How to Catch Live Leeches

Updated February 21, 2017

Leeches are black or brown coloured wormlike scavengers with a sucker on each end of their bodies. Some species of leeches can grow to over 10 inches in length. Commonly found in mucky bottom areas of freshwater lakes and ponds, aquatic leeches are eagerly preyed upon on by most species of game fish. Because leeches feed on decaying matter, catching live leeches is as simple as submerging a can baited with a few scraps of fresh meat into the water.

Drill a 1/4-inch hole, 2 inches from the top, in the side of a coffee can. Tie the end of a piece of twine through the hole.

Cut a piece of nylon stocking 3 inches larger than the diameter of the coffee can with a pair of scissors.

Bait the trap with fresh meat scraps. While any raw meat, such as chicken, pork or beef will work as bait, the leech's natural food is fish.

Stretch and secure the piece of nylon over the top of the can with a large rubber band. Cut two evenly spaced one-inch slots -- where the leeches will enter the trap -- in the nylon with the scissors.

Submerge the trap in the water along the shore in an area with a muddy bottom. Tie the trap off to a tree, stump or rock with the twine tied to the can. Pull up the trap daily to check for leeches.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Nylon stocking
  • Coffee can
  • Scissors
  • Bait
  • Large rubber band
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