Catching sand worms to use as fishing bait is both fun and frustrating at the same time. It needs patience and practice to develop the skill. But a successful catch makes the effort worthwhile since freshly caught live sand worms are one of the best baits to use particularly for the novice or young angler.
Now let me explain why one would attempt to catch sand worms when it can be so frustrating. Here are the reasons:
• Worms are easy to bait on the hook.
• Fresh bait always catches more fish.
• Worms are great for surf fishing because they stays on hook even in rough condition.
• They are good bait for fish that kids love to catch whiting, dart, or bream.
Now it is time to list what you need.
1. Smelly burley; (This could be old ham or fish bones);
2. Net bag, sharp stick about.5 metre, metre of cord or light rope;
3. A small piece of a Pipi (shellfish) or ham as bait for the worm and
4. A bait box around your waist.
The burley is placed in the string bag; the rope ties the opening of the bag up while the other end is attached to the sharp stick. (The net bag allows the water to flow over the burley giving off its smell to attract the worm to the surface of the sand).
To catch sand worms you need:
• Outgoing tide nearing low tide;
• A flat, quiet beach, with a long shallow run-in and run-out.
Once you find an appropriate spot, swirl your burley bag, back and forth in the water, as the water comes in and recedes; moving in and out with the water. As the water recedes, look for:
• Arrowhead or V formation in the water as the water recedes;
• Lots of little fingers/hairs arched above the sand at the arrowhead.
Once you spot the worm, this is what you do:
• Place the pointed stick deep in the sand above the V formation so that it allows the burley to continue to attract the worm.
• Move carefully to the side of the V formation.
• Put your piece of pipi just beach side of the V formation.
• Watch for the arching of the back by the worm as it grabs your piece of pipi.
• Keep the pipi still.
• Then, slip your finger and thumb of your other hand slowly into sand around the worm without touching it;
• Then, squeeze slowly.
• Hold the worm firmly until it has arched it back and relaxed.
• Then pull the worm vertically, but slowly, to prevent breakage.
• You may need to hold still when the worm pulls downwards a second time until it relaxes.
• Now, place the worm in some dry sand in your bait box.
Once you have enough for your requirements, you need to put the worms you intend to use as bait in dry sand and then clean off the sand to make them ready to use.
If you need to preserve the worms for later use, again wrap them in dry sand; clean off the sand. Do this until the worms are dry. Then pack them in a container with new dry sand and store in cool place. They will usually be alive for the next day. Remember live worms are the best bait.