Friday, 12 April 2013

Worm Farming

Worms are an awesome bait. There is not a fish alive that will not take them as bait. Even predators like Pike fall for them on a regular basis. If I was told to fish only one bait for the rest of my life I would choose them over everything else.
Now I could creep about at dusk, just after it has rained and collect plenty but I am inherently lazy and also my wife would go nuts and say I should be helping her with the kids bath and bedtime so I buy mine. The only problem with that is they are bloody expensive. Then there is the question of what to do with the left over wrigglers at the end of a fishing session? Chuck them in the swim, no way, I am a Yorkshireman so I take them home. Then I forget about them, they go mouldy and die so I thought it was about time I made a wormery and tried to keep them alive. That is exactly what I did last Autumn.
We had an old dustbin kicking about so I commandeered it, brought in a bit of child labour in the shape of my then five year old daughter Maisie and set to work.
First job was to drill some drainage holes around the bottom of the bin.

Being the good Father that I am that was my task despite Maisie's protestations.

Ten holes about an inch and a half above the base. These would make ideal escape routes for worms so we took the bin to put some gravel in the bottom, this would stop the worms burrowing down to the holes.

Maisie dragged the bin and helped with the gravel collecting.

Until she got bored and decided throwing stones was more fun, kids eh!
We filled it to about three inches in depth, thinking that was enough to avoid losses.

Then we added soil mixed with a bit of horse manure and some fruit and vegetable peelings to feed the worms.

With the task completed we chucked in the remainder of worms from a previous session and promptly forgot about them. The worms were both Lobworms and Dendroboenas which I thought was a risk but what the heck, if they died they died, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
This week with the weather warming up and Spring Tenching beginning to occupy my thoughts I checked to see how they were getting on. Flourishing is the only way to describe them and the wormery is a resounding success. The different species are co-existing quite happily too! Roll on the next fishing trip.


  1. Nice one Joe, I've had a bin on the go since 2006, although mine is only redworms , but there are thousands in there. Interesting to read your dendras and lobs are thriving. I might start a new bin this year for some of those as I only use the reds for the choppy mainly.

    My wife is just embarrased by what the neighbors must think of me hunting round the garden for lobs at night with a headtorch on !! Lol.

  2. Never fall out with a man who's got worms!

    <y wormery is more than 20 years old and still going strong. It's like yours but the gravel is Lytag, instead of holes it's got a tap so the "Baby Bio" can be collected in 2 litre coke bottles. The bin is lined with a porous polyester sack so the worms don't get into the gravel and it's easy to lift the whole lot out when full and separate the black compost awaty from the worms and the kitchen waste. The local council issued us with food waste bins a few months ago but it is yet to be used as the worms have been recycling the stuffall these years on their own.

    You are right about their efficacy for just about any fish and although I'd hate to be restricted to one bait, worms would see that most bait fishing opportunities would not be a waste of time...

    I too have never tried lobworms in a wormery. Lawn snatching has been the regime so far, but a lob wormery would be a very convenient thing to turn to as Anno Dominii takes its toll on my poor back!


  3. My own wormery, the front garden, just a little patch about 10 foot square where I've dumped unused lobworms for the last few years has suddenly started producing gilt tails. They just appeared one day though I never put any in but think they got in their from the partially rotted down shredded willow refuse I brought back from the canal and used as mulch.

    I used them the first time last weekend. Really soft and fragile they are, but they catch fish. Rated by JIm Gibbinson as the best tench bait there is ~