HomeQuestion Posts

How to Build a Worm Farm for Fishing [Detailed Guide]

How to Build a Worm Farm for Fishing [Detailed Guide]
Like Tweet Pin it Share Share Email

Purchasing worms as fishing bait can poke a large hole in your pocket in the long run, especially if you do a lot of fishing. This is why building your own worm farm is a good way to save costs while raising choice worms for fishing.

Apart from this, if you have a number of anglers around you, and there is a fair amount of demand for worms as fishing bait, your worm farm could end up filling that need, and you get to make some money on the side. Win-win!

A big advantage of a worm farm is that the worm raising process is pretty simple and nothing really wastes. The compost or humus generated by the worms is a good source of manure for your plants. It is also a good way to put scrap materials to good use.

Want to start with a video? Check out this one below

Types of Fishing Worms

Now before you go ahead and build a worm farm, it would help to understand the different varieties of worms that are used for fishing. This is because not every type of worm out there will work for every type of fish and this will help decide which ones to raise.

Some of the most common worm species include:

1. Nightcrawlers: With the color ranging from dark grey to brown, nightcrawlers are one the most (if not the most) popular worms used as live bait while fishing. Nightcrawlers are big, juicy and active, making them attractive to big fish like walleye, bass and catfish.

On the other hand, small-mouthed fish find them intimidating. This can be worked around, however, by cutting the worm into smaller pieces that can be handled by the small fish like trout, crappie, small-mouth bass, etc.

Check out this Nightcrawler Worm Bedding on Amazon

 2. Mealworms: These are delicious larvae of mealworm beetle. Not only do they last long on the hook, they can also be used in various fishing styles, making them a versatile choice. They are best for catching small fish like trout, panfish, bluegill, tropical fish, perch and whitefish.

Mealworms are also good for ice fishing.

Click to buy a box of 2,100 Organically-Grown Live Mealworms on Amazon

 3. Wax Worms: These are also larva-stage worms, this time, of a small moth. Though short, these worms are really fatty and plump, making them very attractive. They are often used to bait panfish. Waxworms are commonly used for ice fishing too.

 4. Red Wigglers: Also known as red worms (due to the red color) or compost worms, red wigglers are also commonly used worms for fishing. They are highly active in nature and this is characterized by incessant writhing or wiggling, hence the name, wiggler.

Typically small in size, they are often used for baiting fish like crappie, perch, trout, panfish and bluegill. Large-sized ones can also be used to fish for bigger game like bass.

One other thing about red worms is that they are beginner-friendly, as they are very easy to dig up and are also able to cope in varying temperatures and conditions.

Buy these Red Wigglers on Amazon

 5. Leeches: Leeches, especially large ones, are good for catching catfish, walleye, and bass. They are abundant in aquatic environments and are a staple diet for fish in the first place, making them a good choice as bait.

 6. Butter Worms: Butter worms are similar to wax worms in appearance and nature (they are also larvae). However, a major difference is in the fat content, which is significantly lower than that of wax worms.

While this low-fat content makes butter worms less attractive to fish, they make up for it by having a fruity odor that is sweet enough to tempt fish to have a bite, making these worms good bait material, especially for panfish and trout.

 7. Blood Worms: They are so called due to their red bodily fluids that are visible through their translucent bodies. They have a pretty wide size range and are very good for catching big saltwater fish.

Now, when using blood worms, great care must be taken as they have teeth and can bite.

They can be used to bait a good range of fish like roach, croaker, kingfish, catfish, perch, bream, striped bass, porgies, spot, winter flounder and weak fish.

How To Build A Worm Farm For Fishing — A Step By Step Guide

1. Decide the Types Of Worm To Grow And Procure.

Choose the species of worm you want to raise based on the types of fish you want to catch and their feeding habits. This will help raise the right bait that will attract them.

Provided you can recognize them, a cheap way to get these worms is by digging them up in the soil. If not, purchase from a tackle shop around you or online.

Buy this box of 250 Live Superworms on Amazon

2. Pick A Location.

A worm farm can be created either outdoors or indoors though most anglers prefer the outdoors, and with good reasons. For one, while worms themselves are odorless, the worm bed itself can create an unpleasant smell around the house. Also, some worms can manage to crawl their way out, and you wouldn’t want to have worms slithering around your kitchen, right?

Now for your outdoor space, your worm farm should be situated in an area that is least susceptible to weather elements like sun and rain, and won’t freeze over in winter, as you need it to be warm all through the year.

Your garage or a corner of your porch (well screened off) are good options. The basement also works well. These areas are neither in the main house nor outdoors, and will provide conducive environment to raise worms.

3. Buy or Build A Worm Container.

You can purchase one from local or online stores that deal with fishing, farming or vermicomposting tools and materials. Materials around the home can also be repurposed to make one. Common options for worm container are foam and plastic containers. For instance, an old compact cooler is a good choice, as it is well insulated to protect the worms from temperature fluctuations. If this is unavailable, a well-covered plastic container is fine too.

The container can be as large or small as you want, considering your needs and how well you’re able to maintain it. You will find that the terms used for the sizes are different, and this is useful knowledge to have, especially if you’re buying rather than making one by yourself. A larger worm farm is usually called a worm bed while a smaller one is known as worm bin, though they are sometimes used interchangeably.

Buy this Live Worm Composting Bin on Amazon

Here are the steps to take to build a worm farm for fishing:

Step 1. Make Holes in the Container.

