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Keep my worms/crawlers alive

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Keep my worms/crawlers alive
I have been picking up worms and crawlers around the yard. But I want to start collecting them and stop buying the wigglers.Smile
What is the best way the get them besides going to the golf course?? And how or what should I do to keep them alive as long as possible? Worm Farm???Wink
Thanks
kc_fishing4fun
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Re: [KC_fishing4fun] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
The very best thing to keep worms in is Potting Soil. LOL, sound funny? It is kinda. But it's true. My father in law has an old wooden boat in his back yard we keep ours in. Make sure you have plenty of soft dirt if you don't have potting soil. And make sure it's dirt, not sand. Put a healthy coating of leaves and straw on top. This will help keep the moisture in and provide optimal living conditions for the little fellas. Feed them corn meal once a day. It doesn't take much, just sprinkle a bit on top and they will find it. Check the soil as needed and make sure you give the dirt a bath as neccessary. It needs to remain damp at all times. (don't drown them though) Just remember, Keep them in the shade, dirt not sand, keep the soil damp, feed them once a day. You'll be good to go. Cool



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Re: [KC_fishing4fun] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
Drive a piece of rebar in the ground about 2-3 foot down and rub the top with a red brick. The worms really will come up out the ground, it just takes awhile. Or just keep the hose on an area overnight, that will get them up too. As to keeping them alive, dont put worms in the fridge just night crawlers. Keep them in moist soil in a cool shady spot, I'm sure a worm farm would work great, then you could open a store called I Got Worms Wink

Matt






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Re: [KC_fishing4fun] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
You have some good suggestions so far. One more to add to the list as far as keeping them is to house them in moistened shredded newpaper. That is the next best when you don't have potting soil at your disposal.

After using the potting soil for several months, be sure to replenish it with some new and use the old to sprinkle over your garden. The castings (poop) from the worms is really beneficial to the rest of your soil and plants.Cool


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Re: [tubeN2] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
Great tips steve, the newspaper didn't even cross my mind. I know a fella that mixes shredded news paper into his soil becuase it holds the moisture so well.

Good thinking on the garden too. Cool



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Re: [Tarpon4me] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
I do alot of landscaping. Those are common tricks that I "Sell" to the customers.Cool


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Re: [Tarpon4me] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
Thanks- I haven't had a chance to get back on line. But I have been using your tips. I had them in a small bucket before I wrote in so I just did some of the things you said. Added paper gave them some water Frown to much water. I caught it in time where I only lose a few. I don't have a wood boat like you had,Wink so now they are going in to a cooler about 2' x 3' with a top on it. I put in some more dirt and leavesin the very moist dirt it helped. In the morning they are going in the cooler I got a bag of top soil and I have leaves, pine needles, and paper to do it right.Smile How deep should I go, and worms are the most we have so far, got some grubs the other day and put them in there too??? or stick with worms and crawlers??
Thanks Kevin KC
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Re: [mattscru] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
Hey-I have heard about doing something like that before but didn't know if it really worked. Some one said beating on the ground did something to make them come to the top. Once I know we are done with freezeShocked warning by mid next week they say we will be in the 70*s then i will put out the hose over night and see how I do.
Got Worms good oneSmile
Thanks Kevin
KC
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Re: [tubeN2] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
Thanks for the scoop on the poop Cool.
Tx KC
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Re: [KC_fishing4fun] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
dont forget to feed them,
  • oak leaves and acorns. its a little late to get acorns but you can still find oak leaves if you look for them. You can mix oak leaves right in to the bedding as well as placing an inch or so on top the bedding.
  • used coffee grounds, not molded. sprinkle on top of the soil you keep them in. any extra grouinds can be dried in an open dry area for long term storage. you can feed them dry grounds. just be sure to use "used Grounds" you dont want them staying up all night crawling around...Sly
  • corn meal, "not corn meal mix" just sprinkle on top the bedding much like a heavy peppering.
  • spagnum peatmoss can be put right in the bedding, or use as bedding, the worms will eat the moss and durn it in to soil. A lot of people prefer the moss over the soil because it is cleaner to handle. "I mean how clean can a worm be?" the moss dose soak up worm slime better than the dirt dose so brused worms do survive better in that type of bedding.

Regular worm bedding other than the peatmoss veriety is nothing more than an emulsified used paper product.

