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catchin crawlers


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I live in the ST. Cloud area and want to catch my own crawlers. How should I get started in this? Is it realistic to go buy some and try to breed them? any help would be great.
Thanks,
Tennesseean

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Go out at night with a garden hose and soak the ground, then go around with a flashlight and pick them up, but watch out, they are faster than you think

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I always throw a little laundry soap down with the water, then they really shot up.

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Using red cellophane over the lense helps slow the buggers down a tad.
Lucky

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look for lumpy ground.under a shade tree also helps...you can run your garden hose during the day and they will come up. just after a good rain when the grounds saturated is also a great time.

------------------
Dan

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The easiest way is to go out at night, any night, although the wetter the better. You can alos soak with a hose at night for wetness, and pluck them from the ground. Be quick, quiet and careful, and don't pull to hard or you'll rip them. They repeatedly flex their body to go down the hole, and pull gently between flexes.

In the day if you need some just soak the ground with the hose for about 5 min.

At my old house the ground was good,a nd i had thousands of crawlers all over my yard. At my new house the ground is sandy, and I can only get about a dozen a night, and only in about a 10 by 10 ft section of the yard. The house was built where an old sandpit was. If your yard is good dirt then it will be easier, if not you may want to go to the park or golf course.

Overall the easiest way to get them is on a night that is pouring rain, just walk down the streets and sidewalks next to the yards and pick all the crawlers that are squirming around on the pavement. Good luck

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Thanks everyone. Very helpful. I'm glad that I've found this forum. It's the most useful and entertaining source of information on fishing that I've found. Great people and great info. I guess I'll try to go out tonight when it rains. Thanks evrybody.
Tennesseean

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I sometime use lightening rods. I have a 100' lead cord that each wire goes to a steel rod. after wetting the ground I put the rods in about 3 feet apart and then plug in the lead cord. In about 15 minutes I usually will have 2-3 dozen crawlers. Not good to do when kids or pets are around so be careful. My grandfather and dad have been doing this for years and never been shocked. It would not be good to be pushing down with the crawlers so be careful!

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Be careful though, catching nightcrawlers is like catching a trophy fish. Once you get one on take it easy, don't try to horse 'em out or they will break. And if by chance you do break one don't keep it. You will end up w/ rotten nightcrawlers in a week or so. Also keep them cool but not cold. Usually a basement works perfect.

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Watch the weather as well.

If you can plan it, mow your yard down low. Very tough grabbing crawlers in tall grass.

You'll feel more running under your hands while crawling for crawlers than actually getting them.
As mentioned, key in on places with less grass.
Gardens etc. are a great place to check!

Low light(filter) and patience. Don't be afraid to return to spots, others will make an appearance!

Have fun. On a good night, you can catch a whole seasons worth!

Jim W

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I would not recommend trying to breed them. I had a cousin that tried that and he got in trouble with the law...

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Golf courses, guys, don't forget golf courses.

The ritzier ones with lots of money use chemicals to get rid of crawlers because they cause those little trails of dirt on the greens. But lots of smaller public courses don't have the bucks, and all golf course water the greens/fringe each morning, so they're always moist. And that low-cut grass makes for easy picking.

Love targeting the ones that are already bound together in the mating dance. Two for the price of one! grin.gif

------------------
"Worry less, fish more."
Steve Foss
[email protected]

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What kind of powwer source do I use for shocking them out? Just an old extension cord or something? How long is long enough to shock before they come up or it becomes dangerous? Also, someone told me that soapy water dumped on the grass brings them up. Is this true?

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110-120 volt. Wet the ground good if it is dry, push the rods in about 3ft apart and a foot deep, go to the plug and plug in the rods. Wait for 15 to 30 minutes THEN UNPLUG the cord before you check for crawlers. We usually wear rubber milking boots too as added precaution.

Soapy water may make the worms taste different to the fish. Just my two cents...

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So what if I take three dozen crawlers from my yard one night..... Should I wait a while for the remaining ones to reproduce before I take more? Can you harvest too many of them? And is it at all harmful to your trees, grass, shrubs, etc. to remove them?

By the way, when we DO take them, we pinch them right at the point where they're coming out of their holes, wait until they relax a bit, and then SLOWLY pull them out. You DO have to be fast to get 'em before they disappear down their holes, but then SLOW and GENTLE while pulling them out! wink.gif

[This message has been edited by ladylikestofish (edited 06-19-2003).]

[This message has been edited by ladylikestofish (edited 06-19-2003).]

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Yes you can overharvest crawlers, left alone they will multiply, but if you take too many too fast, they will take longer to build to a good population. Depends on the size of your yard and the depth of soil. Nitecrawlers reproduce more slowly than most earthworms.

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While holding a stubborn crawler with one hand, grab the crawler around the collar with two fingers. The collar is the raised 1/4 to 1/2" part of the night crawler. while gently squezzing the collar and pulling on the work it will release.

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It is good to remove nightcrawlers from your lawn. Nightcrawlers can make your lawn very bumpy and unpleasant.

I know i thinned the population of nightcrawlers in my lawn. Last year i could catch about 3-5 dozen a night. And now I am lucky if I can catch that many.

------------------
Fish ON!

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Kingfisher,

Have you tried a worm with a hook for those 'coon? When we were kids we would put sweetcorn on a hook with 50# line and used a window weight and then have the line tied to a log than ran from the bank to the water. When the coon got the hook it would jerk the window weight off the log and drown it. Worked sometimes for a goose or two also.

[This message has been edited by Gibby (edited 06-20-2003).]

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