How to Breed Leeches for Fishing

Are you one among the fishing enthusiast? Want to catch more fish every time you go fishing? Use leeches, segmented worms belonging to the phylum Annelida, for your fish bait as they form attractive food for marine life, especially fish. There are various types of leeches, but most of them are blood suckers. Horse and ribbon leeches are the most excellent option for successful fishing.

Breeding your own healthy leeches for fishing is not only easy activity, but fun as well. It requires very basic fish breeding skills that you can easily conduct yourself with minor guidance.


  • 1

    Select Container

    Select a breeding tank or an aquarium for breeding leeches.  It is better to select a tank or aquarium with a cover or lid that thoroughly covers the top. You might not know, but leeches are known for their ability to elongate and thin themselves in order to escape.

  • 2

    Add Water to Container

    Decorate the bottom of the breeding tank or aquarium with some peat mosses and fill three-quarters of it with dechlorinated tap water or spring water.

  • 3

    Purchase Leeches

    Purchase healthy medical-grade leeches from your nearest fish bait shop or aquarium supply store. You can purchase leeches online as well. If you find both of the options uncomfortable or costly, you can search leeches in your nearest marshes, shady areas of ponds and lakes etc. Make sure that the leeches are middle-aged with sexual maturity. Otherwise you will have to keep them for around 2 years prior to breeding.

  • 4

    Add Leeches to Container

    Shift the leeches into the tank or aquarium. About a 10-gallon aquarium or tank is enough to keep up to 50 leeches.

  • 5

    Cover the Container

    Cover the breeding tank or aquarium by placing its lid at the top and place it in a room with a temperature below 77 °F. Make sure that the container doesn’t receive any direct sunlight.

  • 6

    Let the Leeches Enjoy

    Allow the leeches remain together the next one month.

  • 7

    Feed the Leeches

    Inspect the tank time to time and feed the leeches with blood meal, which are available in the fish bait stores. Otherwise, you can nourish them live water frogs, turtles, worms or insect larvae etc – depending on leeches’ breed.

  • 8

    Wait until the Leeches Lay Eggs

    Keep an eye on the activities of the leeches and wait until they lay the egg cocoons in the peat mosses on the bottom of the breeding tank or aquarium.  Leeches usually lay between 1 and 5 cocoons, housing between 3 and 30 eggs per cocoons. Now it totally depends on the leeches that how much time they store the sperm before the breeding period. You have to keep patience as they can take 1 to nine months.

  • 9

    It is Hatching Time!

    The hatching of the leeches’ eggs can take 3 to 5 weeks. The newborn leeches will be around 0.12 and 0.18 grams at the time of hatching. They will grow in size over the period of two years, before they are mature enough to be used in fishing.

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