Lob worms are the large worms with the flat tail that are found in gardens.
Out of all the types of worm, this is the most natural to fish, as when it rains they get washed into the water via broken banks, fish like carp also nudge the mud around to dislodge the worm from the earth.
All coarse & game fish like lobworms and due to the size of worm they can attract the larger fish. A couple of lob worm on one hook will catch carp, if game fishing for salmon, a ball of these worm ( 6 or 7 of them) on a hook works very well.
They generally live above the soil surface in areas where decaying vegetation or organic materials have collected and it is this lifestyle that makes them so valuable. Lighter in colour and smaller than the lobworm, these make ideal bait for tech, perch, rudd and roach. Although all other coarse and game fish will happily eat them too.
Dendrobaena are tough and the most popular worm used for fishing, they are lively, wriggle like no other worm and survive in the coldest of waters for longer. Again all fish take these, but they are an ideal bait for carp when pole or float fishing. Trout also love these too.
Dendrobaena worms are very easy to keep, a well ventilated tub (air holes) on all sides. Just add grass and vegetation to the tub and freshen every few days. Keep out of direct sunlight, preferably in a shed or darkish place.
Lobworms are a little harder too keep, again a well ventilated tub is a must, top up with the earth where you found the worms. Change the earth every few days. Make sure the soil is PH neutral or they can can die pretty fast. You may also add damp newspaper to the mix.
When taking the worm for a fishing session, use a ventialated tub, but just use grass and moss. This toughens the worms skin, making them easier to handle and hook.
Feed Dendrobaena and Lobworms mashed potatoes and potato peelings. They will also eat leaves and vegetation.
The best place to keep compost worms, is on the compost!! So after your fishing session, just return them to the compost heap.
Tip:I start off by buying worms from the local fishing shop (all varieties) and then release them into the garden where the soil is vegetated (composting leaves and other dying vegetation). Worms kept in a tub are very hard to breed, so releasing into the natural conditions help them breed. I then take enough into storage to keep me topped up for a weeks or two fishing. Any left over I release back into the natural environment and dig for a fresher batch. The ones released have time to recover and breed – the cycle repeats itself so you always have fresh worms, and with them breeding in their natural environment you will save money buy ordering less in the future from the tackle shop.
However the main reason for there popularity amongst anglers is that the maggot (if the fish are feeding) is guaranteed to catch all known coarse fish, including the occasional pike! As well as some sea fish such as mullet and game fishing, mainly trout.
Maggots come in a variety sizes, the smaller ones are know as pinkies. Dyed maggots are also very popular, and colours include red, bronze and yellow. Maggots are bought by the pint (or ½ pint) so it’s well worth buying a variety of colours, although it worth separating these into different bait boxes, as its normally best to throw one colour in as loose feed, and use the other colour on the hook. Each day is different, but keeping the maggots in separate bait boxes keep your options open.
Hooking & Presenting the Maggot
The best way to hook a maggot is by gently pressing the body and its ‘beard’ will stick out, hook this part using a sharp small hook. If the maggot bursts discard it and use a fresh maggot. You may also hook the maggot through its tail end, hook it at the very end, again so it doesn’t burst. A popular method is called top & tail where you use two maggots on the same hook, using the two hooking methods described.
Drennan provide carp and silverfish maggot hooks. Spade end hooks are recommended, as the spade is less visible than an eyed hook.
For carp fishing, you can hook as many as you can on one hook, although the best method it to literally thread about 50 maggots onto fine line using a pin, so you basically have a line full of maggots. Then tie this onto a hair-rig, the maggots will pull tight and form a ball shape. This is irresistible to carp. Other techniques include super glue, and feeder fishing them.
The key to maggot fishing is to keep the bait fresh, and wriggling maggot is better than a static one. So change your bait when the maggot is looking dull.
A good trick is to breathe on the maggot before it goes into the cold water. Warming up the maggot just before it hits the water will send it into a wriggling frenzy!
The maggot is the larvae of the bluebottle, you could make you own maggot hatchery at home by using a dead chicken or sheeps heart to attract the flies, but these day its really much easier to purchase from your local shop, or go to your nearest maggot farm and buy by the bucket full!
If you ever run out of maggots, there are also maggot vending machines availalbe!! What ever next?