Bloodworms are one of the most popular saltwater baits in the Mid Atlantic. In some areas, they are essential for catching spot, white perch, croaker, striped bass, catfish, and other species. For smaller fish such as spot and perch, bloodworms are usually cut into small pieces.
For striped bass and other large fish, bloodworms are usually fished whole or cut in half and fished on bottom rigs. Whole bloodworms can also be drifted along the bottom using a Carolina rig.
Good quality bloodworms are available fresh from saltwater tackle shops although they can be expensive and hard to obtain. Bloodworms should be kept cool and moist at all times. They are unappealing to some anglers because they bleed profusely when cut and are equipped with fierce looking teeth that can inflict bites.
Because of their value as an attractant, bloodworms are often combined with lures to enhance their performance. Fishermen sometimes tip Sabiki rigs or other small lures with tiny bits of bloodworm. These lures are jigged vertically to catch spot, pinfish, pigfish or other small fish for use as live baits. Bloodworms are also added to jigs to improve their scent.
When live bloodworms are unavailable, synthetic baits are a popular alternative. Unlike live bloodworms, packaged baits store well and have a long shelf life. Processed bloodworm baits take a variety of forms including bait strips and soft plastic worm bodies. Despite their artificial properties, anglers often report good success when using pre-packaged baits.