Do Bass Eat Worms? (Which Worm Type Makes the Best Bait?)

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If you’re one of many people or fishermen wondering what lures to use when bass fishing, then this post is for you. Let’s unravel the mysteries behind this question.

The answer is yes, earthworm, mealworm, and other types of worms (including plastic worm lures) are eaten by bass. Small forage fish, such as bluegills, can also be used as lure to catch bass and should be between 5 and 7 inches long.

Because worms don’t fall into the water very often, (usually when it rains) this isn’t a widely known food source for this fish species and their feeding habits.

With the help of rubber worm bait, you can still also catch bass in the wild.

Compared to square plastic pieces, worm-shaped plastic bait is many times more effective to lure bass as it mimics the look and feel of a real life worm.

This type of food can be used in the water, even though they haven’t been used to eating it. The look and movement of these artificial lures is still attractive to bass.

In this post, we’ll take you through some frequently asked questions, including what categories and worm types make good bass bait, tips, a solid lure strategy and the reasons why. Let’s go!

Are Worms Good Bait for Bass?

Bass generally prefer to eat food that is alive.

But when they see something of a similar size and look moving, they will instinctively react.

It is possible to catch a wide array of fish using worms, including bass (and the different kinds including striped bass in the Atlantic and large lunker bass) and trout.

Whether the worm is freshwater or saltwater, large or small, most fish are likely to eat it.

Do bass eat worms

Do Bass Eat Plastic Worms?

Yes, because of its shape and action, the simple plastic worm can be a highly effective bass-catching tool because of its condition and activity.

However, anglers tend to overlook this because some work better than others to imitate an actual worm.

Or perhaps because they’ve got their set up and strategy wrong.

Why do Bass Eat Plastic Worms?

Bass bite on plastic worms because they look like their natural food. And if they’re hungry, they aren’t as picky as us humans.

Their logic is simple.

I’m a bass. I eat worms. And that looks like a worm.

If you manage to complete this mind-trick over bass, then you’ll catch your fish in question.

Is Bass Fishing with Live Worms a Good Strategy?

Fishing with live bait is undoubtedly the most successful method for catching bass and the vast majority of freshwater fish.

Some ardent bass fisherman believe that using live baits is unethical and that “real (fisher)men” do not do so.

They also think that this is a form of “cheating.”

On the flip side, the opposite is true. Many fishers believe that a more legit method of fishing is to use real worms as lure.

It comes down to personal preference.

Types of Worms to Catch Bass

You can catch bass with a few different types of worms.

Below are the following worms and earthworms you can use on your next fishing trip and we’ll explain whether they are a good bait to use:

Red wigglers

Red worms can move almost as fast as nightcrawlers but they’re not quite as big.

This is why anglers and worm farmers often call them “red wigglers” (and obviously because of their reddish color)

These worms can generally also stay alive longer than their nightcrawler relatives.

Redworms don’t grow as long or as big most of the time, though, so they are more useful when dangled in front of smallmouth bass.

Night Crawlers

As their name suggests, nightcrawlers are generally seen at night, especially after rain.

These worms are particularly sensitive to light so they will dig holes in the ground during the day.

Another vital thing to know about nightcrawlers is that bass will eat them most of the time.

This is the kind of worm you should use to catch large mouth bass.

The reason being, its large size and how it moves on its own will attract the more big species, if that’s what you are after.

Want to know the difference between red worms and nightcrawlers? < Our guide here explains in more depth.


Mealworms are not worms, even though their name refers to them as such.

They are the larvae of beetles, but they move and look like worms even though they are beetle larvae.


The great news is that the bass will not distinguish between the two and may even be more attracted to the mealworms’ bright, yellow exterior.

Mealworms are an excellent choice for baits, mainly when targeting smallmouth bass species.

They are quite small compared to earthworms, often measuring under an inch so hooking this worm is a little more fiddly.

Stick Worms

Moving on to artificial, plastic bait.

The angler can use it using various techniques including the most common weightless method (where no weight is added to your hook as it’s unnecessary in this case)

When fishing with stick worms, the fall rate through the water is fairly slow, and all the while the stick worms wiggling tail will do a great job attracting bites from bass.

Targeting bass along ledges and edges of cover, where they are likely to be looking up and scanning the area for prey, should be your goal when using this worm style.

Speed Worms

Speed Worms are a product that have tails that hook on to the fish upon their bite.

Fishing with a weighted Texas or Carolina rig and speed worms is a popular option.

These worms look and move in a manner that is similar to that of swimbaits.

They are segmented, look like worms and some products even cause noise and water disturbance for maximum attraction of fish.

Finned Worm Eels

This worm or eel is the perfect bait for fishing anything off the bottom of the water bed with a drop shot. Your chances of catching bottom-dwelling fish like catfish also increase.

These artificial worms have a lot of movement and require minimal rod action.

Straight Tail Worms

This bait is has a thicker head with a tapered tail. They are a versatile option when fishing in most waters.

Straight Tail Worms

This type of lure also creates a swimming motion as they go down. Some products you’ll find with a dose of added salt which helps attract and keep fish hooked.

Do Largemouth Bass Eat Worms?

Yes, Largemouth Bass do eat worms, but they don’t do it very often.

Not because bass wouldn’t eat them if they could, but because they aren’t usually around their places of natural habitat.

In light conditions, worms almost never appear in a pond, great lakes or rivers. In rainy conditions though, they may get washed in, and bass are only too happy to eat them.

Largemouth bass absolutely do eat worms, though.

One of the most widespread kinds of live animal bait for large mouth bass is the nightcrawler.

It gets a lot of action and can catch some big bass.


Food like worms, that are alive is, of course, preferred by bass.

Mealworms and other larvae that live in the soil can be fed to bass and are often used as lures.

For this fish species, worms are not commonly known as a food source because they only ever tumble into the water so rarely, rather than live there naturally.

Bass can also still be captured in the wild using rubber worm bait.

Though a live worm will generally have more chance to capture more fish than a dead one, hands down.

Plastic worms are still highly efficient bass fishing tools because of their shape and movement.

The most effective method of catching bass and the large majority of freshwater fish is to use live baits when fishing.

Several types of worms work well for catching bass.

Bass fish don’t regularly consume worms as part of their diet for the most part.

Worms are a common food source for largemouth bass. For large mouth bass, nightcrawlers are a popular live bait.

It has a lot of action and also catches some large bass.

NOTE: Bass are too large to fit in most ponds and are generally found in open water.

As a direct result of their feeding habits and increased appetite for smaller fish, they are not suitable for aquariums or fish ponds of any kind.

To better observe or aid the growth of largemouth bass, you can use various feeding methods in ponds and lakes.

Other options, besides worms for fish bait are to hook fish eggs to your rod, but this can be a more difficult way to catch prey if you’re not experienced.

We hope you’ve enjoyed and learned a few things in this lesson.

If you wanted to grow your own bait, you may also be interested in our guide about Raising Worms For Fishing