Beach worms can be found on many beaches in Australia, Victories, New South Wales and Queensland. There are several different types of beach worms found throughout these various regions including Stubbies/Stumpies, Slimies, Juvenile Beach Worms, King Beach Worms and Ugly Beach Worms. The pinkish worms are rather sensitive to their environment so there are a few beaches in the area that they do not call home.
The scientific name for the Beach worm is Australonuphis teres. They are also known as “Bungum Worms”. Known for their length, these worms can grow up to 8 feet long. Their width varies but they can be as wide as a human finger. Although their appearance and size are often a bit unsettling when they are sighted by beachgoers, the beach worm is quite harmless. The worm spends most of its lifecycle in pursuit of food.
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The worms spend a good deal of time under the sand. They are blind but it doesn’t really matter as they do not need sight to make their way around underground. They do have an excellent sense of smell which helps them find food and navigate through their environment.
Beach worms are excellent fishing bait. No one really knows why but they are effective in getting the attention of local fish. Known for their ability to get bream, whiting, tailor and other popular fish to hook, the beach worm is a popular source of local income. In fact, they are so effective in getting the job done that they are rather expensive. A single worm can cost a $4.00.
Beach worms live in varying beach conditions; however, there are ideal conditions to look for when looking to catch the worms. Soft sand makes it easier to catch beach worms and there are likely to be more of them present than hard sand or sand full of shells. This is because the worms spend their lives under the sand and must move through it to find food. Soft sand makes this process easier.
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Other ideal conditions for the beaches where it will be easiest to find these worms include flat beaches and those that are not heavily populated by human visitors. Once a beach is found that meets these criteria, the worms will be easiest to locate in overcast weather conditions with little to no wind present. Worm hunters will need to learn how to entice the worms to the surface and then catch them. This process can be tricky at first but the challenge of finding and catching beach worms can be mastered with practice.
To learn more about catching beach worms, the following videos might be useful – and entertaining too!