Raising Bait Worms

So, you don’t want to pick up a batch of Mann’s Jelly worms because you feel the real thing might help you reel in more fish. Ok, you’re probably right! While artificial lure gets the job done, live bait might get the job done even better. One type of bait in particular is the red worm.

Red worms are epigeic earthworms. This means, they belong to the ecological group of worms that are litter feeders, litter dwellers, pigmented, and small in size. Epigeic worms live in the top 12 inches of soil and they do not burrow. Red worms feed on organic decaying matter – they have been breaking down organic waste to make natural fertilizer for millions of years, and they are non-migratory. Although red worms are non-migratory, they are adaptable to many environments.

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Trout, crappie, perch, and bluegill prefer red worms. These are just a few of the types of fish that prefer small baits. Red worms are quite easy to use as bait as they can ‘survive’ a wide range of temperatures ranging from 38 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Once on the hook, the red worm becomes quite active. Red worms can last a long time under water, unlike many other different types of earthworms.

Also called red wigglers, red wiggler, brandlings, earthworms, earth worms, redworms, manure worms, red wiggler worms, trout worms, compost worms, and tiger worms, red worms are very productive breeders, so raising bait worms such as these should be fairly easy. They lay one egg capsule every seven days or so and each capsule hatches an average of three to four earthworms. Hatched earthworms typically grow into breeders in roughly three months.

The way to keep the red worms productive is to keep them healthy and happy. If you have a roomy bin (a 5-gallon bucket or other container), top notch “bedding” such as peat moss, water for moisture, and organic materials such as fruit and vegetable peels, your red worms will be well-fed, comfortable, and productive.

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General maintenance is also important to the health of your red worms and the process of raising red worms. This means, there are several do’s and don’ts of raising bait worms. These include:

·Don’t keep your worm bin in direct sunlight.
·Do keep your worms in ideal environments such as the basement, a closet or under the kitchen sink.
·Do lightly toss the bedding every week or two, allowing the bedding at the bottom of the bin to be on the top. This process will allow sufficient oxygen to be distributed throughout the bedding. Remember, red worms absorb oxygen through their bodies.
·Do lightly spray red worm bedding that appears to be getting dry.

To purchase red worms, visit any pet store or fish & bait store. You can also order live red worms through a number of online retailers. Simply use your favorite search engine to find a suitable red worm seller. Use the search phrase “buy red worms.”

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