I was cleaning black walnuts the other day and noticed something odd when I was dumping the water I washed the nuts with...worms...not in the shell, nightcrawlers...lots of them coming out from the ground where I dumped the water.
Why is this odd? It was the middle of a sunny afternoon.
Black walnuts contain alot of tannin. This isn't the first time I've seen this...suppose I'm just a little slow...never put two & two together. Anyway, seems the worms don't like the tannin.
So I did a little experiment. I went back & grabbed a can, filled it with water, dropped in a couple of the hulls, then let it sit for a minute or two. I grabbed a can of fresh water too & headed for a spot next to the wood line. I dumped part of the fresh water on one patch & the tannin tea on the other. Within minutes, there were a half dozen worms coming up in the tannin tea patch...nothing where the plain water was. I poured some of the tea on the plain water spot & sure enough out came the nightcrawlers. Cool!
This gives me a real easy way to catch worms. I'll save some of the hulls to make up some tea next time I go fishing & need some bait. Don't know yet if the worms need to be washed off before using them to get rid of the tannin taste / smell. Guess I need to go fishing to find out.
Black walnut trees contain a toxic chemical called jugalone. That is why when you plant anything around them, the plants usually die. That's probably why the worms come to the surface trying to escape this chemical. There's an old indian trick to catching fish,which is illegal in almost any state, using the walnut hulls. Shell the green walnuts and throw the hulls in water were there are fish, they become stunned and float to the top, making for easy pickings!!
I think that it was 3 years ago when there was a goldfish thread and I reported that squirrels killed my beautiful shubunkin goldfish. Squirrels would take a nut from the walnut tree and then sit in an apple tree branch above the pond. The bits of hull fell into the pond and the fish were soon belly up. This year, same thing except cheaper fish. Had 14 live fish one day and 2 the next. So, the squirrels did indeed kill the fish!
Another liquid that will bring up nightcrawlers is tomato juice. I ferment large quantities of tomato seeds and the first rinse is mostly juice. All types of earthworms come up when I pour that liquid off.