Raising Worms for Fishing Bait

Raising Worms for Fishing Bait

How to Raise Worms for Fishing Bait

If you like to use worms for bait then raising your own has plenty of advantages. Raising your own worms for fishing bait saves you money and time. You can get your worms before you go fishing and you never have to worry if your local bait shop is out of worms or there is no bait shop the direction your going. My favorite worms for fishing is the European Nightcrawler. The European Nightcrawler is active like a red wiggler and most importantly they are much more forgiving to raise.

European Nightcrawlers can handle colder temperatures as well as warmer temperatures than Canadian Nightcrawlers. While European Nightcrawlers don’t get as big as other nightcrawlers they are livelier and that’s important when using worms for fishing bait.

To get started you must locate a worm dealer and purchase your worms. You can catch your own if you are located where there are plenty of nightcrawlers around. Once you have purchased your starter worms, place them in a worm bin to reproduce and generate worms for your fishing bait.

Worm Bedding for Fishing Worms

Your worm bedding is the material used to create your worm habitat. The worm bedding should be high in carbon and absorb moisture so you can retain just the right amount of moisture for your worms to live. There are many materials that are great for worm bedding. Shredded newspaper, no color the ink could hurt your worms, peat moss mixed with shredded newspaper works great. Your worm bedding is important because the worms will consume the bedding as well as the food you provide. Here is a few great materials for your worm bedding.

I started with topsoil and peat moss and mixed it about 60% soil to 40% peat. I’m just guessing at the ratio. I mixed in peat moss until it resembled the worm dirt I find in store bought worms. I did mix in some small dead limbs as backup food so that when they eat all of the food that I add for them, they still have some carbon there to eat. Some of the listed items below for worm bedding is also excellent food for your worms. The frabill worm bedding is an excellent addition to your worm bed as both bedding and food. Here is a list of great bedding materials for your fishing worms.


  • Shredded Cardboard
  • Shredded Newspaper
  • Junk Mail
  • Mulched Leaves

The bedding listed can be used for bedding alone or together with the topsoil and peat moss I listed above. Personally I like to use the dirt mix and add these materials in addition to. Be sure not to use glossy inked paper as the ink may contain toxins that can hurt your worms. Also if you use pesticides on your yard don’t use the leaves from there. They probably would not have enough of the pesticides on them but you don’t want to take a chance at introducing toxins into the bin you are using for raising worms for fishing bait.

Feeding the Worms You Are Raising for Fishing Bait

While the materials listed for the bedding for your fishing bait worms also provides food for them. The items listed here are kitchen scraps that can be added for additional food for your worms for fishing bait. Kitchen scraps break down and are easy for your fishing bait to consume. Since these items break down so easy be sure to that they are being consumed faster than they can mold. Remove any scraps that wasn’t eaten when adding more. Here is a list of scraps that will make your fishing worms fat and happy.

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Egg Shells
  • Bread
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Tea Bags

Be sure to keep these scraps as organic as possible. No preserved foods or oily foods that can be difficult to break down. Stay away from dairy products and meat as they will attract flies and stink up your worm bin.

How Often to Water Fishing Worm Bin

The experts say 80% moisture is the ideal level of moisture for the worm bin you are using to raise your fishing bait. Unless you have a moisture meter, it can be tough to determine the exact moisture level in your fishing worm bait bin. The best way to make sure that the moisture is correct for your fishing worms is by feel. Worms are tough creatures and will be OK if your worm bin doesn’t have the perfect moisture content. However, using this method to get it close will help your fishing bait thrive and give you plenty of bait come spring.


The easiest way to determine the moisture content in your fishing worm bedding is by grabbing a fist full of bedding and squeezing it. If the bedding feels moist and no water drips from you squeezing it then you are good. Listen for any crackling sounds of dry paper or dry leaves as this is a sign of your worm bedding being too dry. Be sure the crackling sound isn’t your eggshells. If you do hear crackling sounds add a little water and test again. You will need to gently stir in the water. Always use rain water or other unchlorinated water to add to your worm bin.

Best Store Bought Worm Bins




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About Ken McBroom 215 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.

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