms and the different types of worms that you can use for fishing. If you know where to look and what time to look, then you are halfway there.

Looking for Worms for Fishing?

Crucial tips to help get a bunch of worms for fishing include;

  • Know where to look: Earthworms and larger nightcrawlers are found in rich soft soil. Worms are rarely found in hard or sandy soils. Small ringed worms can be found in farm manure or around stables/ barnyards. If it hasn’t rained for a while, look for worms under logs, bricks, old boards, and debris where the soil is still moist.
  • Look for worms after rain: worms come to the surface after rains. Moreover, when the ground is wet in the morning, you can easily pick them up. Check for worms under the rocks, sidewalks, or driveways.
  • Look for worms at night in the spring or fall: Use a red plastic covering over your flashlight. Worms won’t see red light; hence you can easily pick them.
  • Look for worms in piles of compost, farm manure, leaves, or mulch. They are perfect spots for hiding manure worms. Use a garden rake to sort through.

Worms to Use as Bait

Worms are among the most popular bait for fishing that you can find almost anywhere. Finding intended bait can be fun and a great way to get ready for a fishing trip. Worms as baits can be found in the backyard, or in the vacant ground.

There are several kinds of worms you can use as bait when fishing. They include nightcrawlers, red wiggler worms, brandling worms, and European earthworms. 

There is also a fishing worm, but it’s more of an artificial worm made out of plastic and not an actual worm. Fishing worms might be the most abundant of worms, but they are not popular with anglers because it is easier to tear their bodies apart, and the tips of their spines are barbed, making them difficult to remove from a hook.

Related article: How to keep crickets alive for bait

The European Earthworm and Where to Find Them

The European earthworm is very popular with anglers because it has a smooth outer area making it easy to remove from a hook. It is also less likely to break when you tug at the pin. However, the European earthworm is very hard to come by in the wild unless near a garden or lawn. You will need to purchase it from a fish shop (where it has been harvested from a fish farm). 

The Red Wiggler Worms and Where to Find Them

Red wiggler worms are best for fishing in the summer. During the fall and winter, they tend to hibernate in the cold. In that state, they become challenging to find. The reason is that they migrate deep within the soil during cold months when you cannot easily reach them. When looking for red wigglers, you should follow a similar process as the European earthworm (patience is essential). 

Look for a sandy area that has been recently disturbed. The worms will be looking for a moist place to hibernate. They prefer cold and damp places so avoid areas that have been exposed to direct sunlight. Look around the sides of garden sheds, under banks, old barns, or anywhere where you can find moist dirt in the summertime. 

The Brandling Worm and Where to Find Them

The brandling worm is an excellent worm for fishing because it’s well known as a perfect bait for attracting fish. They are significant because they are not very likely to break when pulled out of the hook. However, they are also challenging to find as they are small compared to other worms, and they tend to burrow deep into the ground. When looking for brandlings, you will need to look in your lawn or garden (where there is old and decaying matter). 

Look for dark patches and moist areas such as those created by the decomposition of fallen leaves. The best time to look for these worms is in the spring when it’s about three weeks after a big snowstorm but before all the snow melts. It is also important to remember that you can only find brandling worms in their larval stage.

The Nightcrawlers and Where to Find them

Nightcrawlers are very hard to find, but they are easily the best worms to use when fishing. Nightcrawlers are small and soft, so they will not break or tear when pulled out of a hook. They burrow deep into the ground, and there are a lot of worms out there. You can appreciate excellent choices if you have trouble finding worms for fishing.

You will need to look in the darkness of a shaded area and then place some of your compost on top of the ground. Keep an eye on it, and you will be rewarded with more worms than you ever imagined. 

Plastic Worms

You can also use worms made out of plastic. These worms do not have barbs. You can remove them easily from a hook. The plastic worm is also available in many colors and sizes so that you will be able to find one that suits your needs and fishing style best. You can buy these worms in most fish shops, where you will also find a wide range of bait to choose from.

How Do You Get Worms to Come to the Surface?

The best way to get worms to come to the surface and make them easier to find is by lightly moistening the soil. Nightcrawlers tend to burrow deep within the ground (where it is darker and wetter). When you lightly moisten the earth, they’ll quickly look for a drier place to go, and they will end up on the surface. It is also helpful to have a flashlight because it will make it easier to locate worms in dark places like between rocks or in dark holes.


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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