catalpa worms

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by catmaster77, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. catmaster77

    catmaster77 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Kentucky
    Does anybody know if there are male,female catalpa worms. Had a guy tell me the light colored ones are female and the males are with the black strip.
     
  2. kmcalester

    kmcalester Active Member

    Messages:
    1,340
    State:
    Kansas City
    I saw an article in the catfish-insider, but I have never saw them here in Missouri?
     

  3. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,385
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    The females get the white-colored little egg sacks on their backs i dont pick them there the future of your crop:eek:oooh::wink:
     
  4. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,463
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Sam,
    I'm gonna let you in on a bit of info that's important to know.
    Those little white "eggs" are actually the cocoons of a tiny parasitic wasp that lays it's eggs inside the catalpa worm.
    You should absolutely get rid of them.
    If those cocoons hatch there will be a bunch more wasps to parasitize yet more catalpas. The infested ones will die anyway before they become the hawk moth of which the catalpa worm is the caterpillar so using them for bait is ideal. leave a few uninfested catalpas to complete their life cycle so the adult moths can lay more eggs to make more worms...W
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  5. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    Sam, Winston is right, those are parasites and suck the worms dry; but so do assasin bugs. These are photos taken from my tree in the front yard over the years.

    Paul I would assume that there are male and female caterpillars but don't know how to ID them. Have you googled it?
     

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  6. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,385
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    Every now & then a feller gets steered in the wrong direction:eek:oooh: Hell i was in the ditch!!!:wink::eek:oooh: Thank's for pulling me back to the road!!!!
     
  7. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    Ol' Japanese proverb: Even monkeys fall out of trees.
     
  8. catfishbill33

    catfishbill33 New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Clarksville, TN
    I was at a family reunion the last of june and my brother gave me some of those worms .I went fishing with John Stevens and we tried them the skips won out.I caught two small cats and all the others were caught on cut skipjackBut the first time I threw the worm in a small cat was rite there.

    my Q: is how do you store them I have them in the bait ref and they stay cool but whats the best way to keep them
     
  9. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    Excellent question William, because they will not stay alive and wiggly for long. Best way I've found is how Keith Sutton describes in his book 'Fishing For Catfish'; and IME, the sooner you do this after collecting them the better the end result.

    Chill em' in ice water, drain em', coat em' in cornmeal, freeze em' in cornmeal.

    Chilling them in ice water is supposed to help them retain their color and it does help, although they will turn darker the longer they're left in the freezer. The cornmeal keeps them from freezing together and allows you to use them selectively.

    FYI, for the trotliners, an excellent way to stretch and get the most out of catalpa worms is to puree them and add to a doughball boilie formula [just don't overcook the boilies, they're done 30 seconds after floating]. Catalpa worms are scent bags in tough skins and the scent is what you're after anyway.

    After I posted yesterday I checked my tree and 2-3 limbs had good-sized worms and were beginning to get defoiliated so I collected the worms and immediately processed them; a flash flood took away my trotline a couple weeks ago, haven't put another out yet.

    Here's some pics.
     

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  10. boswifedeb

    boswifedeb USCA Jailhouse Lawyer

    Messages:
    13,993
    State:
    Tennessee
    Name:
    Debbie
    Hmmmmm.... think I'll go raid my sister's tree today!!!:wink::smile2:
     
  11. whisker maniac

    whisker maniac New Member

    Messages:
    2,712
    State:
    arkansas
    I have heard recently that the catalpa worms will not strip a large tree but only the younger trees.. Any one know anything about this and or why this is?
     
  12. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    I'll be glad to comment on that one; I transplanted this tree from my brother's place to a very fertile spot w/high water table on my place when it was about 5' tall sometimes around 1990-91 and it grew like a weed; it's probably 30-35' tall now and as wide or wider. It's a magnificent specimen and beautiful when in full bloom; I was fortunate to have gotten a female tree which I think the blooms are key to attracting the sphinx moth that lays the eggs.

    Anyway, my point is, this is a large tree with lots of long sloping branches.

    I've noticed over the years that the moths will lay their eggs on the tree over a period of several weeks, maybe even months, so that at any given time I could may have worms of greatly varying sizes; which has been particularly the case for me this year for some reason. In the past I've harvested worms from the tree as early as mid-June to as late as September, the staggered egg laying being the reason.

    To answer your question, IME, yes, the worms will defoiliate a large tree if the egg laying is heavy enough that year to include all the branches and no one collects the worms to check the defoiliation. It's become a balancing act with me between allowing the worms to grow to good size and checking the defoiliation before it harms the health of the tree (there's some ugly catalpa trees around w/lots of dead wood/branches that is a direct result from this defoiliation).

    IMO, once the caterpillar reaches a certain stage of growth, they stop eating and go off somewhere for the next stage of metamorphisis to become the moth.

    I included a pic of the tree that I took a couple days ago; incidently I got concerned about the amount of defoiliation going on so yesterday i climbed the tree and shook and stomped branches and shook some more and my wife and I picked up roving/roaming catalpa worms for the rest of the day; I probably froze >300 worms.

    It's really frustrating, somewhere I have a good photo of the tree in the splendor of it's full bloom, and can't find it!
     

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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  13. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,385
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    Your lucky there going away here in the heat..not a one to be had....round 2 will come though when we get some soaking rains..
     
  14. boswifedeb

    boswifedeb USCA Jailhouse Lawyer

    Messages:
    13,993
    State:
    Tennessee
    Name:
    Debbie
    HAHAHAHA!!!! The raid was successful! I'll go back again tomorrow and see if I can get any more!:big_smile:
     
  15. catmaster77

    catmaster77 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Kentucky
    I've searched the net but cant find anything. I 've talked to a couple of other fisherman and the said the samething. I just wanna know if this a myth or truth
     
  16. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    FYI, the wife and I put a trotline out yesterday evening w/5/0 circles & 2/0 J's, baited each hook with 1/2 catalpa worm each; had twelve channels in all this morn, 6 were keepers, three were turned around and used for flathead bait on 8/0 gammy circles, rest were released. i luv it