Is it me or are worm and bait prices rising thanks to Biden omics? I wanted to ice fish the other day and a dozen worms cost almost $6!!! WTF!
Back in the day, worms were my date and beer money. If a girl wanted to hit the bars, I enticed her to earn the money for the bill. We would hit the field, after a nice rain, and hand capture Night Crawlers’. A girl needs to be really in love with you, or really thirsty, to keep you company on a bait catching trip.
Fortunately, my now wife was willing to at least hold the bait can. I used a big coffee can, to carry the bounty, but I would capture and sell the worm bounty. At a couple bucks a dozen, worms were good money. In an average evening, we could catch many dozens of fishing worms. I would be paid in cash and my wife could order whatever she wanted!
My favorite worm harvesting area was near a church that had a graveyard! I never really thought about it much, other than the grass was well groomed and the perfect height for grabbing worms. We never went into the cemetery, but we were on the other side of the fence.
Bait prices are ridiculous! Catching your own bait saved money and was fun. It was just another step in the fishing process. Catching worms was a new skill to acquire.
Catching worms at night means you need to learn how. A white handkerchief would cover the bright flashlight. Worms would slip back into their holes if the light was too bright. We used a rubber band to hold the cloth in place.
When you saw a worm, the goal was to figure out which end was in the hole. You needed to put your finger at that spot, so the worm would not escape. The worms are strong and will pull back so hard that you may break them. We would use another finger to stroke the worm, so it would relax and release from the hole.
Good garden dirt mixed with shredded newspaper was a good medium to keep the worms alive. We fed worms milk powder or cornmeal. Leaf mulch was also a good choice. When we sold the worms, we always gave a Bakers Dozen, of 13 worms. Small or broken worms went back into our worm farms for future sales.
We also used to hunt for insect maggots and pupas in weed boils. A large bump growing on weed stems often contained a big pupa for ice fishing. Meal worms are also a good bait option.
Crickets and grasshoppers were also great baits.
Best baits mean best bites, and better fishing!