The Real Deal: Nightcrawlers
Ask any diehard fisherman, chances are they have hunted for nightcrawlers at least once or twice, even if it was only as a kid. A nightcrawler (or really big worm) is one of the most economical and fun types of bait around, and are incredibly easy to catch and store. Although they love shady, moist places like thick lawns and wooded areas, they can be found in almost any type of environment, from fields to old parking lots. These giant worms work on all types of fish and, who knows, having some live bait may be just the difference to get your day’s desired catch. So if you happen to know a young fisherman interested in learning the finer points of the sport, or just want to do a little worm hunting yourself, here are some tips and instructions to get you going.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• Red cellophane
• Storage container with small holes poked in it
WHEN AND WHERE:
• Your backyard (or almost any outdoor area) at night, especially after rain
• Cover the tip your flashlight with red cellophane
• Use a sharp object to poke small holes in the cover of your storage container
Since nightcrawlers are easily found at night, head outdoors once it’s dark, preferably after a rain. No rain in the forecast? Crawlers will most likely still be out. However, if you’d like a little extra help, spray your lawn before the day is over to give them a little extra coaxing.
To begin hunting, shine your flashlight slowly over the ground before you. The red light allows you to see the crawlers, but helps you remain undetected to them. Nightcrawlers love moisture, so as you’re hunting, turn over leaves, rocks, and the like to aid in your search.
See a crawler? Act fast! Once you’ve got one in your sights, do not hesitate. They are faster than you may think. Reach down and with a quick darting motion grab the crawler, yanking it up firmly and putting it in your container. Tread lightly … nightcrawlers can feel the vibrations caused by footsteps, and once spooked will quickly slip back into their holes.
Hunting with a junior fisherman? Remember, if a worm is separated from its back end, it usually can regenerate a new one. This may be a comfort to first-time hunters on the off chance they win a worm tug of war, causing the worm to break in half.