Fishing Baits - Collecting and keeping worms
Derek's Fishing Pages
Memorable Fishing Trips
Returning to Fishing
Bait & Groundbait
Presents for Anglers
For the main supply and the bigger worms I go out with a torch after dark or under the streetlamps in the local park especially if it's raining. Explaining it to the local Bobby is the only major difficulty...
On a dark, damp night worms lie out on the surface in search of a mate. You may be surprised to find that a worm moves much faster than you would expect and can pull so hard that it snaps itself in two.
Find a worm, work out which end is still in the ground and, if possible, pin that end to the ground with your forefinger. The worm will contract and if you were quick enough it will probably pull itself out of its hole so you can pick it up at leisure.
Sometimes the worm gets a good grip in the ground. If you pull hard you will get half a worm or one so damaged that it will quickly die. The trick is to allow the worm to begin to return to its hole and then once it has released its grip and started to slide into the hole — pull again. If you still don't get it its better to let that one go and find another candidate.
For short term storage use moss, wet paper or neutral (not acidic) peat - they'll be ok for about a week in cool weather.
For medium to long term storage put them on top of the medium and discard any that are still on top an hour later, feed a few dead leaves or peelings on top occasionally and make sure accumulated water can drain into a secure container. Wormery effluent is highly aromatic and polluting but diluted it makes a good plant feed.
Unless stated otherwise: Everything in this site refers to fishing in the British Isles and similar northern European waters.