how to keep leeches alive for fishing

Most newbie anglers understand that leeches will come in handy when going for a fishing trip. What some of them don’t understand is this. For your leeches to give you the best catch, they should be alive when you tie them to your bait.

If the leeches are alive when you bait them, they will move underwater and as such, attract the fish to the bait. Fish love to prey on live worms. Dead bait may work. However, it takes fish quite some time to notice them.

Unfortunately, not every angler out there understands how to keep leeches alive for fishing. This is one of the most important tips for pier fishing.  So any angler, who wants to have a good time fishing out there, should learn how to keep their leeches alive.

In this post, I will give you some tricks on how to keep your leeches alive. Read along to find out what I have in store for you.

Keep Them in Clean Water

Leeches love clean water. Finding natural water is, therefore, very important for leeches. Good water for leeches is un-chlorinated water. Using chlorinated water is very deadly to the leeches and will kill all the leeches.

Store Leeches Individually

Apart from using clean water, it is best if you to keep leeches individually before you plan on using them as bait. As such, 250 ml of clean water will be best for a single leech. So create enough space to store your leeches individually.

If the space is tight, you can do two leeches for a single unit. More than two leeches for every container is not ideal as leeches may kill each other when stuffed together. It also becomes hard to breed healthy leeches.

Maintain Proper Feeding

Make sure that you feed your leeches properly. The best food for leeches is blood meal. You can find the best blood meal from fish bait stores. If not, find the best leech care websites and buy your leeches feeds from them.

Store Your Leeches Properly

Another trick of how to keep leeches alive for fishing is to store them in a proper way. Once your leeches have finished their meal, watch it for about one hour to make sure that they are finished. Then take your leeches and put them back in their storage containers.

Maintain the Right Temps

Right temperatures are the best for leeches. The best temperature for leeches is a temperature that remains below the 77 F mark. How can you guarantee the proper temperatures? It would help if you should store the storage container for the leeches in a cool place. The best is to put it inside a refrigerator.

Cover the top of the Storage Container

This is also very important. Covering the top of the container in which your leeches are stored is very important. However, make sure that the container has small perforations which allows the leeches to get enough air to circulate through but prevents the leeches out from coming out.

Keep Leeches Out of Direct Sunlight

Putting leeches under direct sunlight will harm them. That’s like exposing them to high temperatures. It can be fatal, and you might lose all your leeches before you get to the bait or your fishing line.

NOTE: Keeping a leech under the fridge is ideal. You don’t have to worry. Why is this so? A leech can easily survive for over a month from a single meal of blood. However, you shouldn’t store a leech for over a month in your container.

Frequently Asked Questions About Leeches

For a better understanding of leeches, here are some questions that you can go through. They are common questions and will be of help for most newbie anglers.

Where Can I Find Leeches?

Leeches exist almost everywhere around the worldwide. You can find them in just about any water body.  Ranging from small water bodies to vast reservoirs, you can always get leeches anywhere.

I have seen leeches around some small ponds in the park, rivers, streams, and lakes. You can even find some terrestrial leeches around the rain forests.

Can I Find Leeches During the Day?

Well, leeches are nocturnal creatures. As such, they will spend most their daylight hours in hibernation. However, if you are looking for leeches during the day, you will find them under submerged rocks and wooden logs. They are also found around aquatic vegetation and in floating pads of the lilies. The best time to nab leeches is also after heavy rainfall.

Can Leeches Make Great Fishing Baits?

Yes. Among the best live baits, leeches are among the park, they are easy to breed, and you can keep them alive for longer. Leeches are also attractive to the fish due to their wiggly movements. As such, fish will spot them easily under the water and jump onto them. If you are looking for great baits, I suggest going with leeches.

How Long Can Leeches Survive Under Water?

Leeches also live underwater. As such, they will comfortably live under water. This is the same reason why leeches are easy to use as live bait for anyone who loves fly fishing. But first, you must learn how to keep leeches alive for fishing.


Now that you know how to keep leeches alive for fishing, you will realize a better catch the next time you are out fishing. You will also understand that fishing becomes much more enjoyable as fish will identify your bait faster.

Most at times, the best thing to do is to ensure that you also understand the type of fish that is common to your area. It will help you to plan your fishing trip and to arm yourself with the right bait.

It is the common tip that most people who do sport fishing follow. This is especially true when you are fishing in new areas. Good luck with your next fishing trip.

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