Lobworms. Free fly-fishing-bait.


Fly-fishing-bait which costs nothing and is effective when fishing for tench, barbel and roach seems too good to be true. But it does exist. If you are a fisherman than you will almost certainly have heard of such a bait. It is, of course, the lobworm.

Lobworms are not the same as garden worms, though it is easy to confuse the two. To catch them you need to wait until it gets dark as this is when they come to the surface.

The best times to catch them are on damp, mild evenings when there is little or no wind. October through November and March through April are the most productive periods.

On such nights it is possible to collect hundreds of lobworms. They can be easily spotted on the surface of a lawn with the aid of a flashlight. On very wet evenings you will even find them emerging from spaces between paving stones.

Lobworms are not always used whole, sometimes they are cut into pieces the tail section being the most useful. When the entire worm is used the hook is passed through the 'collar'.

Lobworms are a good general fly-fishing-bait. Virtually every species will eat them at some time. They are used to best effect in coloured or clearing water. Perch and chub are very partial to them and willaccept them under any conditions. Tench and bream are slightly more reluctant, but if they are feeding well, will usually accept them, as will barbel. When fishing for roach lobtails approx 1.1/2 inch long are a good bet for autumn and winter fishing.

You can keep them for several months (usually in plastic buckets). A simple cheap way to store them is to fill a bucket with shredded newspaper that has been soaked in water. Pour the lobworms in and leave overnight. The healthy ones will ’worm’ their way down towards the bottom of the bucket whilst the unhealthy and damaged ones remain on the surface. These can be discarded.

Find a nice cool spot, in a garage or garden shed to store the bucket. Every now and then change the paper and add a little water to keep the top layer moist. The lobworms will eat the paper so you will not have to feed them.

Lobworms are a convenient and easy to use fly-fishing-bait but they do not like the heat so refrain from adding anything to the contents of the bucket. Some people add compost or teabags which as they decompose generate enough heat to kill the lobworms.

If you keep the lobworms correctly they will see you through the summer when it can be difficult to obtain fresh supplies due to the warm weather.

How To Use Lobworms

Pass the hook through the head-end of the lobworm. Use a large hook size 4 to 10. Lobworms make excellent bait and they are free!

Red Worms, Brandlings And Other Worms

Red worms and Brandlings are not as readily available as Lobworms. You cannot simply collect them from your garden. They can be found in compost heaps (red worms) and manure heaps (brandlings). If you live in the countryside you should have little difficulty in obtaining a plentiful supply from the local farms.

Another worm that inhabits compost heaps is the ’gilt tail’. It is a tiny worm with a red head and a yellow tail-tip. Unlike a maggot, it doesn’t wiggle, nevertheless it is very effective when fishing for grayling and trout.

You can use a size 10-16 hook for brandlings, red worms and gilt-tails. The exact size will depend on how large the worm is.

The type of worm you use for fly-fishing-bait is a matter of personal choice, you may be quite to use garden worms. But you you will probably have more success and catch more fish if you use those worms mentioned here.

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