Trick use a heavy salt solution and dampen a spunge and ring it out then wipe around the top of your container to keep them from crawling out.

if keeping in the fridge, wich you can but dont put more in a container than what the container can handle for the time period they are going to be there... Tempreture is important. 45-55 degrees no wormer or no colder.

***** vary important, do not keep any damaged worms when you collect them, no brused ones, no broken ones. those die off fast.

Its one thing to keep borken and brused worms if you are going to use them in the next couple days, keeping them for long term requires you to have a healthy stock. I have had worms breed and make new worms year after year in my worm box that I kept burried in the ground on the north side of my house year after year....


If the Lord's willing, You'll be Blessed.
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Re: [KC_fishing4fun] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
stay away from the grubs, I have yet to find a fish that will eat them.

now if you want a bug that is easy to keep, and good bait, Crickets are your money bug.

cricket boxes are easy to maintain. and if done properly you can even have them breed in your box.... Cricket magots are the absolute best....


If the Lord's willing, You'll be Blessed.
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Re: [davetclown] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
"my worm box that I kept burried in the ground on the north side of my house year after year.... "

How deep do you need to bury your box in the ground to keep all winter? How do you bury it.......so it is somewhat easy access? I would love to go fishing more....but live in a area where everything is sand (don't find many worms) and hate buying them all the time. Have thought about making a worm box but don't really have a good place to put it.
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Re: [deaconrb] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
in the winter time I would suggest taking your worm box in to the basement or put a few doz in the fridge. I have a few dozen in the frige now for 3 months. doing fine. temp is your main concern. to worm or cold will kill them, also changing the worm bedding once in a wile and putting in worm food is a good idea as well..

if you see your worms bedding getting dry or wet it is time to do something... dont wait !


If the Lord's willing, You'll be Blessed.
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Re: [davetclown] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
I am so glad to see this thread up top tonight.. I'm heading back up to Canada for my second time and I've nominated myself to keep the worms alive and healthy this trip.. Since we are crossing the border we can't take any dirt with us, so the night crawlers are packed in newspaper for the trip up and the 5 days we are there.. We'll probably have them for 4 days before we even get to the lake..

Last year they started to stink pretty bad around day 2 at the lake (day 6 since we got them) and we started getting some die off already.. I think a lot of that had to do with everyone coming back and just dumping their left over crawlers in with the fresh ones.. All sorts of bits and pieces got put in the worm cooler..

This year I'm planning two coolers, one with "fresh" crawlers and one with whatever comes back from that day's fishing.. The plan is to have everyone grab the "old" crawlers first and then top off with fresh ones.. So the second cooler can stay small.. My only concern is that by day 4 or 5 (8 or 9) the "fresh" cooler will be full of worm poop and still stink..

Ok, long path to the question - sue me - I've been working FAR too hard and fishing FAR too little..

Should I move the crawlers to a second "clean" cooler at some point with fresh newspaper?? I think I'll take some worm food with me (corn meal?) to keep them happy before we feed them to the walleye.. Any other thoughts on keeping these guys healthy and less fragrant while up nort'??


Steve
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Re: [Feydakin] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
2 questions:

1. How many worms are you taking ?

2. How big are your 2 coolers ?

Reason for questions:

If your coolers are big enough for the amount of worms you take, there should be no problem with the worm waste. If your coolers are kept cold enough the worms should do fine. Extra medium (washed and shredded news paper will be fine) would be appropiate to take.

Try not to use chlorinated water to wash or dampen your news paper if possible. To de-chlorinate tap water, let it sit in an open container overnight - the longer it sits, the more it de-chlorinates.

I can keep worms in good condition in my refridgerator for long periods of time (a couple of months) as long as I keep the temperature above freezing - usually anywhere between 36 to 40 degrees (F) and there is adaquate moisture. A little food for them is also a good thing - but DO NOT over feed them, they can do OK in the short term without food.
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Re: [Fishhound] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
We are taking 2 big canvas bags, I'm not sure how many that is, but I think it works out to something like 20 pounds of them.. One of the other guys orders them before we go up.. We keep them in one of those medium sized styrofoam coolers.. When we get there we there we dump the bags in to the cooler..

