As the Worm Turns!

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, ID)

Worm Family

Worm Family

I hope some of you have been inspired by the "Park Avenue" worm ranch idea. One problem with writing an article is you can't have much of a discussion on the blog. So a few other thoughts about playing with worms might inspire you and stimulate a discussion.

In a book by Edward Fitzgibbon written in 1847,he says, "Brandlings (Red Wigglers) are an admirable bait, and may be used without any preparation or scouring." His description on where to find them is far from "The Park Avenue." He says, "You will find them among rotten tan, or in heaps of manure composed chiefly of sweepings from cow houses and swine muck."

One of the reasons my first attempt at the "Park Avenue" worked so well is I put pretty much all pregnant worms in it. Two hundred bred or ready to breed worms multiply fast! In the second picture you can see the swollen clitellum. It is best to leave those worms as they are ready to breed. If you find your worms in a large ball, there is nothing wrong. Don't separate them up. Put on some romantic music, they are producing your next generation of worms. Worms have both male and female organs. They do need a partner. They exchange fluids by coupling at the clitellum. Both worms will lay an egg capsule that has 4 to 14 baby worms.

The first picture is a worm family. A baby worm, a teenage worm, and an adult worm. A healthy worm ranch will have all three.

The third picture is a nice adult worm without a swollen clitellum. This is the perfect worm to fish with! I hope you give Red Wigglers a try.

There is a long tradition of fishing with worms that I am just discovering. Reading some of the old fishing books from England as well as the United States, I am learning a lot about a method of fishing that has more sophistication than I realized. I have several other experiments going on so stay tuned! Share your experiences, and feel free to ask questions. Chris Stewart knows a lot about worm fishing as well. He has pointed me in several informative directions over this past year.

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