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Tippman

Picking Crawlers

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Just a reminder to folks that after a rain is a perfect time to stock up on night crawlers. They were out in full force tonight! I just spent an hour walking the local roads and have enough for the first couple months of fishing. Now I have to get a couple hours of sleep before turkey hunting!

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I've also found that walking out on a couple tee's and greens at your local golf course you can find dozens.

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The kids and I got a bunch last night. They declared, "This is a great family sport." Also, "nightcrawlers are "worthy opponents," after missing a few quick ones. Those crwawlers were layin' in the grass like walruses on a beach. My boys would of stayed out all night.

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How do you keep them for months? I have always thought about doing this but never have.

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Buy some worm bedding and mix it up in a bigger cooler and keep them in the fridge.

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Quote:

How do you keep them for months? I have always thought about doing this but never have.


There was a post about this on 4/13 that had some good info.

I'm new to this, also. Thought I'd keep mine in a styrofoam minnow bucket in my empty sump pump pit to keep them cool (40-60 degrees I hear is best), with the lid ajar a little for air. Any crawler vets see a problem with this, please let me know. I don't think they can crawl out if I don't overfill it. I know, I may run out of space fast; 50 large crawlers per square foot of bedding is recomended.

I picked up a 5 lb bag of bedding on sale for $2.49 at a big box disount store in the northwest metro area yesterday; seemed like a good deal.

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Quote: "Thought I'd keep mine in a styrofoam minnow bucket in my empty sump pump pit..."

It's weird...I've never seen a drop of water in my sump pump pit or basement.

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Shark - if you keep them in a styrofoam container, they can breath just fine. No need to keep the lid open - they will get out, believe me. Better to keep them cool than to let them get warm. Refrig works best. Hard to beat a fresh crawler for a natural bait. Once every 10-14 days feed them crushed corn flake crumbs or sprinkle oatmeal grains on the bedding. They will get as big as a garter snake!!

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Thanks to all for the information. Should be able to save a $100 easy over the season. Only thing left to figure out is how to spend the $100!

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I have heard that if you put your worms in a five gallon pale and dig a hole in the ground big enough to fit the pale in the ground with a lid on. I have yet to try this but it seems the crawlers would live a while because the ground around it keeps the bucket cool. Has anyone tried this?

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My wife kicked my crawlers out of the fridge so I went to Goodwill and found a new wine cooler for cheap.Now I have plenty of room for crawlers and leeches smile.gif.I have heard of folks putting a 5gal bucket in the ground and storing worms in them,but I wonder how this method holds up in the heat of summer.

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some nightcrawler catching info from wikipedia:

The worms are actually collected by headlamp-wearing hunters (or pickers) who crawl throughout fresh cut fields, yards, golf courses, and even cow pastures. The worms come out from the ground only at night (or when the ground is deeply saturated) following a decent rain fall. Temperatures at the time must be between about 50 and 80 °F. The ideal time for hunting the worms is when it is lightly drizzling rain, the temperature is about 65 F, and thunder (or other noise) is not present.

The pickers crawl around the location, sometimes by the dozens, and grab the slimy worms. A head lamp, bucket, and usually an attached smaller can containing fine sawdust is all that's required. A picker dips his hands in the sawdust to allow for better gripping of the worms. Since Canadian nightcrawlers (and many other worms) are sensitive to light, the bulb in the headlamp is usually painted yellow to make it softer. Other Pickers will use red lamps, for much the same reason as amateur astronomers, as it is a very non-invasive light, and once the person is adapted to it, provides adequate lighting without interfering with the behavior of the worms. Otherwise, the worms, which typically extend from the ground leaving a firm "tail grip" in the hole, would suck themselves back into their holes faster than you could grab them! Some pickers can collect 1,000 worms in half an hour, with a total evening's haul of 20,000. At today's prices of $25 to $40 per thousand caught, pickers can single-handedly earn $800 in an evening!

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