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Catching Sand Worms


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Hi Fishoes

Been catching my live bait for a while, nippers, crabs, potty mullet, ytail, slimies , pippies etc. It’s a great way to get some fresh bait, increase your chance and involve the kids. Was down South West Rocks diving 2 weeks ago, in the arvos was watching locals pull out these sand worms using pippies as thumb bait and a stockings with some old fish. They made it look so easy. I had a go while on holidays with no luck, last week went down to Coniston beach for at least 3 hours with zip. Both my son and I can attract them out of the wash and even plant the thumb bait infront of them so they raise their heads but when we try to get a grip they retract to fast.

Anyone now what im doing wrong, help and hints would be much appreciated.

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Guest IFishSick.

It's a difficult art to master Veck but one that isn't too difficult once you learn the basics. I don't use a stocking but a laundry bag with the drawstring tied to a steel rod (so you can stick it in the sand when you go to the worm).

Fill it up with the freshest fish you have, either the guts and heads of your latest catch or just Pillies will do.

When you raise the worm make sure you don't run or jog to it, make as little movement in the sand as possible as they will feel you and either won't come up or just won't take the bait. Make sure your feet are spread apart and none of the wash is going over where the worm is.

Once you have them onto the Pippie slide your forefinger under their belly (trying not to touch it) and your thumb on the back of their head.

Slowly push your fingers deeper and when the worms back arches squeeze your fingers together making sure the worms body is locked in the crevace of your forefinger. Then just pull them out of the sand, making sure they come out straight so you don't break the worm and lose half your bait.

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Beach worming is an art that takes a while to get right. Stick at it man and before long you wil be pulling them out a metre long. My greatest advice is to forget it if there is any wind. You will just be wasting your time and it gets real frustrating. Obviously early mornings is the go at the moment. For your thumb bait use somthing that is real tough like squid, octopus or a pipi. Once the worm gets the slightest piece of food that is the end of him.

If you want to make things a little easier, try worming pliers (from any tackle store). The worms will not survive as long but it makes life easier.

Good luck


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Guest IFishSick.

We've had success from Dawn to Dusk for worms, just depends on what time the tide is low really. Pippi's are pretty good but i always go with the fish tail. Break it off so that there is just bone and give them that (the bone has a tiny bit of meat on it that doesn't come off).

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dont try and catch the worm by squeezing yourr fingers quickly

rather.. slowly..SLOWLY start to squuese them by the head (they think its the sand tightening around them and keep chewing at your hand bait), when you cant squeese no more (i.e your fingers are nearly snapping off) then lift them..

if you try "grabbing them" then you will miss them

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.......Anyone now what im doing wrong, help and hints would be much appreciated.......

Have pm'd you!



Hi Roberta

Thanks for the info, looking forward to going home and sharing the document with my son. Will let you now how we went.



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Hey Veck

I go beachworming at least once a week (on Sydney beaches) and always manage enough for a good whiting session. My tricks are:

1. Low tide is by far the best - they can be caught at mid or high tide but are much easier at low.

2. The less wind, the easier they are to catch. When it's really windy they'll barely poke their head out at all. I agree that this makes dawn or dusk the best times - but if the low is at 1pm then you're better off dealing with the wind.

3. The very best hand bait is five or six medium pilchards in a stocking. You can squish them and kick them around - all of which helps to release their strong fishy smell (I've also heard that supermarket bought kippers are just as good).

4. I don't use two baits - I've found that the pillies in the stocking work equally well as swish and hand baits.

5. When the worm grabs the stocking it's pincers will almost always get stuck, allowing you to actually draw the worm out a bit by pulling the bag away from the hole.

Other than that it is simply a question of practice - although watching someone who knows what they're doing and trying to imitate them really helps. Don't just focus on the way they grab the worm either - the way the hand-bait is presented to the worm and the way the fingers are slipped around its head are just as important as the actual grab.

If you live in the Eastern Suburbs then pm me and I'll take you with me the next time I go.

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