Fishing – What You Need to Know About Using Nightcrawlers for Bait Fishing

Using nightcrawlers is one of the best and easiest ways to catch a fish. These worms make an excellent bait choice because they’re rich in protein, do not have any sharp spines or bones, are easy for fish to swallow, and wiggle well enough to attract fish even at low temperatures. If other baits don’t seem to work, try nightcrawlers.

What Are Nightcrawlers?

Nightcrawlers are large earthworms, also known as nightcrawler worms. They get this name from their tendencies of coming out of the ground to eat at night. While gardening or landscaping, especially after a rainfall, you can easily notice these worms. They are about three to eight inches, with some growing as long as fourteen inches. They also have a red-gray color. Nightcrawlers are available in two main types: Canadian and European. These two types only differ in size, with the Canadian nightcrawlers being bigger. However, they both make a great bait choice because you can easily secure them on a hook, and their wriggling attracts fish.

How to Catch Nightcrawlers

Before you set out to catch nightcrawlers, you need to know where and when to look. You can find these worms in the ground after a rainfall because they love damp places. If you want them to come out on their own, look when the temperatures are cool 600F – 700F; they tend to remain underground if the temperatures are extremely hot or cold. Another thing is that you shouldn’t look in high grass. Touching the high grass can cause alarm and push them into hiding.

Here are some of the best techniques to catch nightcrawlers:

  • Sprinkle water on your lawn using a sprinkler at night. As the ground becomes damp, it will attract worms to the surface. Then you can turn the sprinkler off and take a flashlight to spot the nightcrawlers. You’ll need to be quick and care to catch them with your hands. But this the method I grew up with and part of the adventure an early morning fishing trip planned for the next day.
  • Lay down cardboard or several pieces of flat board on bare, moist dirt. After several days, if you keep the ground moist, you’ll find worms hiding other those boards.
  • Use the worm grunting method – Even though this technique requires some patience, it can work. You just need two wooden sticks; push one deeper into the ground and rub the other against it. You’ll create vibrations that nightcrawlers hate, forcing them to run to the surface where you can catch them.
  • The electrocution method – For this technique, you need a car battery, two metal rods, and jumper cables. Insert the metal rods into the moist ground and attach them to the car battery using jumper cables. The worms will run to the surface to get away from electricity.
  • The detergent method – In a bucket, mix your dish detergent with water. Pour it on an area with bare dirt. Try in several spots, but don’t overdo it. They don’t like suds and thus will come to the surface. Remember to rinse them after catching to allow them to breathe.

These are some of the best ways to catch nightcrawlers. Don’t forget to carry a red light because white light scares them away. If it’s a red headlamp, the better to free both of your hands.

How to Store Nightcrawlers

You’ve caught a few worms, how do you store and keep them alive for your next fishing adventure? Here are tips on how to store nightcrawlers.

  • A breathable bait container is the best choice to keep your worms comfortable and alive for longer. The size will depend on the number of worms you want to store, but ideally, don’t overfill your containers. Allow some breathing space.
  • Prepare suitable bedding. A mixture of coffee grounds, shredded leaves, and organic garden soil is appropriate. And since nightcrawlers thrive well in damp places, moisten the bedding with water using a spray bottle. Don’t overdo it to prevent your worms from drowning.
  • Nightcrawlers don’t like hot temperatures. Therefore, keep the container in a cool place away from the sun.

Tips For Using Night Crawlers as Fishing Bait

  1. How to keep them alive – To keep your nightcrawlers alive for the longest time possible, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight. They breathe through their skin, and staying moist and cool is crucial for them to continue breathing. Sunshine can dry them out, and they wouldn’t be able to breathe.
  2. How to get the most bait from a nightcrawler – If you don’t have a lot of nightcrawlers and want to make most out of each one, you can consider cutting a worm into two halves. This way, if a fish steals a chunk, you can use the other one. And if you’re lucky, every piece can catch something, which means more fish for you to take home.
  3. How best to put a nightcrawler on a fishing hook – While using these worms, one thing that confuses people is how best to put them on a fishing hook. There are two ways you can do it. One, take your fishing hook and put it through the worm body’s midsection. Second, thread the worm over the hook’s shank – pierce the head and then thread the worm over the shank of the fishing hook as you would do with a sock.

The Most Common Method for Using Nightcrawlers for Bait Fishing?

The most common method is simply tying the fishing hook of your choice, a split shot weight, and a bobber. With this technique, you can suspend your nightcrawler at your desired level and allow it to move freely. This movement is the one that attracts fish. This method is the easiest and doesn’t need any experience. It’s also inexpensive.

Hopefully, this article has given you the information you were looking for about using nightcrawlers for bait fishing. Keep this information in mind, and you’ll be more successful in your next fishing experience.