Fishing with Worms

Plenty of high-tech, artificial lures makes claims about their advanced appeal to fish. But even with all the variety on the market when it comes to new and unusual baits, the oldies are often still the goodies, and it’s still hard to beat worms as a freshwater bait. They’re easily found in bait shops and tackle stores, or in your backyard in a few shovelfuls of damp earth from a shady area.

Worms can be used to catch a large variety of game fish species including bass, trout, bluegill,crappie and perch, to name just a few. In reality, most fish—fresh or saltwater—will eat a worm.

Best Types of Bait Worms for Fishing

Worms themselves have a great deal of variety, and which kind you use will be determined by which kind of fish you are targeting.


Nightcrawlers’ large size makes them easy to break down into smaller pieces, or used whole to attract species like bass, crappies, walleye, and all kinds of trout. They are especially favored by big game anglers who go after larger bass and gamefish.


Mealworms are individually small, and are usually available in bulk amount. Their small size is ideal for catching smaller fish like bluegill, perch, crappie, panfish, and trout.

Red Wigglers

Red wrigglers are indeed red and wriggling, and also happen to be very hardy. They are commonly used for baiting hooks targeting panfish and trout, but also work well for crappie and catfish.


Leeches make good bait because fish really, really like them. They are a favored food item of bass, walleye, and catfish, along with others. They have cylindrical bodies, a slimy coating, and a tendency to wiggle.


These are not actually worms, but the larval stage of a moth species. Waxworms have a high fat content that make them very appealing bait for crappie, panfish, and perch. They are very popular for ice fishing and are available throughout the season.


Bloodworms come in sizes large and small, and are the preferred prey of many fish, including winter flounder, striped bass, porgys, perch, roach, bream, spot, croaker, and catfish. Many saltwater fishermen choose bloodworms as a live bait because they are well able to withstand the harsh conditions of the sea.

Bloodworms do have teeth, so use caution when setting them on your hook.


Butterworms, like waxworms, are a kind of larval moth, and they look a lot alike. Butterworms are less fatty than waxworms, but also have a fruit-like scent that is attractive to the right fish in the right situation. They are considered to be a good bait for panfish and trout.