Fishing can be frustrating! You might end up spending hours setting up your rig and waiting for a catch, only to end up empty-handed! Using the right bait can be a lifesaver. Among others, nightcrawlers are amongst the best worms to bring on your next fishing trip!
If you want to use nightcrawlers, you do not have to buy them every time! Instead, you can set up a mini farm in your backyard! This way, you will not only be making the most out of kitchen scraps, but you can also easily access the worms that you need as baits.
Interested in learning how to raise nightcrawlers for fishing? We got your back! Read on and learn from some of the valuable insights we’ll be sharing in this short article.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Nightcrawler Worm Bed
To raise nightcrawlers as bait for fishing, you need to create a worm or compost bed. This is where the worms will grow. This is also where you will feed them. Here is a quick guide on how you can do it like a pro:
1. Choose a Wooden Crate or Plastic Bin
Especially if you are starting your small worm farm indoors, pick a container that you can use as the worm bed. Clean the bin and drill holes. Flip it to drill holes on the bottom part. Drill 3/8-inch holes spaced at four inches. This will serve as the drainage holes. Meanwhile, on the side, use a 1/8-inch bit to drill ventilation holes.
2. Fill the Worm Bed with Paper
Now that the worm bed is ready with holes, the next thing to do is to fill it with shredded paper. This will be the preliminary bedding. First, tear the newspaper or any other paper into tiny strips. Soak the papers in a bucket with water. Remove a handful of the papers, squeeze, and spread at the bottom of the worm bed. Continue adding paper until its height is about a few inches.
3. Add Potting Soil
After arranging the preliminary bedding, it’s time to add the potting soil. Add three to eight inches of your choice of potting soil. The amount of soil needed will depend on the size of the worm bed. Choose a well-balanced and organic soil mix to make sure that the nightcrawlers will thrive.
4. Adds Natural Fertilizers
Once the soil is in place, you should add natural fertilizers. They will help supply the minerals needed to create a healthy environment where worms can grow. Some of the best things that you can add in the worm bed are food scraps, especially fruits and vegetables. Chicken coop and grass manure are also great. Do not add anything oily or with dairy as this can cause a rancid smell in your worm bed.
5. Put the Worms in the Bin
Everything should be ready at this point, so it is time to add the most important – the nightcrawlers. The number of worms to add will depend on the size of the container or worm bed. Avoid over-crowding. A good practice is to place two-dozen worms for every square-foot space available in the bin. Once you have placed the worms, leave them on their own, and watch them grow.
Care and Maintenance of the Worm Bed
It is not enough that you know how to create a worm bed. The latter is just the start of a lengthy process of raising nightcrawlers. Here are some things to do to make sure that the worms will survive:
- Check the temperature and maintain the ideal condition to ensure the growth of the worms. Ideally, the temperature should be anywhere from 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining the right temperature might require the need to move the worm bed indoors or outdoors.
- Feed the worms and nourish the soil by adding compost materials. This isn’t one thing that you will need to do daily. A good practice is to add compost material every four days. More importantly, you should know the right materials that can yield the best benefits. Eggshells, coffee grounds, and banana peels are some of the best options.
- Replace the soil periodically. Do this at least once every few months. Scoop out the soil and replace it with a new one. Similar to what you have initially used, see to it that the soil is well-balanced and that it can supply the nutrients that worms will need. The used soil from the worm bed, on the other hand, can still be used in the garden, so it does not have to go to waste.
- Pay attention to where you will be placing the worm bed. If it is indoors, choose a place with shade. Ideally, it should be protected from the rain. When it is indoors, keep it somewhere cool and dry. As mentioned earlier, you may need to move the container around depending on the external conditions that will be best for the worms to thrive.
Harvest Nightcrawlers for Fishing
Ready for your fishing trip? It’s now time to harvest the worms. Here’s a quick guide on how you can do this:
- The simplest way to harvest nightcrawlers is to use your hand. Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty! Manually scoop a handful of soil and pick the worms individually. Transfer the worms to a container that you will bring to your fishing trip.
- Another simple method is to add food to the top of the soil. Cover the top part to keep light out. After a week, remove the cover. Then remove the top layer of the worm bed. This will have most of the worms that you can use as baits for fishing.
Anyone who has been out fishing would know that nightcrawlers are amongst the best baits available. Luckily, you don’t need to buy them! You can grow these worms even at home. Follow the things mentioned above and it won’t take long before you will have more than enough worms for your next fishing trip!