Types of fishing worms that actually catch fish

When it comes to versatility, there can be around 3000 varieties of bait. There are several categories, and each has several species that can be targeted. So, how do you decide between these types? First, determine the species you’re targeting. After then it comes down to what bait you’re using and how you present that bait. The legacy of the worm holds true to this day regardless of any high-tech lures or artificial baits that claim to one-up the natural appeal of the various types of fishing worms. Despite their popularity in general, just what types of fishing worms you may be dealing with may not be common knowledge to all fishermen, especially those who are just starting out. There are many hundreds of different species of worm, including types of fishing worms, but some are more common than others.

  • Nightcrawlers
  • Red wigglers
  • Meal worms
  • Wax worms
  • Leeches
  • Bloodworms
  • Butter worms

1) Nightcrawlers:

Nightcrawlers are synonymous with fishing. When you picture an angler fishing with a worm, you’re typically going to picture a nightcrawler. There’s a good reason for that. Nightcrawlers have a long history of catching fish., plus, they are easy to find and big enough to get on the hook without a problem.

These feisty worms are the go-to bait for most anglers because of their size, ability to cause a commotion on the surface, and durability. Let’s say you’re targeting yellow perch. Since we all know yellow perch will bite on the smallest of baits, one nightcrawler will catch half a bucket full. That’s because you can cut them into tiny pieces, and each piece might catch two or three perch before one finally gets away with it.

Bigger fish will want a bigger piece of worm. If you’re after big bass, use a whole nightcrawler and toss it on the surface. Once hooked, nightcrawlers tend to freak out a bit and will wiggle and twist all over, causing a big commotion on the surface. Fish from all over the area will come to take a closer look, hoping there’s a fat nightcrawler to eat.

There are several ways to fish with a nightcrawler, from letting it sink under its own weight while the line has a bobber a few feet up the line to indicate a bite to using a worm injector that literally inflates the worm with air to make it float so you can have it rise up off the bottom of the lake. I like to use a water bubble that slowly sinks through the water column and takes the bait with it. That allows me to find the depth the fish are holding at if I am on the shore without electronics.

2) Red wigglers:

Red wigglers are a great worm for targeting trout and other smaller species. They live up to their name, as you’ll see when you open a container of them. They’re bright red and wiggle like crazy. The container is going to be filled with a variety of sizes. They come in large, medium, and small, all mixed together. Typically, the smaller ones will be the most abundant in the package, with a few medium and large, but you never know.

Big red wigglers are typically smaller than a medium-sized nightcrawler, so they aren’t meant for targeting big fish. They are perfect for smaller game, though. If you’re having an issue finding them at your local bait shop, check with your local garden center. These wiggly fellows are popular composting worms, so the garden centers should have them.

3)Meal worms

Mealworms are great for catching anything small. Trout, panfish like bluegill and crappie, and perch all love mealworms. I like to use them when yellow perch. They let out a bit of scent under the water as they break apart a little, drawing in curious diners. They work year-round for all types of smaller fish, and I’ve done very well catching white bass with them in the past.

Mealworms are technically larvae of a type of beetle. That’s why they are weird-looking and feel completely different when attached to a hook. Go ahead and give them a sniff. They smell awful. Apparently, fish like them quite a bit, so who am I to judge. I like to rig them up on treble hooks, so they stay hooked up. I tend to lose them on bait hooks.


Waxworms fall into the same category as mealworms. They aren’t worms, but fish love them anyway. I use these the most during ice fishing. Waxworms are one of the most readily available baits for ice anglers, and for a good reason. Fish love them, and they catch well during the cold months. Small bait hooks work well, just feed the hook through the body and up the shank.

Waxworms come in a smaller container that’s filled with sawdust. Don’t dump that out. It keeps them warm. If you dump out the sawdust, the waxworms will freeze solid in no time, and you’ll have a hard time fishing with them. Fish love them because they’re like little fatty bonbons served up at the bottom of the lake.


Leeches can be an incredibly productive bait. Just keep your fingers and hands away from their mouths. I was fishing at a lake that had a small leech population and was not faring well at all with any of the usual techniques. Frustration was setting in, and I kicked a rock along the shoreline. A large leech was hanging off the side of the rock, so I thought, “Why not?”

