Fork/Shovel for Digging Lug

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Fork/Shovel for Digging Lug

Postby Teegerstk » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:15 pm

Well lads,
I'm after deciding to get up off my lazy arse and get back to digging bait again instead of succumbing to the simplicity of ringing up the local bait digger. I used to dig rag mostly, and I'll start to do so again but I was never successful at the lug.
I dug at Duncannon Beach using a shovel, and went for individual worm holes (is that the correct method?) but I ended up either not finding a worm or just cutting em in half. I gave up after that (lazy) and didn't think to use a fork or a different method.
My question is, what tool do you use and how do you go about digging the hole? I've watched videos on it before but I can't seem to get the hang of it. Stupid I know!
Thanks in advance
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Re: Fork/Shovel for Digging Lug

Postby shortcircuit » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:03 pm

I never dug lug myself, but I did watch a couple of fellas digging on Garryvoe strand the other evening and they seemed to know what they were doing.

They were using a big fork alright and as one fella dug with the fork, the other fella was picking the worms out of the dug up sand. I guess because they were using the fork they wouldn't be chopping the worms in half.

They were working in a big lug bed that was casts everywhere, so they weren't digging at individual holes. They just had a long trench that they dug.
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Re: Fork/Shovel for Digging Lug

Postby kieran » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:30 pm

The ideal implement is a short handled potato fork.
Failing that buy a standard (short handled) fork and take a lump hammer to the tines to flatten them a bit.

The best method is a trench. It depends on the water level how deep you must go, as the lug tend to lie up in the bottom of the U bend. The U bend lies between the squiggles at one end and a single hole at the other. Oddly that single hole will often contain a maddie or small white ragworm (not as often on west coast beaches).

On some beaches the worms will be barely more than a single fork deep. On others, it can be sheer murder. Two even three forks down.

Wear proper gloves. The sand will rip the s***e off your hands, unless you're a brickie! No fun fishing with cold and abraided hands later...

On very wet beaches, its often a good idea to dig a shallow trench to drain off the surface water. When you dig the real trench, it will not fill with water.
This will make spotting worms and tubes easier.

When you dig, drop the clods from waist high. They will fracture along the lines of the empty "tubes" left by the worms, which is also where the worms will be...
One digging and one watching is prefect - you would be amazed how hard they are to spot on your own. You will miss loads.

Damaged worms will spoil and kill whole ones. Keep them separate and use them quickly.

As you dig, follow the tubes down. The means digging at an angle, not straight down. This is key, especially on deeper beaches and/or when seeking black lug.
It means you can follow the tubes and hunt the worms rather than trusting to blind luck.

Blind luck can be very useful, mind! :mrgreen:

After you have dug the first line. dig a second beside it. Throw the sods up and let the fall / crack on the spoil from the first trench. You will find more worms this way.
Throw all the subsequent lines from your trench onto the same spoil "hills". Don't not try to fill in your last line in a trench. You will miss worms. The first tide will fill it...

A good dig will look like a square when you are finished. So pick an area with lots of big squiggle casts, fresh casts that have not slumped.

Hope this helps...

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Re: Fork/Shovel for Digging Lug

Postby Woulfec » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:39 pm

^^^This message is absolutely spot on great info.
Especially the digging at a right angle, you will find worms stay at a certain level (possibly a certain water level)

I use a three prong long handled spud fork. Each prong is about an inch wide.

This link is a podcast on digging bait. The channel has way more interesting interviews if you like this sort of thing.

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Re: Fork/Shovel for Digging Lug

Postby Rod Tips » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:18 pm

On Duncannon beach there are sausage sized blow hmm ug and patches with nice black lug. If you are close to water when digging a firk is a bit slow, and hole can fill with water too quickly resulting in missed worms. I dig with a spade if close to the water and I don't dig trenches, just one at a time. If the sand is dryish I will fork all day. Also, if digging blacks, I tend to dig around the cast diwn as far as I can, then I lift the entire cast/ burrow in one go, turn it over, gaurenteed no damage worms. Blacks available between timber steps to trail and the playground opposite SouthBeach holiday homes, but they can be hard to get once the tide goes out, best to be there as water recedes fir the blacks.Bonus small white rag and sandeel also if you're fortunate.I use a micro shovel/spade and a regular potato fork or something similar with flat tines.
Best of luck
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