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Best Types of Fishing Worms for Fishing

Best Types of Fishing Worms for Fishing

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Tried and true

If you’re a fishermen, chances are you’ve dealt with your fair share of different types of fishing worms. Worms have become an almost universal symbol for fishing in general. The legacy of the worm holds true to this day regardless of any high-tech lures or artificial baits that claim to one-up the natural appeal of the various types of fishing worms. Worms are a tried-and-true bait even when competing fishing supply brands try to flood the market with different baits and lofty claims of superiority.

How To Catch Fish With Worms Cover
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Finding the right types of fishing worms for your fish

Despite their popularity in general, just what types of fishing worms you may be dealing with may not be common knowledge to all fishermen, especially those who are just starting out. There are many hundreds of different species of worm, including types of fishing worms, but some are more common than others. We will take a look at the 7 main types of fishing worms used in this article. You may begin to differentiate them and their place in the fishing food chain after reading. Be sure to pay close attention.

The best types of fishing worms we will be looking at are:

Type of Fishing Worms to use to catch your fish

Let’s pull the tackle box out and get started! We’ll start with the nightcrawler, often considered the staple of all types of fishing worms.


Best to catch:

  • walleye
  • all variations of trout
  • crappies
  • bass

King of the best types of fishing worms the earthworm or night crawler

The definitive type of fishing worm

Nightcrawlers are perhaps the definitive of all types of fishing worms if you’re asking the average fishermen. Chances are that if you’re trying to picture a hook with a worm at the end of it, what you end up picturing will be a fat, juicy nightcrawler. Nightcrawlers are generally very large. They will usually have a color ranging from a muddy brown to a kind of dark gray.

Large and in charge

Nightcrawlers are definitely the go-to for fishermen looking to hook big gamefish. Their larger size makes them stand out amongst the waters and helps attract the attention of larger bass and other large and highly sought after fish for big game fishermen.

Very versatile

King of the best types of fishing worms the earthworm or night crawler can be broken up for smaller fish

Nightcrawlers can also be divided up and used in pieces. This is recommended for those who wish to use nightcrawlers when catching smaller fish, as the full nightcrawler sitting at the end of your hook may be too intimidating for a smaller fish. Don’t let their large size fool you into thinking that smaller fish aren’t attracted to them, though. Any fish will go after a nightcrawler if it’s small enough to fit into their mouths.

Flashy and splashy

Nightcrawlers have painstakingly carved their niche as the go-to attention-grabbing worm for all types of fishermen. This is not just because nightcrawlers are noticeably large. Nightcrawlers are known to exhibit a great deal of spasming when put on the end of a hook, which makes them stand out even more on the surface of the water. Fish of all varieties love nightcrawlers, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, catfish, trout, and walleye. Any fish will come running when they see a nightcrawler, and their size and characteristics guarantee they will be seen.


Best to catch:

  • trout
  • crappie
  • bluegill
  • perch
  • panfish

up close mealworms for fishing

Not really a worm

Ironically, mealworms aren’t actually worms. Mealworms, if we’re being completely accurate, are the larvae of a specific type of beetle known as the mealworm beetle. However, fish love them just the same, and the worm categorization fits them just fine, especially considering the name.

Small bait for small fish

Mealworms are very small. When you are out buying mealworms then you will generally get a fairly large amount. Mealworms are, of course, a great choice when you are planning to catch smaller fish due to their smaller size. Still, fish find them so tasty you might still end up hooking a larger gamefish even if it’s just one tiny little mealworm at the end of your line.

Some Types of Fishing Worms are Not just for fish

up close mealworms for fishing

Mealworms can also be found outside of the bait shop. They are used to feed many different types of household lizards. Mealworms also last a bit longer than some other worms once you’ve gotten them on the hook. This makes them an easy choice for some fishermen. You may prefer to get your mealworms at the pet shop if you are looking to get smaller specimens. The mealworms sold at fishing supply stores are generally the largest mealworms available.

Red Wigglers

Best to catch:

  • catfish
  • trout
  • crappie
  • panfish

Small Red worms or red wigglers are great for small fish fishing

Good for smaller fish

Red wigglers are known to be popular amongst those fishermen looking to hook trout and panfish. This is because red wrigglers are often smaller in size than some other worms.

Red and wiggly

The name “red wigglers” will make perfect sense to you if you’ve ever seen one. Red wigglers are very red and very wiggly. Red wigglers are very easy to spot for fish due to this fact.

