Worms – Starting A Wormery for Freshwater Fish Bait

From Coarse Fishing Corner

by the Canterbury Coarse Fishing Club

There is scarcely a freshwater species of fish that at some time or other will not readily accept small lively worms. Perch, tench, rudd, and or course eels are particularly attracted to the redworm, which comes from compost heaps. These worms can be fished on their own or in bunches, and they make superb cocktail baits used in conjunction with sweetcorn, maggots or casters.

It is the worm’s attractive wiggle and scent that makes it such an effective bait. Bear this in mind when hooking it. A common mistake is to ’staple’ a worm to a hook that is too small, by piercing it several times. This results in a lifeless lump of insipid looking ‘worm meat’.

After a couple of casts, the bait tears as the hook pulls out and soon becomes useless. The ideal way is to singly hook the worm through the ‘band’ a third of the way from the head.

How to Farm Your Own Worms

With a little effort, it is possible to build your own ready supply of worms so you never have to waste time digging in the garden for them. All you need is a shady patch of garden, a suitably large container (bottomless wooden compost bins are ideal), some coarse gravel and plenty of garden waste or well-rotted manure. Ensure your container is situated out of the sun as heat will kill your worms.

Place your gravel or old crushed bricks on the bottom (make sure this is at least 15 cm deep). This provides the drainage you need as too much watering or rain will drown your worms. If you don’t have a bottomless container than make plenty of holes in it. Then fill two-thirds of your wormery with either old, well-rotted compost, manure or grass clippings. Continue to fill with 10 cm to 15 cm of alternating layers of grass clippings or old leaves and vegetable matter.

Ensure that you don’t add anything that has been treated with pesticides or weed killers, and if you do use manure, add a generous quantity of garden lime, as this type of material can result in a very acidic wormery which will kill your bait. For the same reason do not add tomatoes or fruit to your wormery. We suggest if you use grass clippings that you stick to 15 cm layers, as this material produces considerable heat as it decomposes. This will also kill your worms. Top it all off with old damp sacks to keep the sun and birds off. By placing some sliced up pumpkins amongst the top layer of your wormery the day before you go fishing, you will attract a good quantity of worms to that particular area. This not only speeds up the collection process but also means you don’t unduly disturb the heap with too much digging.

Now you are ready to introduce some worms. Either pick them off the lawn after heavy rain or contact a firm that sells them.

This will provide you with a good start and a few to use straight away. Remember to keep your heap damp and well-fed, and you will always have a good supply of bait.

Worm Fishing Rigs

Worm fishing rigs.

This post was last modified on 23/10/2020 2:48 pm

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