Jim Ame's Worm Beds

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Orignal post made by Jim Ames(Oh No) on April 10, 2005

    Your best bet to keep crawlers is in wooden boxes that can drain. Styrofoam/old coolers I've tryed them all. We take 7-9 thousand crawlers to KY lake every year camping. Once it gets warm it's hard to keep them cool in plastic. We used to pack about 1000 to a cooler and a lot of times would lose 3 or 4 coolers on a trip. That's a waste of good money and crawlers.

    Night crawlers like a cool soil. The only way to do this is threw evaporation of water. Wooden boxes help this as they breath. I also have two black plastic barrels, cut about 2 foot high. I took my cordless drill and drilled thousands of 1/8" or smaller holes in these 55 gallon barrel cut offs. Then with a good dirt mix and old wet newspapers over the dirt, one can keep them alive in 90/100 degree weather. Keeping them in the shade of course.

    The dirt we use is a mix of that baged dirt wally world has in the garden center. Ground peat or topsoil mix with out any fertilisers. We tear newspapers in strips and mix it in.

    Also when you cover the mix with wet newspapers, it is a snap to pick a bunch for the boat. as they gather under the wet papers. In the boat we use those bait canteens that you can dunk in the water and they get real cool for the crawlers. The bad thing with those metal framed canteens is they only last about a season, they kinda rot out after a year.

    My nephews have some wooden boxes this year that are about 18" square and 4' long. They look like little coffins and will probably take two men and a boy to load, when they are full of dirt.

    I used to have about a dozen old coolers that I picked up at auctions for a couple bucks apiece. We drilled lots of holes in the top. Now they are hitting the burning barrel as they work some but not as well as wooden boxes. I have used old wooden ammo boxes and they work great also.

    I don't know where you live, but when we go to TN it gets warm down there sometimes. And worms don't like heat. And we don't have electric, so we try to work with nature.

    Also DO NOT PUT ANY MANURE OR ANYTHING THAT CAN HEAT UP IN YOUR DIRT MIX. Once it gets started heating that coolers done. I mean grass clippings too, as when it trys to decompose it produces heat and there goes another batch of crawlers, --- cooked.

    If you start to lose a batch from heat/dieing , take all the live ones out by dumping container on the ground, and rinse the live ones with cold water. Then put them in another container of new dirt, When crawlers start to die in a container, there is something wrong with the dirt. Got to rinse off whats left alive and change dirt.


    Sometimes when you pick your own crawlers you might have a few that are not whole and die, Just pick them out and throw away.

    When crawlers start to die off in any magor amount in a container, the dead crawlers themselves create heat as they rot. Thats why you have to rinse all the ones left alive off with cold water and get them into new dirt.

    Something else - kinda off topic. When catching crawlers at night, it is not the light that they run from, it is the heat created by the light. Heat and Vibration are what they feel. Walk softly!!!!

    Crawlers have no eyes and cannot tell if they are in the light or the dark. They are super sensitive to heat and vibration. The heat from a flashlight bulb, they can feel 5-10 feet away. The vibration of grandkids bouncing around can ruin a crawler hunting trip.

    That's why the crawlers just outside of the main circle of light can be caught easier. My nephews and I take toilet paper and put it over the flashlight to help filter out heat.

    They have come out with these LED flashlights, and I want to try one for hunting crawlers, as they do not produce much heat. Thats why they claim they are real easy on batteries. They use less juice so less heat is produced. My wife got me one that has a crank - no batteries - and just 3 LEDs. it will run with one or 3 lit. She picked it up at an Amish Hardware store,

    Also in the rain, they are easier to pick up, as they are partying and having there crawler orgies. lol They have there little minds on other things. lol And the rain hitting the ground helps mask the noise/vibration from you walking around. Wet ground/mud hides your sneaking around.

    Dole if the dirt is right and the temps are right, you won't have any die, except the half crawlers. They gather like gangbusters under the wet newspapers that you have on the top of the containers. So there is little or no reason to dig in the dirt and try to injure your crawlers collecting some for the boat.

    I hope this helps, as crawlers are a naturel bait, I've killed/slaughtered catfish at night on jugs. You have to fish crawlers at night for cats. 3-4 on a hook waving at the cats, just hooked threw the center so they can wave away. Just as natural as a crawler falling in the water.

    I hope this helps.

    Jim