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Sandworms, or Beach worms, are a spectacular bait for a wide range of surf, and estuary fish.

The worms generally live close to the low-tide mark on many sandy beaches around Australia, and can be caught with the assistance of some smelly bait, a pipi, and a bit of skill.

The technique generally involves:

  • Waving fish carcases around in the water as the wave creeps up the beach. A stocking, or fish-keeper bag are usually good choices to keep the fish in.
  • Watching for 'worm heads' to appear above the sand as the water washes back out to the ocean.

Once you find an appropriately sized worm head:

  • Stake your bag up above the worm to keep him interested.
  • Roughly straddle the worms location, and wave a pipi around to the sandward side of the worm to bring him up again.
  • Allow the worm to take a bite or two out of the pipi. They will usually come up out of the sand (perhaps up to a centimetre), grab hold, arch, then drop back down out of sight once the water disappears.
  • SLOWLY and gently, insert your thumb and index finger on a diagonal into the sand behind the worm. Gradually work forward, and slowly close, until you think you're within around 2-3mm of touching the worm.
  • Just as the worm starts to arch, SLOWLY close your fingers, and then drag him out of the sand.

Some tips that could help you catch the big ones:

  • Try a small bit of stocking wrapped around your pipi. Keeps the worm attached for a few more milliseconds.
  • Wear a large rubber thimble on your thumb - it'll help your grip.

A neat video by Queensland fishing gear manufacturer, Alvey, shows how it's done.

Broadband: http://www.alveyusa.com/video/beachworms2.html

Dialup: http://www.alveyusa.com/video/beachworms1.html

Whiting and Dart particularly love beach worms, though Bream, Flathead, Blackfish, Mulloway, and many other species will jump at the chance to grab a worm.

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