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How to Catch Nightcrawlers and Worms As Fishing Bait

Discover how to get night crawlers for your fishing trip without having to buy them.

Creepy crawlers are the bait provided to us directly from nature. These little wrigglers are one of the best baits to catch nearly every type of fish. You can buy them if you don't want to get a little dirty, but if you don't mind a little dirt, they are yours for the taking, absolutely FREE!

Night crawlers love dark, moist areas. The best time to catch these little slimy creatures is during the night time hours. Checking near areas like a garden or mulch is a great idea. When you pick up a night crawler be careful not to squeeze them too hard. Be prepared for wiggling and squirming.

Night crawlers often come out of the ground after a good hard rain. You may find that this is a great time to catch these little buggers. If you catch a few at a time, remember to provide enough food for them. A night crawler can eat its own weight each day. A night crawler absorbs nutrients from the soil through its body.

If you are hunting night crawlers at night, a flashlight is a useful too, however if the light is too bright, the worms will begin scurrying to get away. Try not to shine the light directly onto the worms. A good place to look for night crawlers is under things like flower pots or large stones. Be prepared to move quickly, as the worms will begin to burrow if they feel threatened.

As a child I recall lifting boards, large rocks, and other large objects and using a rake and a garden hoe to disturb the soil to find worms. We kept the worms in nearly any container we could find, just being sure that they had plenty of dirt and the worms could get air. If properly fed, kept in a cool, damp environment, and away from direct heat, night crawlers can live for quite a period of time.

Simply by digging and disturbing the soil in the evening hours you are likely to come up with enough earth worms for an all day fishing trip for the family. Night crawlers are regenerative creatures, and can breath under water for quite some time. This means they make great fishing bait and if you're running low, you can break them apart and use the same worm for more than one cast.

Have some fun this weekend, let your kids go on a night crawler hunt and take them fishing.

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Comments (3)

I always thought that catching night crawlers was as much fun as catching the fish! Good tips! One more: When you grab one that is still mostly in it's hole, keep steady pressure and it'll ease out. If you yank it, it will snap...Gross!

Very nice. :-) I used to pick-up nightcrawlers as a teenager and into my twenties and sell them to a local bait-shop for 30-cents per dozen. The biggest haul ever an amazing starless, cool & foggy night whereby I picked-up 136-dozen nightcrawlers! I could have gotten more but I was SOOO tired from the previous day at work and, kept taking breaks in the warm house until I finally fell asleep in the easy-chair and awoke at sunup. :-( Still, 136-dozen nightcrawlers was a pretty good reward for the several hours I had put in for them keeping in mind that back in the 1980s, minimum wage in the U.S. was something like $2.90/hour oh I remember it well! :-(

I was a nightcrawler gatherer myself, selling them to a bait business. After a good rain, that was the time to pick them up.

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