Make holes on the top and bottom of the container with a drill. The holes at the top will allow the worms breathe since the container’s lid will be shut, while the bottom holes will help drain out excess water.

If you are using a somewhat light container like thin plastic, a nail can be used to poke holes if you don’t have a drill on hand. The holes should not be too big to prevent the worms from escaping through them. A moderate number of 1-inch holes on the sides of the container is fine for the top while four 1/8-inch holes, one at each corner, will be good at the bottom. There should be about 2 inches of space from the top of the container itself for the top holes.

Step 2. Add Shredded Paper.

Use shredded paper to layer the container up to a half inch high. This will serve as the initial bedding.

If you can’t get shredded paper, you can tear old newspapers, printer paper or even sheets of paper from old notebooks into tiny pieces and distribute as evenly as you can in the worm container, making sure to cover up any bare spots and smoothen any mound.

Avoid glossy, heavy, and colored paper, however, as they could be toxic to the worms.

Alternatively, you can buy ready-to-use worm bedding online or from a local store around you.

Step 3. Add Potting Soil.

Next, add potting soil on top of the bedding. Make sure you add enough soil, at least 3 inches, for the worms to burrow through, though it could be more than that, depending on the size of your container.

Spread out the soil as flat and even as possible and make sure that the soil contains no harmful chemicals.

Buy this 1.5 Cubic Foot Organic Potting Soil on Amazon

Step 4. Moisten the Soil.

Add some water bit by bit to get the soil dampened. The goal here is to get the soil adequately damp, not soaking wet with water pooling around as this can drown the worms.

As you add water, turn the soil with your hand or with a hand trowel till it is evenly moistened and can clump up pretty well or feels like a sponge that has been squeezed out very well. That’s your cue to stop adding water.

Your worm bed is now ready for the worms to be added in.

Before we move to that, you might have noticed that some people choose to combine steps 2, 3 and 4 in one by mixing the shredded paper, potting soil and water together and putting the mixture in the container at once instead of layering. That’s also fine, as long as everything is well mixed, moist and up to 3 inches.

4. Add Your Worms.

Place your worms carefully on the newly prepared bedding and spread evenly on the surface. Leave the worms to get used to their new home and dig air holes for a day before introducing food. Don’t worry, they won’t starve, plus they can feed on the bedding.

Make sure to secure the lid of the container properly to prevent the worms from escaping.

Buy this Worm Bedding with Built-in Food Source on Amazon

5. Feed Your Worms.

The quantity and frequency of feeding depends on how many worms you have in the worm farm, but once every 3 or 4 days is OK as you don’t want to overload the worm bed. This can attract unwanted organisms in there. You want to give the worms enough to supplement the nutrients they serve from the soil already, in order to make them bigger and more attractive fishing baits.

Introduce food scraps like fruit bits and vegetables. Worms also eat coffee grounds, bread, tea bags (only paper tea bags, not fabric or plastic ones), cereal, pasta, hair, grains, eggshells and even thin pieces of paper, but not animal products like milk, cheese, meat, bone, etc.

Also avoid giving the worms salty, oily or spicy foods, as well as foods that contain preservatives. You can set up a scrap container to collect these ahead.

Worms find it easier to feed on small food sizes, so try cutting them into little bits or making a puree before adding to the worm container.

Also, try to balance foods high in carbon with protein and nitrogen-rich ones. These are often referred to as browns and greens, respectively. Browns are important energy sources for the worms and also help to absorb odors and prevent loss of other nutrients. In addition, they facilitate faster formation of humus.

Greens provide nutrients that boost growth and reproduction.

Apart from feeding them food scraps, you can also buy prepackaged worm food and/or mix compost into the bedding to provide nutrients.

Click to buy this Worm Food on Amazon

How to Maintain a Worm Farm for Fishing

Keep the temperature of the worm farm warm all year long, within the recommended range of 10 and 27°C. If the worm farm is too cold, the worms will migrate out of the farm in search of a warmer environment. If it is too hot the worms could die.

Meanwhile, if your worm farm is outdoors, you would have to move indoors during winter to prevent it from freezing up. If your indoor space is too cold, invest in a heat lamp or a seedling heat mat to bring the temperature to the optimal level. Now, if you used a foam cooler as your worm container, there is no need to worry, as it is well insulated enough from external temperature changes. However, if you are unsure, you can monitor the temperature with a worm farming thermometer and adjust accordingly.

Also, at intervals, say every 3 to 6 months, take out some of the bedding material. Humus produced by the worms will replace the harvested materials which can be used to grow starts or fertilize the plants in your garden.

If you notice the worm farm is getting full and close to the top holes, draw the worms to one side of the container by feeding them there or combing them with your hands. Then harvest compost from the other side and use in your garden. This will reduce the level and prevent the worms from getting out through the holes.

If you have more worms than you need for fishing, you can let some out in your garden, give out or sell to others, or transfer some to another worm bin.

Quick Recap

Worm raising for fishing is a great way to save costs, especially as an avid angler. The process is quite simple, with a number of side benefits like a regular supply of compost for your plants. Having an idea of the feeding behavior of fishes you want to catch will serve as a guide in deciding which type(s) of worms to raise.

Following the steps to building and maintaining one properly will guarantee you a regular supply of fishing worms to attract and snag those fishes of choice.

Have fun building… and fishing!

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply