Jump to content

Fussy Forster Worms


Recommended Posts

Hi guys

I have been hitting the beach for some beach worms recently (giving the blackies a bit of a break) & was amazed when it took 1/2hr to even find some, then missed the first 10 or so that did raise their heads! Then I took the heads off as many again & only occasionally got a whole one - often got only the top 6"! Plus they were actually pulling me back into the sand, so I had to let go of the pliers & get my hand below the other hand, as I was rapidly going backwards! Then you are on the soft part & they usually break anyway!

I thought I must have lost the knack ..... gave it a rest for a week or two - tried again! Same story.

The pros have been plundering Seven Mile beach something chronic. It seems they supply Newcastle & Sydney (& probably further too!) The beach usually has stacks of them. It took 3/4hr to find some & then I only got 8 (more than enough for a fishing session for 2!) At least I got some, that time, tho!

Went down a couple of days ago with the brother (visiting from Collaroy) & even he had difficulty - we both got about 4 each - with him digging ditches, trying to get a better grip on the slippery little blighters! We fished One Mile with them, with lots of throw back bream & whiting & only 2 keepers.

They definitely seem intent on losing their heads rather than being pulled out - and this upsets me a bit. You pull the odd head, but when it becomes the norm, it is mystifying! Have I lost the knack??

Cam went down again yesterday morning & came back with none! Plenty came up, but they were too quick or he only got their head!

I gave it a go this morning & got the grand total of 1 & 1/4 worms!! They were very 'shy' - not really sticking their heads out very far. I like it when they are really hungry & they stick them out, pointing to the sky! There is also a lot of red weed in the water & this makes their bodies a bit softer, too. I lost count of the heads I pulled off, the ones I scared off & the ones that were just too darned quick! Must be getting slower in my old age! I was at it for about 2hrs & felt like a complete amateur! By missing so many, I then began to 'rush' them, causing even more misses!

I have no doubt that my brother & I shall go down to One Mile (about the only beach we haven't tried just now) & give it another go this afternoon!

Hoping for a better session next time



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been doing a fair bit of beachworming over the past couple of weeks and haven't had the same trouble locating the worms that you have Roberta, although I've been worming the Sydney and South Coast beaches. You may be right that the pros are having an impact on the stocks up your way.

I do agree, however, that once found they've been tricky to extract (trickier than usual that is) for some unknown reason. I also have ended up with alot of heads and, for the first time I can remember, mouths. Yup, the little suckers are dragging their heads down between my fingers leaving me with only their pincer array. Weird - I presume this will kill them as they no longer have a mouth.

However we have been able to take some really good hauls despite this problem - perhaps it is because we use fingers rather than pliers and this reduces the incidence of head loss. Also we've probably benefitted from their relative abundance - missing five in a row isn't so bad when there are 100 coming up to the bag.

I only wish we could have converted them into something better than shovelnose sharks, rays and salmon. Where have all the whiting gone!!!! Stupid cold current.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I know that pulling them out of thet fine north coast white sand can be a bit more difficult than our Sydney sand. Try without the pliers using your fingers. the worms stay live heaps longer. Band aids on your fingers can help too.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

..... I do agree, however, that once found they've been tricky to extract (trickier than usual that is) for some unknown reason. I also have ended up with alot of heads and, for the first time I can remember, mouths. Yup, the little suckers are dragging their heads down between my fingers leaving me with only their pincer array......

Hi Mondo

I am glad to hear you have noticed a difference too!! I just hope all the beaches haven't been 'seeded' with these worms on steroids!

Usually, once you get them below the neck, with pliers or hands, you have a decent chance of getting them up. These were backpedalling so fast! Plenty were coming up, but just so difficult to pull!

With the pliers, I usually only hold them as firmly as you need to for each worm - obviously the thicker the worm, the harder you keep the pliers closed! You have no choice with these ones!! You have to close them quick & hard to even be in with a chance - even the smaller worms.

Like you, I noticed the increased number of 'short heads' that were coming back to me, or, as you say, just the whiskers or mouth! Very sad.

I shall go down & try One Mile this pm & see how I go! Hopefully convert them into fish later tonight or Fri!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Worm become very tricky depending on wind condition. If the wind is turning towards a southly direction the sand on the beach starts to move and gets softer. If you have spent long hours on beaches you can feel the difference yourself. Worms do not like this.

It also depends on the type of worm. Most worms I have seen on Sydney and south coast beaches are the short fat harder bodied type that tend to live a bit higher up the tide mark.

Further north you start to get a higher population of the long slimey worms that are softer and easier to break the head off.

I do not know what type of finger bait you use but I always use pippies when the worming gets tough. Also when they get like this they tend not to want to arch up. You can try to overcome this by slowly increasing the pressure of your finger not making a grab but it takes practice.

Good Luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi guys

Yay! I can hold my head up high again! Thought I may have lost the knack - just have to persevere & not rush them! Went down yesterday afternoon to One Mile to try for worms again (tide was only 1/2 out, as against nearly fully out when I tried each time before) and managed to get my first worm almost immediately!! The next few were difficult again, compounded by the hundreds of blue bottles being blown in on the north easterly wind! I managed to step past them & wasn't stung when they were swept up the beach - I have nice long nylon pants that I wear when worming!

Then, I got the 'feel' back & I was on my way! Still ended up with a few more heads than I would have hoped - missed a few 'sitters' that I should have got - but very happy overall! Most were great worms - no rubbishy 'gut' bits, just nice firm, solid worms. Two were slimey's, the rest nice firm 'pink head' worms.

I must have caught about 12 worms all up - more than enough for the 3 (perhaps 4) of us to have a good fish with! I always 'de-slime' them, then roll them in cool, dry sand & store them in a plastic bag. The I pour another cup of dry cool sand over them & give them a little shake. They actually like being cramped, I reckon!

I went down to the breakwall today for the last of the run out, to see if a jewie would take the worms (like last year) but it didn't happen - put on a smaller hook & got into some slimeys instead!

If anyone comes up this way & wants to have a go at worming, weather etc permitting, give me a yell & we should be able to get into it! It really is as much fun as the fishing.



PS Davo - unfortunately, arthritis prevents me from using my fingers - plus the fact that I'd be there all day & night for one or two worms!! Even my brother has to resort to pliers up here now!

I do like the idea of the plaster on the fingers to give a better grip, tho and mentioned it to him!

The odd thing is that the worms are behaving in a totally different manner than ever before or at least over the last 5 years that I have been pulling them here. The one thing that makes you a better wormer is noticing the finer details of their behaviour. They are 'shy' at different times & just won't lift their heads up at all, or they come out aggressively & reach up for the pippie. I still had the pliers around their heads before they arched, & on occassion they were still too quick. They are pulling away much stronger & where I used to take a head off once or twice a session, it has been every other worm for the last month!

I had a tug of war with one yesterday - I had about 4" out of the sand & this time, instead of just breaking

off, we had a stalemate for about 20-30 secs whilst I hung on, pulling really hard, hoping a big wave didn't come & thump me! Finally, he gave in & I got him all out. I really expected that one to break off!

Very interesting to hear Dan say that even pulling by hand had the same increase in heads being pulled off. My buddy over the road is a top wormer (almost does it with both hands at once) so will see how he goes next time he tries - he's been away for a month! I find I have to use even more pressure than ever to prevent the heads slipping thru the pliers, even! And they have a good set of teeth on them (the pliers!)

Kingpin, this really is more than just the wind. Very hard to explain, till it happens to you ....... 4 times in a row!

Edited by Roberta
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...