Keeping Catalpa Worms Alive

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by KYMatt, May 31, 2007.

  1. KYMatt

    KYMatt New Member

    Will someone please tell me the best way for keeping the Catalpa Worms alive. I just recently found an active tree and would like to keep some of them for awhile.
     
  2. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Take a 5-gal bucket and take some of the leaves from the same tree and place in bucket. Put a layer of worms on the leaves. Repeat this process. Leaves-worms-leaves and etc. They will stay alive for a few days and continue to eat off the leaves in the buckets.:big_smile:
     

  3. KYMatt

    KYMatt New Member

    Thanks Mickey, sure beats the plastic bag with leaves I have them in now. :roll_eyes:
     
  4. Cheez

    Cheez New Member

    Messages:
    522
    State:
    Trion,GA
    I also use a 5 gallon bucket to keep catalpas in but one thing to keep in mind is to dump out the bucket everyday if you have a lot of worms in it. Their waste (little round black pills) will turn the worms black if you let them crawl around in it.
    Also you can freeze them. I use lime Koolade and freeze the worms in it. It keeps them looking fresh and I think the cats hit them just as good or better than live. BTW make the Koolade according to the directions. I used to just freeze the worms in water with a teaspoon of Fruit Fresh dissolved in the water for every 3 dozen or so but the Koolade works just as well and is much less expensive.

    Chez
     
  5. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Put them in sawdust, and then freeze them. They will reanimate when thawed, and will stay alive for a very long time this way.
     
  6. KYMatt

    KYMatt New Member

    Does this really work?? How long will they stay alive???
     
  7. Alsey

    Alsey New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Louisiana
    I always heard that was an urban legend. Until very recently I worked in agricultural entomology and we have an insectary that we maintain colonies of two different species of moths in. The catalpa moth is similar to the ones we raise. They emerge from the ground in the spring, lay eggs on the catalpa trees above where they emerge, those eggs turn into larvae that go through about 5 developmental stages until they are large catapillars (that's what we use for bait), after that stage they fall to the ground under the tree they fed in, dig down about 6 inches and pupate. They stay underground in a hard pupal stage over winter and then emerge as moths in the spring and start the whole thing over.

    I'm pretty sure the catapillar stage or the pupal stage cannot withstand freezing temps and reanimate.

    Like someone on the BOC told me years ago when I asked about it: "once it's dead, it's dead.

    If anyone has actually SEEN frozen catalpas reanimate please chime in. It may be possible to reduce temperature on the fully formed catipillars and get them to go dormant for a little while but once you freeze them it should rupture all the cells in their bodies.

    I'd love to be proven wrong, I've got a few catalpa trees growing in a greenhouse that I plan on innoculating with eggs as soon as I find some.
     
  8. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Messages:
    957
    State:
    TENNESSEE
    i take out a half dozen at a time to fish with. i just filled a quart freezer container with them they didnt stick together. i never saw any move after thawing but they sure are great bait.
     
  9. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    when i was a youngster we used to get the monarch butterfly caterpillars off the milkweed plants. after a month or so they would form a green chrysalis on the lid of the mason jars we kept them in, with holes poked in it of course. when the butterflies hatched and dried, we would let them go and get more caterpillars. we would change the leaves out daily and dump the waste out. over time we caught all varieties of caterpillars and got them through the life stages, ending up with mourning cloak butterflies, hawk moths, and a bunch i don't even know the names of.
    if you did the jar thing, i am sure it would work with catalpa worms, but i don't know how to suspend the cycle. since they are a moth larvae, their answer to cold is to go into a cocoon. i tried refrigerating tomato hornworms, and most turned into cocoons in jars with no substrate at all. a few months later, they turned into hawk moths of some type.... maybe if you got the cocoons and refrigerated them, that should suspend the life cycle, assuming fish will hit it.
     
  10. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I do hope to prove you wrong, but it will be a few months before I can try. I have heard from several unrelated sources that this does work, but have never tried it myself. I will say, however, that I have stored them in the refrigerator for weeks, possibly over a month, and the worms go dormant, but remain very miuch alive. Once they reach room temp., they start moving, and eating again. I don't think that an average freezer gets cold enough to kill them, but I do intend to find out as soon as I get worms on the trees.
     
  11. Alsey

    Alsey New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Louisiana
    I hope you do prove me wrong, I really do. I think the method you described might be the only way: to slow their metabolism down near zero. They're probably designed to do this during cold snaps but maybe they can maintain it for awhile. Once they are "frozen stiff" I think they're done for good.
     
  12. bwillaub

    bwillaub New Member

    Messages:
    132
    State:
    missouri
    Hey guys.......I would love to have some of the little buggars for my trees here in Missouri. Does anyone have access to worms and can you mail me several dozen? I will gladly pay for them. I really would like to seed my trees with them. Send me a PM if you can help me.

    Thanks,

    Bob
     
  13. brakeless1

    brakeless1 New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Louisville, Ky.
    Keep pumping them fresh leave's to em they will be happy.

    alot of fresh one's everyday and dump out waste as suggested.