Black lugworm is an extremely popular sea fishing bait that are useful when fishing for a wide variety of different fish species.
The black lugworm is typically found on beaches and estuaries throughout the UK and can be dug using a lug pump, or more traditionally, using a garden fork.
They are commonly found near to the low water tide marks, often only visible in single casts (a cast is a small amount of sand pushed to the surface of the sand in a spiral shape).
The casts show individual black lugworm and can only generally be dug one at a time. The single casts mean that digging black lugworm is rather time intensive and is not a quick process, but this bait is such a good option for sea fishing that it is definitely worth the time to get this bait.
Storing Black Lug
Freezing Black Lug
When collecting black lug, you may find that the lug may be broken (or the fishing term is ‘blown’). These can be used immediately or frozen for fishing at a later date. It is important not to keep this bait with intact black lug as a damaged worm will tend to turn the rest of the worms bad and will ruin them for using as a quality fishing bait. Separate broken lug from whole lug into two different piles.
To prepare black lug for fishing at a later date, the following steps should be taken:
- Clean the black lug using a second bucket filled with sea water; try to remove any excess sand, grit and general dirt from them.
- Dry them using some kitchen towel thickness paper.
- Wrap them in newspaper, the newspaper will absorb any additional liquid.
- Place them in the freezer until they are frozen.
- Once they have been frozen, place them in groups into cling film and back into the freezer, usually making groups of 5 black lug at a time.
Refridgerating Black Lug
Black lug can be kept fresh for up to around a week or so as long as they are kept in salt water, stored in a refrigerator. The water should be changed every other day and only needs approximately 3mm of water to keep the lug hydrated. Make sure you check on their condition regularly, removing and freezing any black lug that look in bad condition, which could affect the other worm.
How to use Black Lug
Black lugworm is an extremely popular bait for cod fishing in the UK and is usually threaded onto the hook. This type of worm is tougher than lugworm so is easier to handle and they are generally longer so can be used as a single bait, rather than having to load up your hook with multiple as is typically required with blow lugworm.
A classic cod fishing technique is to use the black lug in a ‘cocktail bail’ in combination with a single squid body, whipped into one deliciously smelling and attractive meal for a hungry cod. The black lug is normally used in a pennel rig due to it’s size.
Optional method of preparation
Some anglers like to blanche the innards of the worm out prior to mounting them on their rig. If this is not done then the worm is often loose and soft when they defrost.
This method has it’s drawbacks though as blanching the worm releases blood, and therefore scent. We recommend freezing the worm as soon as you have collected it, do not blanche it and use it frozen with all of the juices still present for maximum smellyness!
Using a baiting needle
Many sea anglers prefer to use a baiting needle to rig up a lugworm onto their line. A baiting needle is a basic piece of tackle which uses a pointed end section on one side which you use to thread through the lugworm up on to the needle and then on to the hook. This ensures that a lugworm is presented well, maximising your chances of catching with a lugworm.
How to bait up
Check out the handy video below showing how to bait up ready for sea fishing.
Classification of two types of Lugworm – Black and Blow
The classification of lug worms was not officially recognised between blow lugworm (the smaller and more common variation) and black lug (the larger and less common type) until the mid 1990’s, although the earliest mention of there being two variations of lugworm appears to be by Gamble & Ashworth in 1898. Until the mid 1990’s, there was only officially a single type of lugworm, but a piece of research undertaken by the University of Wales in Swansea proved that there were indeed two different types of lugworm.
The extract below is taken from the original piece of research into lugworm which can be found here.