Catching beach worms is a valuable skill if you plan to fish along our surf beach zones regularly. Being available from about Yeppoon in Queensland, down through the south east of the continent and into South Australia, beach worms are a staple food source for a lot of surf predators including whiting, dart, bream, mulloway and flathead.
The key to catching your own is to have a few items on hand. You will need what’s known as a stink bag, which is just a bag full of fish frames or other discarded meat product, a bait bucket to put them in, a hand bait, and as an optional extra, worming pliers.
The process involves finding a nice flat area where water is running off the sand. Putting your bait into an STM Keeper Net 15PLY or Viva Keeper Net 70cm you can use this as your stink bag, and wash it side to side as the water washes back into the sea. When the sand is almost dry, you should notice small things about the size of a pencil head sticking up through the sand, forming small ‘V’s as the water recedes past them. These are the worms sticking their heads up to smell the bait.
From here, it’s a matter of sneaking up on a worm with a hand bait, holding it close to the worm and letting it grab hold. Hand bait can be old pilchards, pieces of fish, cheese or anything oily and smelly. Once the worm has grabbed hold of the bait, slide your thumb and forefinger or some Alvey Worming Pliers behind the worm, and go down an inch or two into the sand, with thumb and forefinger or plier either side of the worm’s neck. Once this is done, and the time is right, you can firmly clamp the pliers of your fingers onto the worm, and in one motion, start applying steady pressure as you pull it out. If you wait, the worm will put the breaks on and no amount of pulling will get it out whole!
On top of being an important skill for the surf angler, it’s also great fun and an easy way to get the kids involved!
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