Where to Buy Worms for Fishing? Or Grow them ...

Where to Buy Worms for Fishing

Choosing the best bait for your fishing adventure can be a demanding process, especially if you are a beginner.

Choices are infinite and it often happens that anglers overcomplicate things. So, why not going back to basics and fish with worms.

Worms are cheap, versatile and easy to use bait that has been used for fishing a long time.

But, where to buy worms for fishing? And how to handle them?

Here I am going to provide information about fishing worms, in the following chapters:



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Where to Buy Worms for Fishing?

So, you decide to use worms, but where to buy worms for fishing?

Luckily, you can get them almost anywhere, but not every specie of worm.

If you decide to visit a local fishing store, you will probably be able to find some kind of fishing worms, no matter the country you live in. As already mentioned, worms have been used as bait long before modern, man-made, lures and baits. The problem is that not every store will have the ones you want.

Another possibility is to order them online. Yes, you can order live worms, but that could be tricky.

First of all, if you do not pay for priority delivery, they could die and you won’t have live, or even fresh, bait. Another problem is that a lot of countries have certain import rules for live animals, but to avoid it, order from your home country, or check the rules.

The third possibility is to buy it from someone who grows worms or has a worm farm. Search online, ask local anglers or someone who could know. Some people use them for gardening purposes.

And last, but this is not always possible, try in a pet store. Some well-equipped ones sell different worm species as food for exotic pets. And some of the species are the same ones that anglers use.

As you can see, worms are relatively easy to get, and their price is more than reasonable.

Which Worms are Best for Fishing?

Not all worms are the same and your success depends on a proper choice. Anglers most commonly use the following species, and those are proven to be the best ones. I included the scientific names too, because some of these worms are called differently by people in various countries, so you don’t confuse them.

Red Wiggler (Eisenia fetida)

Red wiggler, also known as red worm or tiger worm, is a commonly used fishing worm. As a compost worm, it can easily be farmed and you can try to do it yourself (more about this in the following chapters).

Their name describes their behaviour well. When you put them on a hook, red wigglers will be very active and their motion will attract the fish.

These very resistant worms can withstand great temperature changes, and can stay alive in both cold and hot conditions. This is a great advantage if you are going on a multi-day fishing trip and have no good place to store them. When storing them, avoid direct sunlight and red wigglers will stay alive for a long time.

These common worms have a close relative, which goes under the scientific name Eisenia Andrei.

It is impossible to distinguish them by just looking, and when buying red wigglers, you can get both species. Eisenia Fetida is the more common, and also the less useful. It can release liquids that turn the fish away.

If you find the ones you like, keep buying those ...

There is a chance that every pack you buy will contain the same specie as the one you bought before.

European Nightcrawler (Eisenia Hortensis)

European nightcrawlers are another compost worm specie that is easily farmed. In a way, those are similar to red wigglers.

European nightcrawlers are very energetic on a hook, can survive temperature changes and need no special, refrigerated storage.

The main difference is that these are larger. Some anglers even use them in saltwater, and you would be surprised for how long they last on a hook. Because they can grow very large, you can choose the size you want, smaller or larger specimen, without cutting them.

Size is their biggest advantage over the red wiggler, because red wigglers are small.

If you ask the experienced angler what are his favourite fishing worms, there is a high chance that the answer will be European nightcrawler.

Canadian Nightcrawler (Lumbricus Terrestris)

Canadian nightcrawlers are extremely popular in North America.

This one is the largest on the list and if you can get the fresh ones, you will be very satisfied with their performance.

The downside is that Canadian nightcrawlers are sensitive to high temperatures and temperature changes, so they need to be refrigerated. That is fine for a day trip, but everything longer than that could potentially result in very calm and “sick” looking worms that do nothing on the hook.

These worms require specific conditions to live and reproduce, which means that you can’t easily grow them at home. That makes them more expensive than the previous two, because every time you wish to use them, you will have to buy them.

These will definitely catch a fish, although maybe not as good as red wigglers or European nightcrawlers, but if you live in North America, they may be the best ones for you.

African Nightcrawler (Eudrilus eugeniae)

The last specie on this list is African Nightcrawler.

Depending on your location, maybe you haven’t even seen one of those. These are very long, as the Canadian ones, but not as fat.

They have a bit more sensitive skin than all of the previously mentioned worms, and because of that, they can fall off the hook easier than other species.

Like red wigglers and European nightcrawlers, these are also compost worms. They can be farmed but in special conditions and you will hardly do it at home, especially in cold places.

African nightcrawlers can be used in freshwater only and their sensitivity is their biggest flaw.

Similar to Canadian nightcrawlers, they are sensitive on temperature changes, but the other way around. African ones are sensitive to low temperatures and if you put them in the fridge, they have no chance to survive. That is one of the reasons they are mostly used in warmer areas like parts of Australia.

Where Can you Find Worms in Nature?

Now you know where to buy worms for fishing, but where to find them in nature?

If you collect them outside, you won’t have to spend any money to get a fresh bait.

Earthworms are present almost everywhere in the soil, including your yard if you have one.

There are a few ways to get them, and one of the easiest ones is to go out at night after rain and use a flashlight to locate them.

They will be on the ground surface, and even crawl on concrete surfaces, such as edges of sidewalks and roads if those are near wet ground.

Earthworms like nightcrawlers need moisture to survive and when the ground is wet, they will easily dig themselves out and travel fast on wet ground. When its dry, they have to be under the surface to protect themselves from dryness.

Another possibility is to leave a piece of cardboard outside in your yard overnight, and they should crawl on top of it. When the sun comes out, simply collect them.

Third way to get worms from nature is dig them out of the ground.

Find a location near a river or stream and dig trough the wet soil. They will not be in a very wet mud, search for location that resemble wet ground after rain, not a swamp. Every place on ground that is protected from direct sunlight and dryness, such as under the leaves or fallen trees, is good to dig through.

How to Grow Worms for Fishing Bait at Home?

As already mentioned, you can grow compost worms at home ...

And the great feature about them is that they will help you get rid of food leftovers. It is very easy to set up a worm bin.

Start your worm growing adventure with European nightcrawlers as those are easiest to grow.

Buy the first specimens form a reputable source. You will need at least 200 worms to begin.

You can buy the worm bin, or you can make it yourself. You will need a plastic bin with punctured holes for air and drainage. The lid is also required.

Put beading inside, and the worms on top. They will dig trough it and mostly be out of sight.

Give them food three times a week. That food can be vegetable leftovers, like pieces of carrots or potato peels.

Worms will also produce great fertilizer for your garden if you have one. Remove it every few months to keep the worm bin clean and healthy.

Worms should be kept in “normal” temperature ranges. If you live somewhere where winters are very cold, put the worms inside during that period. The same goes for very sunny and hot locations. Otherwise, you can keep them outside, but make sure the bin is in shade.

Where to Buy Worms for Fishing - HomeMade

Where do you Store Your Fishing Worms (and Keep them Alive)?

Different worm species have different storage requirements. As mentioned above, some need to be refrigerated, while others prefer higher temperatures. Some species, like European nightcrawler, can withstand wide temperature ranges.

Ideal container for worms, when you are going fishing, is a Styrofoam box.

Styrofoam is a great insulator and can maintain the temperature for some time. If worms need to be refrigerated, and it is advisable to do so, use Styrofoam cooler.

Fill it with bedding, dirt and food leftovers. Place your worms inside and you are ready to go!

When you reach your destination, keep the box away from direct sunlight and place it in shade. If outside air temperatures are high, avoid keeping the box open for too long. Open it, take the worm and close immediately. They will be able to stay alive for a long time if properly taken care of.

This storage method is good for multi-day trips too.

If the worms start slowing down, it is a signal that living conditions are not suitable for them. Worms like that will not be the best bait, because they wont wiggle as much.

Will Fish Bite on Dead Worms?

This is a common question and some anglers were forced to try it out when their bait worms died in the middle of a fishing trip.

The answer is yes, fish will bite on dead worms, but they definitely prefer the live ones.

Even catfish, specie known for its love for smelly bait, prefers live ones ...

Besides, a dead worm will not wiggle and you will have to make additional effort to attract the fish.

Worms can be “barely” alive too, and that frequently happens when they are not stored correctly.

For example, bass is one of the fish species that really doesn’t like dead or half-dead worms. Besides, dead worms will shrink and become smaller and their bodies will easily break. Smaller fish will steal them from the hook and your fishing experience won’t be nearly as good as it would be with live ones.

“Very” dead worm, that has been dead for hours, or even a day or two, will be completely unusable as bait. If you have no choice, fish with a dead worm, but try to find one that died just now, not yesterday.

What Fish Can You Catch with Worms?

Worms are a great bait for numerous fish species. Of course, your success will depend on a fish and worm specie, location, bait presentation, and outside conditions like day/year time and weather.

Many of the common freshwater fish will gladly eat a worm, and they are mostly used to catch the following:

Carp – European nightcrawler
Panfish - Red Wiggler
Catfish – Red Wiggler
Striped and Rock Bass - Canadian nightcrawler, European nightcrawler
Walleye - Canadian nightcrawler, European nightcrawler
Trout – Canadian nightcrawler, European nightcrawler, Red Wiggler and other worms.
Crappie - Canadian nightcrawler, Red Wiggler
Bluegill – European nightcrawler (cut to pieces)
Yellow Perch – Canadian nightcrawler, European nightcrawler (cut to pieces)

When you fish for a targeted specie, you will use the appropriate fishing gear, and you should also use worms accordingly. Larger specimens, and larger species prefer a big fat worm, while smaller specimens of bigger species, together with smaller species in general, will prefer smaller ones.

Some fish, like Bluegill prefer worms cut to pieces. Make sure you know how to hook a worm and how to cut it to keep the worm alive. One worm can make a few good baits.


Worms are great and versatile baits used to catch all kinds of fish species.

There are different kinds of worms and all of them have certain advantages and disadvantages.

When choosing a worm consider where you want to fish, what is the temperature and can a worm survive it. Buy those that will be useful and lively on the hook.

Because they are so easy to grow, you can even try farming them yourself. Never again you will have to wonder where to buy worms for fishing.

And if you succeed, you can even earn a bit by selling those tasty and fresh baits to local anglers!

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us


I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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