I put the leech on my hook, cast out, reeled in a few times, and suddenly it was fish on. It felt like a truck hit my line. I was set up with an 8lb test targeting smallmouth bass. Whatever it was on the other end of my line was most definitely not a smallmouth. Line started peeling off my reel, and after three or four minutes of me losing the battle, I saw a huge, dark shape in the water. I swear it was at least three feet long. It did a roll and was gone. I spent the next 20 minutes searching for another leech, but no luck. I’ve gone back since with leeches and done very well but never caught anything close to whatever that was. I’m pretty sure it was a giant catfish. With that said, leeches are fun. They’ll also suck your blood if you’re not careful. I call it a risk worth taking.


If you read the leech section and thought to yourself, “Nope, not for me.” Then go ahead and skip this one. Bloodworms are amazing little critters that will catch all sorts of fish in saltwater.

I’ve used them to catch croaker and sea trout. Striped bass love them. Chuck some out to surf perch, and you’d think they were starving.

Bloodworms are available in a huge range of sizes. You’ll occasionally find smaller ones, generally find pretty big ones, and sometimes come across absolute monsters. The wide range of worm sizes means you can target a huge range of fish with them. Fish love them because they are juicy, tasty, and full of fat. Chase down some flounder and present a bloodworm anywhere near them. You’ll have plenty of flounder to eat. There’s only one drawback to bloodworms.

Bloodworms like to bite back. They have teeth. When you’re putting them on the hook, they might just try to take a little nibble out of you.

7)Butter worms :

Butter worms are a lot like waxworms in that they are both larvae and they both look fairly similar. Fat content is one big difference between the two, though, which might make butter worms less appealing than waxworms to certain fish in certain situations. Still, butter worms are known to have a fruity odor that is appealing to many fish.

Butter worms are more nutritious than waxworms, but this almost makes them worse for the situation when your goal is to lure fish in with the tastiest treat possible, Still, butter worms have their place, and are known to be good bait for catching the right kind of fish, especially trout.

There are all types of fishing worms for all types of situations. Whichever types of fishing worms you decide on will differ depending on what kind of fish you are looking to catch. Hopefully, the information in this article was able to offer you a comprehensive overview of various popular types of fishing worms so that you may be educated in figuring out which worm will be the best fit for your needs.

Apart from fishing worms there are many other species and plastic lures used by various anglers. Some of these are:

•Minnows – Shad, Suckers, Chubs, Flatheads, Red Shiners

•Insects –Grasshoppers, Crickets

•Stink Baits – Chicken Livers, Berkley Power Bait, Catfish Stink Baits

•Power Bait – Several Varieties, I like Garlic, Orange, and Rainbow

Fishing lures are small, artificial objects often shaped like a fish’s prey that are attached to a hook and tied to the end of a fishing line. They are used to attract fish to your line. There are many different types of lures on the market such as jigs, spinners, spoons, fly lures, crankbaits, and plugs. Some lure manufacturers have even added LEDs to the mix.

Whether they are made from rubber, plastic, metal or a mix of such materials, fishing lures are often weighted and use a combination of movements, vibrations, colors and shiny reflections to entice fish to bite. For better or worse, the effectiveness of lures relies on just the right conditions. Lures are best used when:

  • The water is nice and clear
  • The weather is warmer
  • You’re dealing with aggressive, predatory fish
  • There are a lot of undersized or non-target fish present
  • You’re in a catch and release area
  • When signs are deeming the waters “artificial only” or “fly and lure only”

There are many pros of fishing using live bait over lures:

•Bait is highly effective because fish are more attracted to the real live prey you’re delivering. They latch on with gusto, improving the chances of a deep hooked fish on the end of your line – one who is less likely to fall off. (A deep-hooked fish is a con if you’re doing catch and release, however.)

•Bait appeals to a wide range of fish species, increasing the likelihood you’ll catch something.

•Bait is often cheaper than lures in the long run. It’s free if you find your own while out and about in nature.

•Bait attracts fish from far and wide, so you can easily set your rod up and just wait for something to bite.

•Unused bait can be returned to nature, or even frozen until your next trip.

•Researching bait basics helps give you a better understanding of which fish prefer which prey.