Do Tilapia Eat Earthworms?: How to Catch Tilapia

Tilapia is a popular fish: it is in the top five of the most-consumed seafood in the United States. Not many people know about this, but more than 100 species fall under the “tilapia” category.

Most of them live in ponds, rivers, dams, and lakes. Tilapia is a crucial species in the agriculture sector as it is relatively easy to breed and grow.

Quick answer

Tilapia love eating earthworms. If you like going to fish, you should consider taking worms as fishing bait.

If you have a garden (and like to spend time working on it), you must be familiar with earthworms. These creatures are essential to the health of your soil as they add nutrients that support plants’ growth, aerate the substrate, and contribute to making water and other elements more accessible to the roots of your green friends.

But are there other uses for earthworms? For instance, do tilapia eat Earthworms?

Keep reading to learn more about the role of these invertebrates in the fishing of tilapia!

What does Tilapia Eat?

Do Tilapia Eat Earthworms?

Tilapia are herbivore animals and don’t need much protein to survive. Of course, this reduces the cost of keeping them. In nature, tilapia are bottom-feeding fish, meaning they will consume contaminants or waste they find in the water and eat almost anything they come across in their habitat.

Most tilapia cultivars grow these fish in small bodies of water to maintain high water quality. Most commercial fish feeds on pellet food which contains soy-based proteins or fish meal.

Floating varieties are the best option because they remain on the surface and allow farmers to know how much they should give to their fish. However, they are expensive.

Some cultivars may add duckweed to their ponds to reduce the cost of raising tilapia and maintain their fish healthily. This food is rich in protein and vitamin C. But it might be an invasive plant and can have a devastating impact on the environment.

And here is where earthworms play a role: most tilapia in the wild eat worms. For this reason, farmers might offer them as supplemental food to increase the protein in their fish’s diet. The best type of earthworms to give tilapia is the small red species.

Raising Earthworms to Feed Tilapia

Do Tilapia Eat Earthworms?

If you like to fish, you must know about the importance of attractive baits. And most fish will fall for earthworms. However, they might be challenging to source and expensive to access. But what if you could grow your earthworms?

Many tilapia farmers raise small red earthworms because they are easy to care for and economical. There are other species of worms out there, so make sure you choose one suitable for the kind of fish you’d like to catch and for the time you have at your disposal. Luckily, growing worms isn’t as challenging as you may imagine.

To make your fish baits, you need a bucket or a plastic container to house the worms, potting soil, and a batch of starter live worms.

The amount will depend on how many earthworms you expect to use and how much space you have. We recommend you to keep the bucket or container outside: it might emit foul odors that aren’t pleasant!

Drill some holes in the top and bottom of the container for ventilation. Keep them small to prevent the worms from escaping.

Add a layer of shredded paper at the bottom of the pot and three to eight inches of potting soil on top. Dampen the potting mix and place your starter batch evenly.

Don’t forget to keep the temperatures above freezing, and don’t place the bucket under direct sunlight: it might burn your precious invertebrates!

Also, we recommend you replace the bedding material frequently and keep the soil moist. You should also add organic food, water, and biodegradable material to fatten your worms to attract fish without issues.

Do Tilapia Eat Earthworms?: The Bottom Line

Tilapia love eating earthworms. If you like going to fish, you should consider taking worms as fishing bait.

And there are more benefits to this. For instance, growing earthworms will create compost that will contribute to keeping your plants healthy and boosting their development.

Plus, it is not as challenging as many people think! Tilapia farmers harvest several kilograms of worms daily to provide their fish with enough nutrients, but you can do it small scale if you need to!

Related Article: Do Earthworms Eat Plant Roots?