Can You Use Earthworms For Sea Fishing?

When it comes to baiting, no one can deny the importance of earthworms. Every novice angler tries to use earthworms as bait because they are readily available in our surroundings. Most importantly, they are like a natural food source for a wide variety of freshwater fish. Nonetheless, can you use earthworms for saltwater fish?

You cannot use earthworms for sea fishing because they are not found in natural seawater conditions. Saltwater fish act differently than freshwater angles because of their different habitat and food supply. As a result, you cannot use the same bait for both fresh and saline water fish.

Being ineffective for saltwater fishing does not restrict earthworms’ usefulness for other forms of angling. We have found them highly useful for a huge variety of freshwater fish. The coming sections of the blog will discuss where you can use earthworms as a perfect bait for fishing besides discussing worms that are highly effective in saline water.

Are Earthworms Good For Sea Fishing?

Earthworms do not make the ideal bait choice for saltwater fishing because of several reasons. Anglers often use such things as bait that are similar to already found items in the natural surroundings of fish. However, the unavailability of the likes of earthworms in saline water means they are unattractive for the fish, which ultimately negates their importance for sea fishing.

If you want to be successful at sea fishing, you will have to consider some forms of marine worms as they are a natural feed for saltwater fish. Most importantly, the overall size and toughness of the two types of worms vary greatly. This thing acts as a distinguishing factor as the saline water fish will find marine worms more attractive and natural.

However, we find it pertinent to mention that using some forms of earthworms on rocky shores may help you get a couple of wrasses, though. Due to the enormous similarity with marine worms, you can use lobworms to attract and catch some wrasses. Nonetheless, it will be much more time-consuming and strenuous compared to marine worms.

What Types Of Fishing Are Earthworms Good For?

What Types Of Fishing Are Earthworms Good For

Earthworms are none less than a blessing for freshwater lake fishing. The abundance of earthworms in soil inland enhances its desirability and attractiveness for multiple species of freshwater angle. The following are the most famous fish types you can have using earthworms as bait;

  • Trout
  • Catfish
  • Walleyes
  • Bluegills
  • Humpback chub
  • Black crappie
  • Yellow perch
  • White bass
  • Sturgeon

Does Every Fish In a Freshwater Lake Likes Earthworms?

The popularity of earthworms does not mean every fish in freshwater will find it attractive. There are many species of freshwater fish that do not like earthworms. As a result, there is no use in using inland worms as bait for them. But wait, what are those fish types that do not like earthworms?

The following are the famous freshwater fish that do not find earthworms interesting at all;

  • Largemouth bass
  • Carp
  • Pike
  • Pickerel
  • Muskies

So, you should consider an alternative bait method if you are looking to catch the above-mentioned freshwater fish.

Can You Use Nightcrawlers In Place Of Earthworms?

Before answering this question, we deem it necessary to explain the difference between the two because it will help you comprehend our answer well. 

The only difference between earthworms and nightcrawlers revolves around the size of their body. Nightcrawlers are a bigger version of commonly found earthworms. They are more active than the latter and make the perfect choice for catching more oversized freshwater fish.

In general, freshwater fish do not seem to distinguish between nightcrawlers and earthworms because of the enormous similarities between the two. You will have nearly the same chance of fish biting in both cases. However, using earthworms is better than nightcrawlers if you are going for smaller fish, including trout, black crappies, and walleyes.

If you still want to use nightcrawlers for them, our advice would be to cut them into smaller pieces to avoid wasting time and money. Having a smaller piece of a nightcrawler is better for top-notch hook sets compared to a whole nightcrawler.

Why does Freshwater Fish Like Earthworms?

You must understand the natural habitat of fish to comprehend this thing well. As predators, fish always try to look for a delicious meal. Things that help them have a good catch include vibration or any form of motion, the taste of the catch, and aroma. 

When we take into account these things, earthworms outperform any other potential prey of freshwater fish. They produce excellent vibration, the fish can detect their aroma underwater from a distance, and their meat is exceptional too for many fish types. 

That is why you have the most successful catches using earthworms in freshwater fishing.

Are Dead Earthworms Useful In Fishing?

The convenience of using living earthworms is way more remarkable than dead ones. We always prefer healthier worms as they are more attractive to fish. However, there are situations where you can efficiently use the dead worms successfully as bait. For instance, a  recently dead worm with a perfect body shape will work nearly like a live earthworm.

In the case of streams, you do not necessarily require shaky movements of the worm for a successful catch. You only have to launch the bait, whether dead or alive, and the fish will automatically try to bite the worm. As a result, you can get away with the dead worms in this situation too.

It is pertinent to mention that you should never consider using dried-out worms as bait. They lack shaky movements, aroma, and taste. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that any fish type will try biting them. 

What Are The Best Types Of Worms For Sea Fishing?

What Are The Best Types Of Worms For Sea Fishing

The inability of earthworms to help you successfully catch different seawater fish does not mean marine worms are useless, too, in this regard. Indeed, you will hardly find any angler that does not utilize these highly productive worms for fruitful baiting.

There are many available varieties of marine worms that you can use for sea fishing. The following two are the most important ones that you should consider;

1. Lugworm

Lugworms are highly effective against many saltwater fish types. There are two widespread types of lugworms including, the black lug and the blow lug. Both of them work fine without involving any complications. They may seem too fragile, apparently. However, you can throw these worms on any hard surface to have a firm-shaped lugworm. 

Actually, you do not have to use the entire worm for fishing as the tail section of the body is useless in this regard. You better take off the tail section as it mainly consists of sand that does not help us in any way. The head section is an essential part and is sufficient for effective baiting.

They are readily available at different tackle shops, and anyone can buy them for sea fishing. However, you can dig the shore to get them free for you if you do not want to spend money on buying them.

2. Ragworm

Ragworm is famous for its versatility. You can use it for nearly every fish type without involving any complications. Another benefit of using ragworms is that we can use multiple ragworms on a single hook using a giant baiting needle. Like the previous one, you have to target the middle section of the head for hassle-free hooking.

Why Should You Use Worms For Sea Fishing?

There are many reasons why fishermen prefer these marine worms to other forms of baiting. Well, in our opinion, cost is the most important factor in this scenario. These worms are readily available in the market and are cheaper than many alternate methods of baiting.

For beginners, these worms are a must-go choice. The abundance of availability, affordability, ease of use, and hassle-free hooking up are some of the huge benefits they provide to novice anglers.

Another thing that justifies using marine worms as bait for sea fishing is that it involves less mess compared to many other traditional methods of baiting. For instance, if you go for fish baiting, you will have to take care of the blood everywhere. Everything from your hands to clothes gets affected by blood in this scenario.

It does not mean there is no hassle in using the worms as bait. Certainly, it involves blood and other related things. But, the intensity of the mess in this situation is way less than the previous method.

What Makes The Perfect Bait For Sea Bass?

Do you consider cocktail bait an appropriate option for sea bass? You are doing things in the wrong way if the answer is YES! You should try to be as natural as possible when it comes to selecting the perfect bait for saltwater fish. 

Ragworm and lugworm make the best choice in terms of worms. However, if you are looking for other options, you may consider trying fresh mackerel, sand eel, and full squid.


Earthworms make the perfect baiting choice for freshwater fish. However, due to different habitats and saltwater conditions, you cannot use them for sea fishing. You can use lugworms and ragworms besides utilizing fresh mackerel, sand eel, and whole squid for a top-notch baiting experience in saltwater fishing.