Any Crawler Harvesters?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moonwolf, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Anyone out there that harvest nightcrawlers to sell as bait to anglers?

    What do you average for numbers in a night of harvesting them? What do you think about the type of soil or grass that more would be found in...say a short cut lawn grass or white clover, etc?

    Do you use any methods to get them up to the surface for easier capture, such as watering the lawn or using electrodes, if that works better or not?

    Do you wholesale the nightcrawlers you harvest, or do you sell direct to the fishtermen and fisherwomen. What prices do you get?

    thanks.
     
  2. MissChris

    MissChris Well-Known Member

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    I nightcrawl for my own personal use so I can't help with pricing.

    My best night I harvested 500 worms, it took several hours and I suffered a bad back for several days :haha:

    I soak my lawn for several hours starting in the late afternoon, making sure I get around the shrubs and also in any gardens. You need to make sure your grass is cut short to make it easier to grab. Also don't pull on the worm it will just break. Let the worm struggle and tire then it is easier to get it without breakage.

    Good luck.

    Did you know that Walmart sells nightcrawlers?? I just found that out recently. But get this, the worms were imported from Canada! The US doesn't even produce it's own worms!
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    There is a method of sending vibrations under ground to drive them up to the surface. It involves driveing in a stake of wood and then rubbing the top with something to cause viabrations, who knows the name of this?
     
  4. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    Its called ''fiddling worms" we have used it before.

    You can also wet the lawn and drive a couple pieces of copper ground post in the ground a few inchs and hook it to a crank phone and ''call worms'' Better be wearing gloves and rubber boots though lol
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I knew that Canadian Nightcrawlers were a big commodity that were harvested in this country. I'm in Canada, but not in the areas where the big harvesters pick. Apparantely, they buy land rights on big golfcourses and such. Most of this is in southern ontario. I have picked before for my use in this area, but since I'm on a homestead basis and deal some with fishermen already, it's a sidelight I thought to investigate. My goal would be to care for an area that would specifically benefit large numbers of crawlers to pick.
    500 worms per a night is a lot! I'll have to do some back strengthening excercises! :haha: I'll be happy to get half that many a few days a week.

    thanks for the input
     
  6. stonefly71

    stonefly71 Well-Known Member

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    The best place to look for worms is around pine trees and such. we use to pick up 40 to 100 plus doz per night and sell them for 1. 00 per doz.I use to use 2 pieces of hard rod 2 to 3 ft long take an old extension cord cut the female end off put each side on the rod and tape up real good with black tape. Wet yard make sure to wear rubber boots or good shoes and put rod about 6 ft apart. They will jump out of ground. Another thing to use is the juice from black walnut hulls leave them in the barrel for a few weeks till you get a dark back water and dip it out and dump on your area where you want to pick worms up at and within 10 minutes they will start coming to the top to pick up. Hope this helps out and I'm not responsible for accidents that happen if you try my way use your best judgment. Later Matt p.s. you can also go down back roads at night and pick them up after a good rain. Are area smells like dead fish after a good rain from all them getting squished.
     
  7. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I did it as a kid. I sold them for a 1 dollar a dozen. They go for 1.75 the last time I bought some. I would go to parks with a flashlight and if it was raining all the better. Using a red filter helps with the light. They will duck back down below the surface with a regular white light plus it saves your night vision.

    I never used the electric probes much especially for my own use. I always thought it damaged them. They never seemed to do as well as the ones I caught without electricity. There are usually a death or two a year form people getting electrocuted using the things. I'm not sure you can even buy them anymore.

    You can also grow them commercially as I understand it.
     
  8. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Can someone give details about 'fiddleing worms', it is not in google.
     
  9. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

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    Try "fiddling worms"
    [ame]http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=fiddling+worms&btnG=Google+Search[/ame]
     
  10. wormlady

    wormlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Nightcrawler Manual by Ray Edwards gives a lot of good info about nightcrawler harvesting.
    Check out www.wormbooks.com
     
  11. Rebel

    Rebel Active Member

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    Drive a hardwood stake or small diameter limb in the ground then take the dullest saw you can find and saw back and forth on the top of the limb. Watch for worms to surface.
     
  12. I've never fiddled for worms since the native crawlers around here are different but I have heard of starting a chain saw up and then setting it down on the ground and those Canadian crawlers will start popping up everywhere.

