Sunday, January 31, 2010
What to do with Worms left over from a fishing trip.
Worms, especially night crawlers, like it cool...50 degrees or less so when you stop at your favorite supply source, take that container(s) of worms and put it in the ice chest right along with the soda and "barley" pop. At the end of the day, if they haven't been kept in the cool, put them back in the ice chest and they will be good to go the next day or for the return trip home.
Now what do you do when you get them home? If the container and lid are intact along with the bedding, you can put them in a refrigerator for keeping especially if you plan on going fishing again in the next week or two. What I do is save a 2 lb. plastic coffee can, punch a few holes in the lid for air and put them in the coolest spot we have in our basement or a refrigerator in the warmer weather. I make some new bedding with a mixture of about 1/2 dirt and 1/2 llama droppings we get from a nearby llama ranch for garden manure.
If you are going to keep them for a while they will need feed. Red wrigglers live pretty well on garbage and manure but night crawlers apparently think that formula tastes like crap so I mix up a simple formula I found on-line to feed them. The recipe calls for mixing two cups of oatmeal, one cup of corn meal, and maybe a cup of powdered milk in a blender and scattering that on top of the bedding. Since we had some old Malt-O-Meal in the pantry, I used it in place of the oatmeal and mixed it by hand for the night crawlers. Night crawlers are "top" feeders and will come up when it is dark and quiet to feed. Red wrigglers are a bit different so if you put some garbage...anything not meat, dairy products or greasy...down in the bedding and cover it with bedding they will be happy worms and the garbage won't get to stinking. About once a week I will disturb their home by loosening the bedding and checking it for moisture content. Grab a handful and squeeze it like a sponge and if a few drops of water run out, the moisture content is about right.
At that time I will scatter another spoon full or two of the feed on top of the bedding along with a few pinches of brown sugar for desert and leave them to their own devices for another week. When you are ready for your next fishing trip, you already have a head start on bait even if you have to buy more to supplement what you saved.
I had seventeen night crawlers left over from fishing late last fall...they are still alive and will be ready to do their job when I go in pursuit of the wily Trout, Crappie, Perch or whatever bites this coming spring, summer, and fall.