How To Dig Lugworm?

A lugworm (also known as sandworm) is basically a massive-looking marine worm. Due to their large size, these worms are often used by fishermen as bait for fishing. However, before using them as bait, you will need to get a hold of them. You can do that by digging out the lugworms from their burrow.

If you are now wondering how to dig lugworms, you are at the right place. We have done some detailed research on the topic and found the easiest and most convenient way to dig lugworms. So, read along and find out the answer you are looking for. And while we are at it, you might as well get to know about some other lugworm facts. 

What Is Lugworm?

Scientific Name: Arenicola marina

Weight: 57g to 142g

Length: 23 cm (9 inches)

If you have ever gone to the beach during the low tide, you might have seen some coil-like figures in the sand. These are basically a sign of the lugworms. The mounds in the sand are most likely casts of the lugworms. Besides the mounds, you will find small holes. The hole is called the blow hole. 

However, no matter how common the coil-like mounds are, the actual lugworms are quite rare to be seen. They live under the sand. This habitat of lugworms is called a burrow. These worms can be seen only if someone digs them up. You can dig them out of the sand either for the sake of curiosity or use them as bait for fishing.

Types Of Lugworms

Around the British Isle, lugworms are quite common. These worms have two separate species. They are:

  • Blow lugworm (Arenicola marina
  • Black lugworm (Arenicola defodiens)

The mid and upper reaches of a beach are where you should go to look for the blow lugworms. Lucky enough for you, these species prefer to live in large colonies. Thus, they are quite easy to locate. Moreover, lugworms do not tend to burrow too deep into the sand, which makes it easier to dig them out.

The black lugworms, on the other hand, are only found near the low water mark of the beach. Unlike the blow lugworms, this species is quite harder to locate. Moreover, these worms tend to burrow deep into the sand, which makes it harder to dig them out. To successfully collect any black lugworms, you need to do more than digging. You need to use the bait pump.

Related: Wax Worms Vs Mealworms

How To Dig Lugworms?

Let us now come to the main point of this article. Lugworms are a great source of bait for fishing. In fact, these are often called the king of worm baits. Therefore, fishermen often roam around to find places to dig in search of lugworms.

How To Dig Lugworm?
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Let us now see how the digging is done.

Necessary Equipment

First, we are going to make a list of everything you will need while digging up lugworms. But don’t worry. It is not a long list. The list mainly consists of three items. They are:

  • Two buckets or tubs
  • A fork
  • Hand gloves

When it comes to equipment, you can see that lugworm digging does not need anything complicated. All you need for digging is a good fork. According to our research, a potato fork is the best choice for the job. As this is a fork with flat prongs, we can assume that this fork has a low chance of piercing the worms while digging.

The buckets or tubs are, obviously, for storing the lugworms. However, you might be wondering, why do I need two buckets?

Well, you need two buckets so that you can store the damaged and undamaged worms separately. Now, this might seem unnecessary. But be assured that this is really important. Because unless you put the damaged and undamaged worms separately, the juices from the damaged ones will leak and make your good worms die faster. 

Well, the purpose of your gloves is as usual. They will protect your hand: either from cold or blisters or both. However, when choosing gloves, be sure to choose a practical one. Because you will be required to work while wearing them. Thus, ensure that they are both sturdy enough to protect your hand and thin enough that you can easily handle the worms.

The Digging Process

There are two ways you can dig up lugworms. And we are going to talk about both of them.

  • Individual Digging for Lugworms

First, connect a cast to the blow hole. Continue digging from the blow hole to the cast. Don’t rush, but try to make the cut deeper with each attempt. Rushing will only end up damaging the lugworm. Stop digging when you are in the vicinity of the cast by a few inches. 

Now, it’s time for the final scoop. Push your fork as deep as you can behind the cast and lift the burrow. The lugworm should come out with it. After you are done, don’t forget to close the hole.

  • Trench Digging for Lugworms

With this technique, you can dig out several lugworms at the same time. So, be sure to find a location where the worm density is higher than usual. 

First, draw a long line keeping it parallel to the low water line. Now, work your fork halfway down the line and put the sand in the front to keep water from entering the trench. Once the hole is secured from water, keep on digging and widening it. 

Soon enough, the worms would appear, and you would be able to collect them. Remember to keep your buckets within reach. You wouldn’t want to waste too much time. You need to be swift, or the hole will fill up again. 

Final Words

Lugworms are excellent bait for fish. You can use these worms, either dead or alive. However, living baits are always way more effective to catch fish like striped bass. Therefore, no matter which technique you choose to employ, be careful while digging to ensure that the worms don’t get damaged by the fork you are using.

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