    Here where I live we have the what they call the native night crawlers. They don't get as fat as the canadians but they still catch fish and they don't tear off your hook as easy as the Canadians. I walk up and down the creek looking for debree built up on the banks from previous floods. I usually take a small rake and a 5 gallon bucket with me and just rake back the leaves and twiggs. On a good long walk I have filled a 5 gallon bucket half full. Don't know how many dozens that would make. I don't do that anymore cause it is hard to keep them alive for long periods. It's too cold in the fridge and usually too hot outside. Now I just keep what I'm going to use for the day.
     
  13. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

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    I usually mix some dish detergant with water in a 5 gallon bucket. Dump it over the ground, and watch them pop up. The soap seals the worm holes, cutting off oxygen. The best part is they are all clean when you pick them up.LOL
     
  14. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    I know of a gal who died trying to use electrodes in diggng worms/ night crawlers as her husband plugged the electrod in..... it wasnt on purpose they had been doing the same thing for several years.... the conditions were ripe for the situation i spect. so be aware of the end results of playing with electricity, the ground, water, and human life.

    That said i walked out of the house last spring/early summer and the ground looked like it was alive and moving....something out of a horror flick.... must of been close to 30 nightcrawlers to the foot i aint kidding it was after a good soaking rain and about 10 pm so it is possible to have a good harvest if you dont scare the little criiters.... the movenment of the ground was from them trying to escape anything from cathing them....

    William
     
  15. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for your input. I'm going to give some of these suggestions a try, especially when it's rain and wet grass at night. I'm hoping to maximize the numbers of crawlers that I can get, which should help out in my bait ventures locally.

    Rich
     
  16. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Since it's so pretty here the past couple days I've been wanting to go fishing. I went to Wal Mart and got a container of nightcrawlers. :( They were moldy! I paid $3 for moldy rotting worms. You bet I'll be getting my money back and digging up my own worms from now on.

    Here's a link to a worm fiddling story: http://www.arts.state.al.us/actc/articles/wormfiddling.htm
     
  17. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Good Luck fishing, Ravenlost.

    I charged $2.50 cdn. in my baitshop last year for worms that I got wholesale for about $1.25 dozen, but you have to buy a quanitity in bulk at that price, sort them, grade them. Then I had to have the crawler/peat mix per each styroam container. Not a whole lot of profit by that time, so I'm sure this year the price will go up. If I'm good at taking the time to harvest the right worms, it's going to help. I may wholesale them as well to the past baitfish customers I had. At least I won't have to operate an expensive chilling tank and spend coutless hours in the far field chasing minnows unprofitably, and then the high cost of fuel for that.
     
  18. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I've kicked around the idea of a bait shop. I've always had a dream of a having a bait shop and sporting goods store. I remember as a little kid going into the local store and seeing all the lures, rods and reels, looking at the racks of rifles and shotguns, the stacks of ammunition behind thee counter and pressing my nose against the display case to look at the silver and blue steel handguns. I loved to listen to all the guys talking about the fish they caught or the game they bagged or didn't bag. When I got a little older I remember picking out a rifle or shotgun I wanted and saving my pennies and doing odd jobs to buy it. I'd go to the shop and ask to see it and the owner who was usually manning the counter always indulged me smiled and handed it to me to remind myself of what I was working for. I think he enjoyed seeing my excitement. Probably brought back memories for him as a kid. I'd work the action and feel the cold of the steel and the warmth of the wood and imagine the day when I wouldn't have to hand it back to be placed back on the rack. Oh, and that day when I would walk in with my money to buy it! It was special for both me and the guy who was selling it to me. He would usually throw in a case, a few boxes of ammunition or something as a bonus. Great memories.

    Probably have trouble competing with Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops with some things but I've always thought it could make for a decent small business. Wouldn't make you rich but it would be better for working for someone else.
     
  19. stonefly71

    stonefly71 Well-Known Member

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    We use to use Styrofoam coolers and had 3 fridges set in out shed just for crawlers and beer. Had no problems keeping over 300 doz alive for over 2 yrs at a time you just cannot put more then about 20 dozen per cooler and the best thing to use is the buss bedding which is ground up news paper. We done this for over 20 plus yrs. Just my 2 penneys Later Matt
     
  20. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I use round pint containers that hold 2 dozen large crawlers per container. The holding mix I use is peat that is readily available mixed with some finished compost. That saves on buying any expensive worm bedding. These containers are kept in the fridge throughout the spring to fall season. At the cold temps, they keep for weeks/months before sales direct to the anglers. Grading and holding them in large brown double grocery bags at 40 doz per bag is how they are wholesaled and a rougher soil mix, as these aren't held as long before being distributed.
    When younger, I used to keep them in styrofoam coolers for my own use, and also a bin of multiplying redworms to which I always added all the coffee grounds I could get.