If you are fishing with worms you probably get them either from a shop, order online or go out to your secret spot in the garden and dig them up. Setting up a wormery for fishing could give you a steady supply throughout the year saving you the nuisance of searching for them and digging them up.
And, if there is a keen gardener in your household you could provide them with worm castings, one of the best soil amendments there is. Oh, and you don’t need to buy worm food. Kitchen scraps are perfect.
Some worms can easily be grown at home. All you need is a wormery, DIY or off the shelf, some knowledge and starter worms and off you go. And if you have been buying your worms until now you can save a bit of time and money, too: on worms and trips to the tackle shop. There are no further costs once the wormery is set up.
Interested? Read on to find the best worms and wormery option for you.
- Best Worms for Fishing to Breed in a Wormery
- Which is the Best Wormery for Fishing?
- How and What to Feed Worms for Fishing
- Tips to Maintain a Healthy Wormery for Fishing
Best Worms for Fishing to Breed in a Wormery
We are looking at the best worms to GROW in a more or less artificial environment because not all worms you find in your garden are suitable to bring into a wormery. The only ones easy to keep are composting worms.
Here is why:
They like to be in large numbers, reproduce reliably fast and numerous, can consume a large amount of decaying plant material relative to their body size.
The composting worms suitable for the UK climate (apart from extremes like freezing temperatures and heat waves over 27 deg C) are:
- Red Wigglers (Eisenia Fetida)
- Tiger Worms
- European Nightcrawler (Eisenia hortensis or Dendrobaena veneta)
Red wigglers are the smallest and as the name suggests red in colour, tiger worms can grow to about double the size of reds and the European Nightcrawlers aka Dendrobaenas are the biggest and meatiest of them all.
All three can be kept together in one wormery.
Which is the Best Wormery for Fishing?
A Ready Made Stackable Wormery and Worm Farm Starter Kit
A stackable worm farm is ideal if you want to set up a proper, multi-benefit system in your household.
This wormery works as a semi flow-through system. You start the worms off in the bottom tray and when that’s full place the next tray on top and so on.
The worms keep working the compost until it is all digested and turned into stable worm compost and then move further up towards new food.
It takes somewhere between 3-6 months for a tray to be ready depending amongst others how many worms you start with. At this point it can be harvested and used for plants.
The worm population will keep growing until it has reached its optimum for the space and then less cocoons are laid.
So, removing worms for fishing is not a problem unless you decimate the population severely – then you’ll have to wait longer for worm casts and new decent sized worms.
The benefits of a stackable wormery
- Breed and grow your own supply of red wigglers, dendrobaena and tiger worms throughout the year
- Easy access and harvest of worms and worm castings any time: just lift the top tray and you’ll find plenty in the next one for your fishing trip
- Multiple benefits: Turning plant based kitchen waste like vegetable and fruit scraps into worm food and let worms turn this mess into lovely worm castings (worm poo) which is full of microbial life, nutrients from the plants and enzymes from the worm’s gut. Those who have used it for their plants swear by it.
Worm castings bring microbial life into the soil as well as nutrients. It’s the microbial life that allows plants to grow stronger, blossom and fruit earlier and be healthier overall.
Super easy to set up and maintain.
Easy access to worms any time.
Multiple benefits: Big enough to take care of the kitchen waste of a small family. Worm castings for plants mean you don’t have to buy fertiliser.
Con: Seems pricey compared to a DIY wormery box but is the most convenient
DIY Wormery to Grow Worms as Fish Bait
Whether you are looking at a wormery to grow bait worms or for composting or both, the principle and set up will be the same. The only investment you need to make for a simple DIY wormery is a plastic container with lid.
The box should have at least a surface area of an A4 sheet, but bigger is preferable. The bigger the container the easier it is to keep the conditions safe and avoid disasters like overheating. The tiger wormery recommended in the previous chapter is about 40cm square.
