How to Raise Nightcrawlers for Fishing

How to Raise Nightcrawlers for Fishing

It is common knowledge that with better baits, the chances of catching big fish are potentially higher. If fishing is a hobby for you, it’s about time you learn how to raise nightcrawlers for fishing instead of spending money on baits every time you go out fishing. Nightcrawlers are perfect baits that grow up to six inches long that would help you fish big game. They can survive and wiggle underwater for an extended period, making them perfect fish baits. It would be best if you had a place to raise them and plump them up for when you fancy going fishing.

Steps On How To Raise Nightcrawlers For Fishing

Growing nightcrawlers shouldn’t be difficult if you follow the steps that we have provided. So let’s get started. 

Make a Compost Bed

The first thing you need to grow nightcrawlers for fishing is a compost bed. This is the place your worms will feed and breed. Find a plastic bin or a wooden crate that you think will be perfect for raising nightcrawlers indoors. Before doing anything else, make sure you clean the container and drill holes onto it. For the drainage holes, pierce the bottom of the bin with ⅜ inch holes with a space of four inches in between each hole. For ventilation holes, you can drill ⅛ inch holes on the sides of the bin. 

Add Soaked Paper in the Bed

After ventilating the worm’s bed, it’s time to start with the bedding. Before adding soil, it is best to add some shredded paper to serve as the initial bedding. To do that:

  1. Shred some old documents and soak them in the water.
  2. Squeeze the water out of the papers and spread them onto the bed.
  3. Keep filling the bed until the papers reach some inches in height.

Instead of paper, you can also use materials like old leaves, wood chips, and coconut coir, among others. 

Fill The Bed With Potting Soil

Adding potting soil is a crucial step when it comes to how to raise nightcrawlers for fishing. After all, this is where your nightcrawlers are going to thrive. So make sure that you get good quality organic soil for the best effect. While the amount of dirt to be added can depend on the size of the bed, there should be about three to eight inches of soil in the bin for the nightcrawlers to grow and develop. 

Add Natural Fertilizers

Just like plants, worms also thrive in an environment with natural fertilizers. So add them to the soil and reap fat and plump nightcrawlers for fishing. You can put in scraps from vegetables and fruits, grass manure, and even chicken coop. However, take care not to add any dairy products or oily foods as these can lead to a smelly worm bed. 

Give The Nightcrawlers A New Home

Finally, the moment has come to do what you meant to do in the first place-putting nightcrawlers on the bed. Make sure you understand the limit and capacity of the bed before you add the nightcrawlers. If you have a small bed, add fewer nightcrawlers, and if you have a big bed, you can find room for a lot of them to grow and thrive. The general rule of thumb is to add two dozen nightcrawlers for each available square foot. Once you add the worms, you are almost done. The nightcrawlers will slowly make themselves comfortable under the soil. These are the steps on how to raise nightcrawlers for fishing. 

How To Care For And Maintain The Worm Bed

Knowing how to make a compost bed for nightcrawlers is a good thing. But for the worms to thrive, you also need to understand how to maintain the bed so that the worms get all they need to grow, survive, and get plump to become ready for harvest. 

Temperature Check

Once the worms are in bed, you need to make sure that they are exposed to the right temperature for them to flourish. So, even if it means that you have to shift the bed inside and outside, you need to do it to reap a good harvest and do justice to your effort. The ideal temperature ranges between 50° F to 80° F. 

Don’t Forget To Feed Them.

It would be a relief to know that you don’t have to feed the nightcrawlers daily with compost materials. Once in four days is quite enough to yield positive results. If you’re not sure what to feed them, you can go for coffee grounds and eggshells. Some people also add banana peels as compost material for the worms. These materials not only provide food for the nightcrawlers but also nourish and fertilize the soil.

Periodic Soil Replacement

If you think you don’t have to deal with soil replacement after creating the compost bed, you’re wrong. It is necessary to replace the soil every few months so that the worms do not run out of fresh dirt and nutrients. Then, you have to remove the dirt in the bed and replace them with good-quality organic soil. Then, you can use the ground you have just scooped out in your garden. You have to believe that the used soil will enrich your plants as they will be filled with worm droppings which act as natural fertilizers to plants. 

Know Where To Place The Worm Bed

If you have placed the bed outdoors, make sure you keep it in the shade and protect it from harsh weather environments such as rain. If your worm bed is inside the house, make sure it is in a cool and dry place. You may need to change the location of the bed indoors and outdoors depending on the temperature. 

How To Harvest Nightcrawlers for Fishing

The time has come to harvest your strenuous efforts. So, how do you go about gathering them for bait? It is pretty simple. It would be best if you had your hands for it. You don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty. But if you’re a stickler of cleanliness, you can use gloves for the harvest. Get a handful of soil, pick up the worms one by one, and put them in a container. 

If you don’t like the idea of scooping out the soil to pick the worms, you can go for another method that brings the bulk of worms onto the surface. Then, all you have to do is add food to the surface. After that, make the bed dark by covering the top and leave it for a week. After one week, you can remove the lid, and voila! Your plump nightcrawlers are ready to be picked up to act as bait for fishing. 


Nightcrawlers are one of the best baits for fishing. Now that you know the steps on how to raise nightcrawlers for fishing, make sure you do it right to get the best out of your efforts and save money on baits.