How to Store Nightcrawlers for Fishing

  • By: Sam Richards
  • Date: July 11, 2023
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Have you ever spent hours trying to catch a fish ending up with zero luck? Frustrating, right? This does not have to happen the next time you are on a fishing trip. Aside from having the right knowledge and skills, you also need to gear up. And when we say gear up, we mean going beyond your fishing line and reel. It is also crucial to think about your bait!

Worms are amongst the most popular live baits. They move even when hooked, and this movement under the water is what attracts the fish. There are many types of worm, but nightcrawlers are amongst our favorites! To make sure that they stay alive, read on and we’ll share some tips about their proper storage!

1. Maintain the Right Temperature

Proper temperature is crucial for the survival of the nightcrawlers. When it is too hot or too cold, they will die even before they are hooked. So, do you research and learn about the temperature requirements of the specific type of nightcrawler that you have. To be sure, it is also best to invest in a thermometer. This way, you can be guaranteed of the ideal environment for the worms to thrive.

Unless you are ready to leave, it is best to keep the nightcrawlers in a fridge. If you have a fancy boat with a fridge, then do not take the worms out unless you are ready. This will prevent temperature spikes. It maintains the constant temperature that the worm needs, which is more difficult to ensure when they are out of the fridge.

2. Keep Them in a Cooler

Once you are ready to leave home, find a cooler where you will keep the nightcrawlers. The most important is to have excellent insulation. If you are living in a place where it is often hot, keeping the worms alive may be a bit of a challenge. Meanwhile, if it is cold, then it is easier to make sure that the nightcrawlers stay alive even while in transit.

A good cooler is your best choice. Some might opt for a Styrofoam, but we do not recommend this in most situations. A cooler is better because it is constructed with excellent insulation. Also, make sure that there is an icebox for better retention of the ideal temperature.

3. Hydrate the Nightcrawlers

If you do not have a cooler, no need to worry. You can keep them alive throughout your trip with a few tricks. Keep it in a container that comes with a moist bedding and ensure proper hydration. While it is important to keep them hydrated. Make sure that you do not overdo such as it can do more harm than good. The hotter the weather is, the more important it is to hydrate the nightcrawlers.

One of the best ways to hydrate them is to add ice cubes on the top of the bedding. When the ice melts, it does not only hydrate the worms, but it also creates a cooling effect, which can help in increasing their survival rate. You can also add water but do it in moderation. You don’t want the worms to be swimming in the container, which could make them end up dead.

4. Position the Worm Box Properly

Whether in your boat or car, pay attention to the positioning of the worm cooler, icebox, or anywhere else the nightcrawlers are. The most important is to keep them out of direct sunlight. The more sun hits the worm container, the hotter it can get, and hence, the higher is the chance that they won’t make it until they are hooked.

In your boat, find a place where the worm box will not get extremely hot. More importantly, it should not get soaked. As mentioned, while hydration is important, drowning the worms in water is a bad idea. Keep the lid tight to prevent water from getting in. Keep it in a secure place until you are ready to take the worms out and hook them.


Make your fishing trips less frustrating by packing the right bait. Among others, nightcrawlers are the best. Nonetheless, you have to keep them alive. To do this, pay attention to our suggestions above on how you can store these worms properly. From packing them in an ice cooler to ensuring proper hydration, those things can help increase their survival rate while in transit.

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