Versatile bait

Red wigglers do come in all sizes despite generally being on the smaller side. If you are buying red wigglers you will be getting some larger, smaller, and a lot of relatively medium-sized specimens. This variety should be enough to bait any size of fish you encounter, including some larger bass. However, as stated, even the larger red wiggler can be smaller some other average earthworms. Red wigglers are most often used to catch smaller fish for this very reason. Red wigglers still might be a good choice if you are looking to go after many different types of fish.

Tough little worms

Red wigglers are also very hardy for their size. Red wigglers can stand up to extreme environmental conditions with no problem at all. They are similar to mealworms in this way. The hardiness exhibited by red wigglers when cast out on a line makes them a popular choice for many fishermen.

Find your own!

Finding your own red worms

Red wigglers are also some of the easiest worms to find when you’re just digging in the soil. This might be an interesting option if you are looking to save a few cents or would just like to go about things in the most old-fashioned way possible. You might even put your kids to work digging up worms for your next fishing trip! Checkout this video on how to find earthworms.


Red wigglers have an alternative use that makes them fairly easy to procure on the market outside of fishing supply shops. They are the key factor in what is known as “vermicomposting“. This process involves food scraps being collected and then fed to red wigglers that quickly turn it into compost.


Best to catch:

  • walleye
  • bass

Just watch out as leeches will suck your blood

A unique worm

Many people are actually surprised to find out the fact that leeches are a type of worm. However, it always makes perfect sense once you do realize this. After all, leeches are cylindrical, wriggly, and very slimy. What else could you look for in a worm?

An aquatic dietary staple

Leeches are popular amongst fishermen primarily because they are so popular amongst fish. Leeches are known to be a very common food-source for fish in the natural ecosystem. This makes them the perfect bait for blending in and catching fish.

Many sizes for many uses

Leeches are a great type of fishing worm to use for bass and walleye

You will find all variety of sizes of leeches when you go out looking. This makes the leech a fairly versatile worm to use for bait. Most often, however, you will find larger specimens that are perfect for catching larger bass, and even catfish and walleye.


Best to catch:

  • perch
  • panfish
  • crappie

Waxworms in a measuring cup

Another worm impostor

Waxworms are not worms but moth larvae. This is similar to the discrepancy with mealworms. Just the same as in that case, though, the name suits them. Waxworms tend to be one of the only worms available during ice-fishing season, as they are some of the most popular worms for the sport.

Keep waxworms in sawdust to keep them alive and keep them warm

A fish delicacy

Waxworms are fatty little morsels that can tempt any fish. Their high fat content makes waxworms a special treat for any fish you’re looking to catch, especially smaller ones. Fish will seek out a waxworm like your wife seeks out dark chocolate. Waxworms are often used to catch panfish, specifically.


Best to catch, mostly used in saltwater:

  • roach
  • bream
  • perch
  • spot
  • croaker
  • striped bass
  • catfish

Close up of a bloodworm great for fishing bettas guppies and gels

Big boys

Bloodworms come in a wide variety of sizes ranging from kind of small to absolutely gigantic. However, they are generally at least fairly large. Bloodworms are used a lot for catching larger fish because of this.

Bloodworms bite back

Box of bloodworms ready to go fishing with

Fishermen should be advised that bloodworms have teeth, so they may bite you when you’re trying to hook them on your line. Perch, winter flounder, porgys, and bass are just some of the fish that have a preference for the taste of bloodworms.


Best to catch:

  • trout
  • panfish

butterworms are great for fishing trout and panfish

Even more worm impostors

Butterworms are a lot like waxworms in that they are both larvae and they both look fairly similar. Fat content is one big difference between the two, though, which might make butterworms less appealing than waxworms to certain fish in certain situations. Still, butterworms are known to have a fruity odor that is appealing to many fish.

The healthy alternative to waxworms

Butterworms are more nutritious than waxworms, but this almost makes them worse for the situation when your goal is to lure fish in with the tastiest treat possible, Still, butterworms have their place, and are known to be good bait for catching the right kind of fish, especially trout.

Which Types of Fishing Worms will you choose?

There are all types of fishing worms for all types of situations. Whichever types of fishing worms you decide on will differ depending on what kind of fish you are looking to catch. Hopefully, the information in this article was able to offer you a comprehensive overview of various popular types of fishing worms so that you may be educated in figuring out which worm will be the best fit for your needs.

Recommended Reading

How to Catch Fish with Worms

Different Types of Fishing Rods and Their Uses

How To Choose The Right Fishing Reel

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