As for keeping them cold, that's one of the problems.. Especially if it's even kind of warm up there (70s and up).. There is one tiny propane powered refrigerator and that is stuffed with our food.. The only ice we have is flown in so it gets rationed pretty hard.. The outfitter will fly in more ice for us, but he gets cranky if we tell him it's for the worms :)

We go up to short lake in Ontario.. ( 50.886790 -88.396941 on google earth ) Just a couple solar panels for the lights and some propane for the fridge.. We tried to keep them on ice last year but they wound up getting real wet from all the condensation and ice melt..


Steve
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Re: [Feydakin] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
20 pounds is a lot of worms (I assume you will have Canadian Crawlers). And, I don't know what you mean by "medium size cooler". Nevertheless ...

Here is what I would do. I have spent extended time out in the desert here in Utah where temperatures can get oppressively high. And I have always been successful with these techniques with worms, bait, and many food items.

1. Carefully place a couple of rocks on the bottom in your cooler for ballast - heavy and big enough to keep the cooler from going anywhere.
2.Then, place your cooler in very shallow water (making sure it is secured (somehow tie it to the shore) and stable so it does not tip over or float away), keep it in the shade (at least during the mid-day to early afternoon period) as well.
3.Then, take a terry cloth towel, soak it, and cover the cooler with the towel. If possible let at least one end of the towel stay in contact with the water so it will stay moist longer.

What this whole scenario accomplishes for you is this: The lake water will keep your cooler at water temperature or below. The towel will act to also cool the cooler by evaporation - like an evaporative (swamp) cooler or the BODA effect.

Also, keep an eye on the cooler so critters do not disturb it - the further out in the water you can put it, the less likely critters will be interested. At night, when it is cooler out, you can take the worm container and put it in your boat or another secure location to discourage the night critters that will be investigating your camp site when you are sleeping.

If you can bring ice or get it, that would be a good thing. If not, the above should at least keep the worms in pretty good shape anyway.

Make sense ?
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Re: [Fishhound] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
Makes perfect sense.. Thanks..

And yes, 20 pounds is a LOT of crawlers, but there will be 8 of us fishing for 5 days and we hate to run out :)


Steve
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Re: [Feydakin] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
Good, I wasn't sure if I had explained that well enough for someone else to understand - one of those cases where I know what I mean but don't know if anyone else would.

I forgot to mention, take care that the cooler does not take on any water. Inspect it to make sure the bottom of the cooler remains intact - carefull handling of the cooler is imperative ! Also, when placing the wet towel on top of the cooler, you might need to put a couple or few sticks between the top of the cooler and the cloth so as to insure air circulation and good cooling evaporation.

Any other questions, feel free to ask.
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Re: [Feydakin] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
placing a damp white fuzzy towl over your worms helps to keep them fresh and viberant, the towl will catch the cool night air and hold it much though the daytime.

the worms will also feed on them.

cornmeal is good food, so is oak leaves spent coffee grounds and the worms will even feed on the fuzzy cotton towl.

you may want to call the border patroll and ask about peetmoss. years ago my dad would pack his worms in this moss, "not Peet" Not dirt, it is a dried plant moss that you add a little water to and the worms feed on it.

you can also pick up comercial worm food cheep enough.

the absolute best thing you can do is controll the temp, keeping it at 42 degrees. Rinsing your towl in the ice water sury from the run off of your beverage cooler and placing it back in the worm cooler will help cool off your crawlers. Just remember to ring it out as best you can and lay it flat over top the crawlers....

Yes, I do mean place the towl in the box with the crawlers.


If the Lord's willing, You'll be Blessed.
(This post was edited by davetclown on May 30, 2008, 9:57 AM)
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Re: [davetclown] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
I think that a lot of the problem we had last year was that the worms were kept 'wet' by all the ice that was put in their cooler.. Zip lock baggies full of ice were laid in there and those leaked and sweat and really made things in there pretty wet..

I'm hoping to take control of the worm habitat this year and see if we can keep them fresh and happy longer.. By the end of the trip they were really stinking up the place..


Steve
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Re: [Feydakin] Keep my worms/crawlers alive In reply to
there is a worm supply company who ships to me in a styrofoam box, they use those frozen jell packs right on top the dirt... or they place containers in the same box and place several frozen jell packs in between the worms.

now we only have them fresh for about a day that way.

ya those zip lock bags arent the best idea, they do leak and drown the little slimies pretty quick... done that one my self......


If the Lord's willing, You'll be Blessed.