How to Catch Bass with a Leech Lure

Leeches are an excellent live bait for catching largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and Florida bass.

The best season to fish leeches is the summer season when they tend to die off.


Leeches are found in every lake in North America, other than man-made lakes unless they have been seeded to the lake. They’re a popular bait in North American bait shops, although they can be caught easily enough by using a tin can with fish heads and slits in the top.


Avoid using horse leeches. They’re not effective bait.

  • Use ribbon leeches for best results

Don’t be surprised if you end up catching other less welcomed fish like sunfish.

Facts about Leeches

Keeping leeches alive is easy.

When finished fishing place them in the fridge at 55 to 60 degrees. The container should have grass inside and they should be taken out once a week and have they container cleaned.

Jaw or no Jaw

Jawless leeches have a muscular proboscis puncturing organ in a retractable sheath. Those leeches with a jaw use teeth to bite into their host. The jaw has hundreds of tiny very sharp teeth.


It’s a misconception that all leeches suck blood from live hosts when 90 percent of leech species feed off decomposing matter.

Leech Habitat

Leeches can be found on land, in freshwater as well as saltwater. Leeches attach to their host only detaching once they are full. The leech releases an anesthetic to prevent the host from detecting its presence.


Leech Removal

If you manage to get a leech stuck on you, there are a few methods to remove the leech. One of the most common methods is to apply salt, flame or soap to the leech. However, while this will get the leech to immediately drop off, it’s not recommended as it often causes the leech to vomit and this can increase the risk of infection and disease.


The recommended method of removal is to break the seal by using a fingernail, tweezers or a blunt object.


The other option is to let it finish feeding, which can take 20 minutes and at that point it will just drop off. Once it falls off, use soap and water to clean the wound.


Bleeding can occur for a long time after removal due to the anti clotting agent released by the leech.