How to Fish With Sandworms

How to Fish With Sandworms

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Sandworms are often used as bait for bass, flounder, striper, fluke and weakfish. Use live sandworms to present action on your hook. Sandworms, which can be purchased at most live bait shops, refer to nearly any of the numerous species of annelids of the genus Sabellaria. The segmented worm, living near the the surface of the water within protected ocean inlets, burrows in mud or sand. Similar to an earthworm, it is one of the most common animals used for bait along the eastern coast. Fish with sandworms in spring or summer for best results.

Items you will need

  • Midsize hook (2/0 or 3/0)

  • Sinker

  • Fishing line

  • Fishing rod (medium to heavy)

  • Sandworm

  • Depth finder (optional for boaters)

Step 1

Prepare your line by adding a hook and sinker. For boaters, use a sinker heavy enough to hold your line vertically while you are drifting. Sinkers needed should be 4, 5, 6, or 8 oz., according to Great Kills Bait and Tackle online. These weights should keep the sandworm three feet from the bottom.

Step 2

Thread a sandworm through a fish hook by inserting the hook into one end of the worm and sliding it through until the hook exits the other end of the worm. Depending upon how large the sandworm is, you may need to thread two or three sandworms onto each hook to cover it completely. You do not want any part of the hook exposed.

Step 3

Thread an extra sandworm onto the hook, one more than is necessary, to allow a portion of the worm to dangle. The dangling worm will sway and quiver appealingly in the water.

Step 4

Hold your drag line light when you cast the line. Boaters should drift along the water's edge while casting. Schools of fish often gather along slopes and flat, sandy bottoms.

Step 5

Float the sandworms three feet from the bottom in order to attract the fish and receive more hits. If you are not receiving any hits, lower the worm and float closer to the bottom.

Step 6

Set the hook immediately, as soon as you feel the fish bite onto the sandworm.


  • Obtain all appropriate legal fishing licenses before fishing with sandworms in your area.
  • Some areas require permits for digging live sandworms. Check with your local game and fish office before digging.


  • Fishermen can also use the alternate technique of using one sandworm per hook and hooking it through the head.
  • Artificial sandworms can be purchased at various bait shops. Artificial baits are a positive alternative for those who feel skittish using live worms.
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