An Irish Anglers World

Bait Collecting

Ireland East & South East

Bait board
Relative to sea angling Irelands east and southeast coastline there are two main areas for bait collection, namely Dublin Bay and Wexford Harbour. Both of these venues have substantial Lugworm and Ragworm beds, and for those in the know soft back crab, peeler crab, razor clam, and snake whites, can also be gathered. The following text will only deal in detail with bait collecting areas south of the river Liffey. However on Dublin’s north side plenty of Ragworm can be dug either side of Clontarf Yacht Club, or also further on towards Howth at Sutton. Crab is available at both these venues, and Lugworm can be accessed at Baldoyle.

Sandymount and Merrion Strand


The prime area for digging Lugworm in Dublin is on the strand that runs from Sandymount/Ringsend southwards to Blackrock. Prime digging locations would be out off the Poolbeg Power Station (access from the east link road), in front of the Martello Tower on Strand Road Sandymount, and Merrion Strand (access at Seafort Terrace, Booterstown), southwards towards Blackrock Baths.


Depending on location the digging method can be trench style or targeting individual worms. Off the Poolbeg, due to the closeness of the worm casts, trench digging with a fork is the preferred option. Whereas on Merrion Strand with the worms of a larger size and the casts more spaced out, digging individually is a better bet. To cover both options travel with a fork and a spade.

When digging Lugworm, bring newspaper and have two buckets. One bucket for whole worms, and the other for any that might get cut and or broken. The blood from cut worms causes the whole worms to perish very quickly. Any cut worms should have their blood and innards squeezed out immediately. The flesh will remain firm. Stored in a cool place wrapped in newspaper they will last a few days. Whole worms should be transferred from bucket to newspaper, ideally straight after the dig is finished. Big black Lug are best stored wrapped individually in newspaper, again in a cool place.

Lug, Cockle, Clam

Seapoint Dun Laoghaire

Behind the West Pier in Dun Laoghaire is a small strand that only really strips on the bigger tides. At Crofton Terrace turn in towards the coal harbour, take an immediate left and head towards the Motor Yacht Club. Follow the road around to the wind surfing facility. The beach runs northwards along the railway line towards Seapoint Martello Tower. Digging individually is the method here, and the Lugworm are large. Well over a foot long and thicker than your thumb. On low spring tides, behind the West Pier, just up from the Motor Yacht Club, crab can be gathered.

Peeler Crab

Wicklow Town

Lugworm and Ragworm both can be collected at Wicklow. An understanding of how the tidal changes operate here is important for success though. High and low tide occur 40 minutes earlier in Wicklow Harbour than at Dublin. The bait digging areas are up the Vartry estuary, above the weir which is situated below the harbour bridge. The weir slows down the flow of water out of the estuary by two hours. So in principal, to dig bait at Wicklow, add two hours onto the time for low water Wicklow, and the beds will be uncovered. Ragworm is the principal target here, with the best area behind the old Veha factory. Again, bring newspaper to wrap the worms in after digging, along with some wrack gathered on location.

Above the railway bridge in the broadlough, occasionally a lugworm bed strips for about an hour. Waders are necessary to access the bed. The Lugworm are plentiful but not too big. Watch for the tidal turn as it comes in quickly here.

Rosslare Co. Wexford

Burrow shore Rosslare

North of Rosslare Strand along the Burrow shore beyond the Golf Club, and beside the bird watchers hut Lugworm are plentiful. Trench digging is the method here. The Lug are not big, but more than make up for the lack of size by their numbers. They also seem to stay fresher longer than their Dublin cousins. Digging here also throws up a fair amount of Clams which are a very good bait for Bass.

Cockle Strand

Cockle Strand, Bannow

Take the R733 from Wexford Town towards Wellingtonbridge. Turn sharp left after Wallaces Supervalu in Wellingtonbridge and drive out towards the Bannow Estuary. Leaving the estuary on your right take the first right signposted “cockle strand”. Follow the lane without turning off all the way to cockle strand. Lugworm and white rag are plentiful here.

For further information click on: Lugworm, a Versatile Bait.