How to keep fishing worms alive

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the absolute best baits for fishing is worms, whether they are earthworms or night crawlers. Worms can be obtained for fishing in various ways. They can be caught by hand at night using a flashlight, dug up from loose soil, found under moist leaves and logs, or purchased from bait and tackle shops or any store that sells bait. The effort and cost that goes into using worms for fishing bait can be considerable over the course of the entire fishing season, so keeping them alive until you go fishing again can save both work and money.

Keep your worms on ice when fishing in the heat. A common problem for many anglers is worms perishing from the hot temperatures of summer, even when they are kept in the shade or in a tackle box. Bring a cooler with ice in it and keep the container of worms in it on top of the ice to ensure that the worms stay fresh and alive.

Build a box for your worms to stay alive in until you go fishing. The box doesn't need to be large. A 2 foot by 3 foot by 2 foot box will suffice. Fill the box with potting soil, loose soil or dampened newspaper. Keep the bedding moist and damp, but do not add too much water as this will eventually drown the worms. Place your box in a shady area. Bury it in the ground if possible, leaving 3 inches above the ground. Cover it with wet burlap or leaves and straw. Sprinkle cracker crumbs or some corn meal on top each day for food and make sure that the moisture level stays high, but not too high. This you will learn by trial and error. Do not overpopulate your box with worms.

Keep your worms in a kiddies pool, the basement or in another cool, damp area. Fill the pool with peat moss, potting soil, rich loose soil or a combination of the three. Keep the bedding damp, but again be careful not to make it too wet to avoid drowning your worms.

Dig a hole in your backyard in a very shady area and line it with landscaping tarp. Surround the edges with breeze blocks and then fill the hole back in with the original dirt mixed with some potting soil. Keep the hole covered with straw or moist leaves and ensure that it is damp by watering it a little from time to time. Put your fishing worms in the hole and place a fine wire mesh over the hole to keep the worms from escaping.

Keep your night crawlers in the refrigerator. Place them in a plastic coffee container with some peat moss or potting soil. Do not put in more than two dozens worms in a single container. These worms will stay alive for as long as a month and longer if you consistently change the moss or soil. Be sure to label the containers.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.