What you’ll need:
- A plastic box
- Drill 4 – 6 mm
- Bedding material for worms. Options: compost without any added fertiliser, coir, leaf compost, even moist (soaked over night and squeezed out) cut up brown cardboard will work
- Worms, red wigglers, dendrobaenas or tiger worms or a mix of all is fine
If you are very keen to grow the number of worms you have fast you need to look carefully at the conditions in the wormery. One of them is the stocking density i.e. how many worms per area. For maximum breeding speed between 0.5-1 lb/sqft is a good figure to aim for. But you can start with much less and it will just take a bit longer for the bin to populate.
- Drill holes around the rim of the container for air flow
- Drill holes in bottom of bin for drainage
- Fill worm bin to 2-3inch with bedding material.
- Check moisture level
- Add worms
- A sheet of cardboard on the bedding material helps the worms to settle in.
How and What to Feed Worms for Fishing
Worms can consume quite a lot relative to their bodyweight. This CAN eat as much as their own bodyweight in a day. But this depends a lot on the conditions (temperature) and type of food and how soft it is. It’s better to err on the side of caution and feed just ⅓ of the amount of worms to start with. This is to avoid the bin to go off and become anaerobic speak smelly.
When it comes to what kind of food to give to your worms you have a couple of options:
Level 1: Food to Keep Worms Alive and Happy:
Suitable kitchen waste: any vegetable and fruit scraps.
Some foods are better avoided if the bin is to be placed indoors. Those are vegetables that smell badly when rotting like onions and cabbage related vegetables. This is not to protect the worms but your own noses. In fact, worms love onions.
Fruit can attract fruit flies, especially in warmer temperatures, so make sure you bury those under a layer of worm bedding or cover with damp newspaper.
Level 2: Food to Raise Bigger Worms and Encourage more Breeding
Aged horse manure, cow manure or sheep manure
Worms love manure (stay away from chicken manure, though, it will kill them) and after a few weeks you can see a difference in size on a manure diet compared to just kitchen scraps.
Level 3: The Ultimate Worm Food – for Lazy Feeding and Maximum Growth
You can buy ready made worm food which is usually a (secret) mix of cereals and trace elements to assist with growth and breeding.
To use, simply sprinkle a small handful amongst your worms once-twice a week.
Use it alongside your regular kitchen waste in your wormery and add a small handful once to twice a week depending on the size of your bin
Place the food in one place in the bin to allow worms to move away if they find it harmful for whatever reason and it’s also easier for you to follow how much food was eaten.
Tip: Add torn up brown cardboard pieces with food waste to absorb liquids and to avoid the worm compost to become too anaerobic. About the same volume as food waste works well. The worms eat the cardboard when it is soft.
How often should you feed?
Worms will survive by staying in their own worm bedding and worm casts over and over again. But if you want them to grow and breed once a week is good time to aim for.
Where to Buy Worms for Your Wormery?
Worms can survive in their bedding for a few days. You can therefore safely order online like on Amazon:
Tips to Maintain a Healthy Wormery for Fishing
Position: Keep the wormery out of extreme temperatures. 15 to 25 degrees is optimum. over 27 degrees they will start to die. They become sluggish at lower temperatures which means less eating and breeding. A sheltered space is best.
Food: As explained earlier, feed only about 1/3 of their weight to start with and see how it goes. Worms can live in and off the worm castings they come in for a while. They won’t grow but it keeps them happy.
Dead worms: Nobody wants it to happen but it can. There is nothing to worry if it’s just the odd worm now and then. Just pick it out and throw out – they can get very smelly, very quickly. Should there be several you need to go trouble shooting. Usually it’s too much food that has gone anaerobic. Aeration and cardboard can help to remedy.
Whether you start with a simple DIY box or go and buy a wormery for fishing bait you will find it rewarding and an easy thing to do to take care of worms. You can leave them pretty much undisturbed even for weeks and find them well and growing as long as you keep aeration, moisture and temperature in check.