These are the Best Worms for Fishing [Updated in 2024]

Best Worms for Fishing

Sometimes, keeping your fishing approach basic and simple leads to the best results. That of course includes your selection of baits.

Since the beginning of recreational fishing, one bait stood up among all the others, and for good reason. I’m talking about worms.

When choosing the best worms for fishing you should consider which species you are trying to catch and in what conditions. Choose among nightcrawlers, red wigglers, bloodworms, mealworms, waxworms, and even leeches! All of these bring incredible results!

No matter if you are getting worms for trout, bass, or any other species, the whole process of using them is quite similar and simple.

From beginners to fishing masters, everyone knows that these natural baits can really do the job well.

So, if you are in search of some highly effective worms, look no more! Here is a list of the best!



Get my FREE fishing e-book where you will find my PRO Tips!

Free Fishing Ebook

What Kind / Type of Worms Can Be Used for Fishing?

Live fishing worms can be divided into a few categories considering their species, size, use, and living conditions. A lot of them can be successfully used for fishing.

These are the best worm types for fishing (species will be listed in the following chapter)!


Some of the best worms for composting are used for fishing too. One of the most popular examples are European nightcrawler and red wigglers. This also means that you can quite easily grow them yourself instead of buying them. Many local anglers would probably be interested in your growing business too.


Waxworms, mealworms, and similar species are actually larvae. This means that they are in an early developing stage of various beetles. These creatures may easily end up in water and be a natural food source for some fish species. This is why they work great as fishing bait!


Leeches may seem like an unusual choice at first sight; however, they are gaining a lot of popularity around the world, especially in Europe. From bass to catfish, and even bluegill, leeches can land you a lot of fish, especially in ponds.


In this category, Canadian nightcrawler, sometimes also called American nightcrawler, is the most famous. These worms live deep in the soil, they are hard to farm, and reproduce much slower than composting species. However, their bait properties are incredible.

Best Worms for Fishing - Can be used

What are the Best Worms for Fishing? [And Why?]

Here are the best worms for fishing that will ensure excellent results and help you land a big one!

European nightcrawlers

European nightcrawlers, besides being among the best worms for composting, are also the best worms for fishing!

They are large, can easily be cut into sections, and work incredibly for larger fish species. Carp, walleye, trout, and bass love them! When it comes to their resilience on the hook, European nightcrawlers last quite a long time and are the best worms for carp.

Canadian nightcrawlers

These nightcrawlers look almost exactly like European nightcrawlers, with slight variations in color and size. They are also large, and what makes them great is their ability to withstand very cold temperatures. But that also means that this worm species is sensitive to warmth and needs to be refrigerated. Fish that love Canadian nightcrawlers are trout, crappie, walleye, and bass. Among worms for bass, this one is best. For smaller trout cut them into pieces, and for larger fish use them whole.


Leeches are available in various size ranges, from small to very big. Unlike nightcrawlers that can be cut into smaller pieces and survive, leeches are used whole, and size is chosen in accordance with fish size. Some leeches are really big and can be used for large fish. Walleyes, bass, and catfish are species that will gladly bite! Be careful when handling them and keep your fingers away from their head.


These worms are excellent for small fish due to their smaller size. Species like perch, trout, crappie, and bluegill are very attracted to them. You can even use them for ice fishing for trout or perch. These small cautious fish sometimes react better to mealworms or similar smaller baits than to large nightcrawlers.


Perch, crappie, chub, and many smaller freshwater species will gladly bite on waxworm. As a summer bait, these are not that effective, but they have incredible attraction properties in winter. Many anglers use them for ice fishing and these worms work amazingly! Even smaller carp and catfish occasionally bite on waxworms!


Butterworms are excellent for trout and small panfish species, and they are almost the same as waxworms. What makes them different is higher fat content which works wonders in colder waters, including for ice fishing.

Red wigglers

Red wigglers, also known as red worms for fishing, are among the top 3 fishing worms for many anglers!

Catfish, trout, and various panfish absolutely love them! Smaller size makes them great for small fish, and their incredible wiggly motion drives the fish crazy!


Bloodworms are loved by striped bass, perch, roach, and catfish! They come in various sizes and many anglers prefer bigger bloodworms to catch bigger fish. These worms work excellently in colder times of the year due to a very strong scent that can attract even the laziest fish.

African Nightcrawlers

And lastly, we have one more species of nightcrawlers for fishing. African nightcrawlers gained huge popularity in Australia. The biggest downside is their availability across Europe and America, which is very limited. Physical appearance is similar to European and Canadian in terms of length; however they are less fat. Thin skin makes them more sensitive than European and Canadian cousins, but their advantage is their ability to survive very hot conditions!

And if you are wondering where to buy worms from this list, the answer is bait stores! Many of these are widely available everywhere. Another option is buying larvae in exotic pet stores as those are used as food for exotic animals.

Short Tips and Tricks About Best Worms for Fishing

To make worm fishing even better, follow these 5 top tips!

TIP #1: Hooking the worm – whether you are using whole worm, multiple pieces, or just one piece of it, pierce it a few times to conceal the hook. Leave a part hanging, but not too long! Hook point should stick out but not too much.

TIP #2: Chumming with worms – fish like known baits, that’s a fact! So, chop a few worms and use for chumming alone or with other foods. To sink them and keep them in the area, use bait droppers.

TIP #3: Storing the worm – worms have to stay fresh and alive. Use Styrofoam containers with moist bedding that consists of soil and some food leftovers. Store away from sunlight and heat and close the lid when you take the worm out! That will ensure longevity of worms on a hook!

TIP #4: Trying artificial wormsartificial worms can work wonders, especially for bass. Just make sure to present them right. Avoid repetitive and steady motion, add some twitching and variations in speed!

TIP #5: Cutting the worm – even if you use the whole worm, cut off the tail tip to provoke more wiggling and release scent! Otherwise, use pieces of worm, starting with those separated from the tail section first!

Best Worms for Fishing - Best Bait


The best worms for fishing are the ones that are easily accessible to you and suitable for local fish species. There is no “one worm for everything” and you should choose it carefully.

Make sure to store them right and keep them fresh, alive, and well as long as possible. Half dead worms don’t wiggle as much and are less attractive to fish.

And one more tip: if the fish are a bit lazy, you can always add some artificial attractants and flavors to them to catch a fish, especially in winter and when fishing for carp!

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us


I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind 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 ...

Affiliate Disclaimer:

Slo-fishing is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. We also participates in eBay Partner Network, FishingBooker, ClickBank and Teespring affiliate programs. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.