The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Monday, May 19, 2008

Catching worms for fishing bait

Nightcrawlers, wigglers, or just plain worms. Call them what you want, they are a universal bait that will work for many freshwater species. With the amount of worms I go through in a season, especially when fishing with my kids, I would be insane to buy them at the current price. With the increase in fuel prices, worms have also gone up in value around bait shops everywhere, sometimes close to $4.50 per dozen!

I've been catching them for years before big trips when I knew I'd be needing 200-300 worms, now I stock up on them every time it rains. There is nothing easier and cheaper than catching your own worms, they are always bigger and in better condition than the store bought version.

Simply wait for a rainy evening, go out about 1 hour after dark. Any lawn that has bushes surrounding it is your best bet for easy pickings. Worms will be all over the grass to, I target bushes because the worms are much easier to spot. Fill out a 1/2 liter or 1 liter container about halfway with earth. I don't use any lights to avoid spooking them. If you do need lights, cover a flashlight with yellow, orange or red plastic, the bright white light will spook them immediately.

Once you spot one (or a few), start by picking the outer ones first. A worm will usually leave 1/2 - 3/4 of it's body exposed, the "tail" will remain in the hole in case it needs to retreat. To pick it, simply pinch the tail end closest to the hole and gently pull it free. If you pinch or pull to hard, you risk ripping it in half.

Using this technique, I've managed up to 200 worms in less than 1 hour on a good rainy night, at the current prices that saved me about $75. Not too bad for an hours work, not to mention a great activity for the kids before a trip. Just be sure not to forget the OFF or Muskol.

Once you have enough worm, pop a few pin hole in the top of the containers, then store them in a fridge. Be sure to run this by your wife first, I've had early morning screeches to contend with more than once. WARNING: worms will escape if the containers aren't properly closed, last things you need is a bunch of muddy wigglers all over your food.

6 comments:

Alter said...

I've had decent luck keeping worms in a moss lined container for a couple of days before going out fishing; the worms stay sufficiently moist, and they seem to be more active in the water when they're not full of mud.

The problem is that they take up more space that way. This was a problem when I was using a couple of dozen a trip; I don't suppose it would work if you've got several hundred.

Yasher Koach on the blog, by the way.

Freshwater Phil said...

Your best bet is to keep them in a fridge. When you're ready to head out, put them in a cooler with some ice or ice packs. I've brought a couple hundred worms on extended trips before, as long as the place you are going to has a fridge to store them, you're good to go.

matt said...

I'm seeing them at closer to $10 for a dozen in mtl lately...

M1cH87 said...

I've heard that it is illegal to do so, wondering if someone was just yanking my chain ... i went to the park once and did gather in 15 min about 40-50 worms, much cheaper than the 6.50 - 7$ for a box ... insane pricing :(

Freshwater Phil said...

Perfectly legal to catch your own worms... for now. No rules against it anywhere, unless you were to trespass on private property, or do it in a public park after 11 PM.

Price is only going to go higher, as all minnows, live or dead, will be banned across the entire province of Quebec starting in April of 2017, with the exception of ice fishing.

Unknown said...

What other live baits are illegal?