Catch Outdoors' Catawba Worm

Catch Outdoors' Catawba Worm
A Texas Tea aka Black Gold Catawba Worm.

A Catawba worm is one of the hornworm species. It is also known as the catalpa. It is the larval stage of a hawk moth, which has the scientific and binomial name of Ceratomia catalpa.

In the United States, it can be found in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest. They reside around catalpa trees.

For years on end in the angling world, these two- to three-inch caterpillars have been a much treasured live-bait.

Kelly Barefoot of Raleigh, North Carolina, who is the proprietor of Catch Outdoors BITE! and a much heralded lure designer, created his soft-plastic rendition of a Catawba worm in 2018. We asked him to send us one to work with and help us compose a Midwest Finesse gear guide about it. And straightaway he sent us several of them.


In the eyes of most Midwest finesse anglers, Barefoot’s king-sized version of the Catawba worm resembles an ornate stick-style bait. Others might say it is an odd combination of a creature-style bait and a stick-style bait.


Here is what we discovered about them.

Some of the first words anglers uttered upon seeing it are: “It is a wowie-zowie critter.”

According to our measurements, it is 4 7/16 inches long.

Barefoot’s Catawba Worm’s torso possesses a thorax and an abdomen, which consists of eleven segments. The sides of each segment are adorned with several minor ribs. The dorsal area is convex, and its epidermis is smooth. Its ventral is flat, and it is embellished with seven pairs of tiny pyramid-shaped appendages.


Its head possesses a bulbous shape. It is about a quarter of an inch long and five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about one inch. Its epidermis is smooth. The tip of its head is somewhat flat, and it is where a Midwest finesse angler will insert the hook and collar of a mushroom-style jig.

Its thorax consists of three segments.

The first segment, which is adjacent to the head, is five-sixteenths of an inch long and three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/8 of an inch. Its ventral area is emblazoned with the two pyramid-shaped appendages, which anatomists call forelegs.


The second segment is about five-sixteenths of an inch long and about five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/16 of an inch. Its ventral area possesses two pyramid-shaped appendages, which anatomists call midlegs.

The third segment is about seven-sixteenths of an inch long and about three eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches. Its ventral area has two pyramid-shaped appendages, which anatomists call hindlegs.

Its abdomen contains eight segments. (It should be noted that the abdomen of a real Catawba worm has ten segments.)

The first abdominal segment is about three-eighths of an inch long and three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/4 inches. Its ventral area is devoid of appendages, and its epidermis is smooth.

The second segment is about nine-sixteenths of an inch long and about three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/4 inches. Its ventral area is endowed with two pyramid-shaped appendages, which anatomists call abdominal prolegs.

The third segment is about nine-sixteenths of an inch long and about three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/4 inches. Its ventral area is graced with two pyramid-shaped appendages, which anatomists call abdominal prolegs.

The fourth segment is about nine-sixteenths of an inch long and about seven-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 3/8 inches. Its ventral area has two pyramid-shaped appendages, which anatomists call abdominal prolegs.

The fifth segment is about seven-sixteenths of an inch long and about seven-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/4 inches. Its ventral area is adorned two pyramid-shaped appendages, which anatomists call abdominal prolegs.

The sixth segment is about seven-sixteenths of an inch long and about seven-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 5/16 inches. The epidermis of its ventral area is smooth and devoid of appendances or prolegs.

The seventh segment is about five-sixteenths of an inch long and about seven-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/4 inches. The epidermis of its ventral area is smooth and devoid of appendances. Its dorsal area is embellished with a horn or tail spine that is about four-sixteenths of an inch long.

The eighth segment contains an abstract version of its anus, suranal plate, and anal proleg.

This hand-injected creation is manufactured in the following hues: Black, Bubblegum, Catawba Swirl, Green Pumpkin, Real Catawba, Texas Tea aka Black Gold, Watermelon Red, and White.

It is not impregnated with salt and scent.

A package of eight costs $5.49.

When Midwest finesse anglers affix the head of Barefoot’s Catawba Worm to a mushroom-style jig, they will employ it as if it is a traditional stick-style bait. Thus, all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves will be part of their presentation repertoire with this unique soft-plastic bait. Because some Midwest finesse anglers are inveterate customizers of soft-plastic baits, it is likely that they will customize this Catawba Worm a touch. For instance, when its head and thorax becomes too tattered and torn to stay firmly affixed to a mushroom-style jig, they will amputate this area and create a 3 1/2-inch or shorter Catawba Worm. In fact, some Midwest finesse anglers might eventually reduce it down to a 2 1/2- or three-inch version of Barefoot’s handiwork.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Catawba-Worm.jpg
A Catch Outdoors’ The Real Catawba Catawba Worm affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Lunker City Fishing’s Ned Head jig.

Endnotes

(1) Here is a link to Catch Outdoors website: https://www.catchoutdoors.com/.

(2) Here are two links that provide biographical information about Kelly Barefoot and the history of Catch Outdoors:

https://www.waltermagazine.com/people/landing-the-big-one-kelly-barefoot-lures-them-in/.

https://www.catchoutdoors.com/about.

(3) Here is a link to the Midwest Finesse column that explains how to employ the six retrieves that Midwest finesse anglers will use with Barefoot’s Catawba Worm: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.

(4) In an Aug. 5 email, Kelly Barefoot provided us with several interesting insights. When his Catawba Worm is rigged weightless and Texas-style on either a 2/0 or 3/0 hook, it will move about two feet back and forth in a Fluke-like manner when it is twitched. He said the Catawba Worm’s pyramid-shape feet help with the placement of those 2/0 and 3/0 hooks. What’s more, it possesses a weight-backward design, and when it is rigged weightless and Texas-style, it is easy to casts and anglers can without difficulty skip it under overhanging trees and docks.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Frigid Water Smallmouths

Frigid Water Smallmouths

Doug Stange swims jigs with precision for frigid-water smallmouths.

Select Lure Options for Giant Pike

Select Lure Options for Giant Pike

And handful of lure options produce big pike early in the season.

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

Trending Articles

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you can Other Fish

Must-Have Striped Bass Tackle

Rick Bach - May 04, 2017

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you...

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north or south, will help you pinpoint their predictable locations year after year. 

Walleyes spawn in spring, but spring may arrive in February in Mississippi, March in Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse

Marches of the Past

Ned Kehde - February 27, 2020

It is impregnated with a squid scent. Midwest Finesse

Keitech's Easy Shaker

Ned Kehde - April 03, 2020

It is impregnated with a squid scent.

Here is what we discovered about the RND Fat Worm. Midwest Finesse

Reins Fishing's RND Fat Worm

Ned Kehde - February 25, 2020

Here is what we discovered about the RND Fat Worm.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.