Worms are the most commonly used bait for fishing. Guaranteed to catch almost anything that swims and has become an intrinsic part of our angling history. With that said why wouldnt you want to raise your own worms instead of paying $2 to $3 a dozen. The process is fairly simple and if your like myself and fish every chance you get, it just makes sense.
Although many varieties of worms exist, night crawlers are the most readily available. Reaching upwards of 9 inches in length, their large size and exceptional vigor make them an excellent choice for most angling situations. I often use the garden hose to spray down the yard and wait for night to come. You will find that the majority will lie on the grass or earth, the lower half of their body concealed in their “hole.” Others will be completely sprawled on the surface of the ground. After an overnight rain has fallen is also a good time . Night crawlers will often be stern about on sidewalks, roads, and driveway.
Now to making a worm bed. This is a rather simple process as you can use almost any type of container or buy a one made for that purpose but I find that the best type of container is made of wood. Make your bedding following these steps listed below.
Setting up your Worm Bed
1. Start the worm-bed by shredding 1-inch strips of newspaper, enough to fill the container.
2. Soak the shredded strips of newspapers with water. Squeeze out the excess water and fluff-up the wet newspaper. Place the fluffed-up wet newspaper into the container. The container should be one-half to three-fourths full.
3. In a well lighted area or outside on a sunny day empty the worms on top of the shredded newspaper (making sure the light or sun is shining down on the box). The worms will quickly go down into the bedding material because they don’t like the light. (If the area isn’t well lighted the worms won’t go down into the bedding and they might crawl out). Once they go into the bedding they will start making their new home in the bedding. Keep the bedding moist, but not wet, then;
4. Add a little soil over the bedding material. Worms need soil or sand to digest their food. Wait for about 7 days before adding other food to the worm bed. The worms need to become acclimated to their new environment for the first week.
What do you feed worms?
After one week you can start adding fruit or vegetable scraps of any kind. Peelings or rinds from apples, avocado skins and pits, banana peelings, berries, cantaloupe rinds, carrots, (worms don’t like citrus as much as other fruits), cucumbers, grapes, green beans, greens of any kind, lettuce leaves, melons and melon rinds, onions, pears, pineapple, potatoes, tomatoes, or, strawberries, etc.
They also like brown and green leaves, small amounts of grass clippings, straw, hay, yard trimmings, cow and horse manure, rabbit droppings, peat moss, and even sawdust, wood chips and mulch are great for Vermiculture.
The worm bed should never smell sour. If it smells sour then add calcium carbonate, crushed egg shells, dirt, sand, or more newspaper. Usually if the bed smells sour it’s too wet.
Worms love fruit and vegetable trimmings but their mouths are very small. Sometimes it is a good idea to put the worm food in a blender to liquefy it.
Things you should not feed worms
1. Do not feed the worms cat or dog poop because they eat meat products.
2. Do not feed them meat or dairy products. Meat and dairy products like milk, cheese, eggs whites or yokes will sour and attract rodents. Egg shells are fine to crush and feed to the worms.
3. Don’t Overfeed the Worms!
Collecting worms is a fun and money-saving hobby that is guaranteed to put a bend in the rod. With proper care, your investment can last all season long, and provide you with fresh and ample bait that has been hand picked — one worm at a time.