How to keep worms in winter

Types of worms for fishing

There are several types of worms for fishing, but the most common and recognizable by everyone is the earthworm. It has many names, among which the following can be distinguished: rain, subleaf, crawl and others. Each name was given depending on the area where it was dug up or found. It is quite demanding regarding the conditions in which it will be stored. For earthworms, both humidity and temperature, as well as a comfortable amount of oxygen in the soil, are of great importance. If these conditions are not met, especially in the cold season, there is a risk that the worm will hibernate and then die.


For those who are well versed in what worms are needed for fishing, it is not difficult to distinguish a fishing worm called a dung beetle from others. By the name you can already understand where its main habitat is located - manure heaps, compost, waste. That is why its habitat requirements are slightly lower than its previous brother.

Important! Earthworms should not be stored together with dung worms. Different types of worms cannot get along together; the latter can poison another with toxic secretions.

This will help make fishing more efficient

There are also little tricks that will make worm fishing more successful.

  • Almost all fishermen simply dig up worms (or buy them in a store) and immediately go fishing. However, this is not entirely correct. A fresh worm is, of course, good, but if you devote a little time to it, your fishing will be much more effective.
  • The purchased worms must be made a little more lively, made stronger and placed in a large container, because in stores they are sold in very small plastic boxes. Many experienced fishermen store this bait in canvas bags filled with soil. But a wooden box will also work. These materials practically do not emit foreign odors that repel fish.
  • For some time, if there is no basement, worms can be stored at home in the refrigerator, in the compartment where vegetables are stored, usually the bottom shelf.
  • The soil in which the worms are stored should be slightly moistened (but in moderation), and the lid must have ventilation holes.
  • In order for the worms to acquire the required color and aroma, the following products must be added to the container in which they are stored several days before fishing: chicken egg yolk, flour, birch and oak sawdust, sunflower oil, macadamia, flavorings.

The best fertilizers

  • If you store worms for more than a few days, you may need to feed them. You can give them regular kitchen waste with the exception of milk porridge.
  • About six hours before fishing, it is advisable to move the worms to a warmer place and add natural aromatic substances to the soil; this can be anise or vegetable oil.
  • In order for the aroma to last longer, place cotton wool at the bottom of the box in which you store the worms, after soaking it with the necessary solution, or tear it up and mix it with the ground.
  • If necessary, before fishing, place the worms in a box with sawdust (kept in air for about a week so that the smell disappears), then it will be easier to pick them up with your hands.
  • When fishing, take not only different types of worms (rain, dung...), but also those treated with different types. In this case, being on the spot, you yourself will determine which ones are more catchy on a given body of water on that day.
  • It is better to string the worm not through its entire body, but only by making a puncture in its front part and approximately in the middle. With this method, the worm lives longer on the hook.

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Storage methods

There are several methods for long-term storage of worms, each of which is suitable for different conditions. The fisherman can choose the method that is most convenient for him.

The following types of storage of dung worms and earthworms are distinguished:

  • in a canvas mitten;
  • inside a plastic container;
  • in a hole dug and prepared in advance.

Each method requires preliminary preparation.

Canvas mitten

Once the angler has been able to locate a canvas bag suitable for preserving worms in this environment, preparation can begin. You need to get land where the bait is placed. Afterwards the entire mass is placed inside the sleeve. It is important to properly close the entrance hole so that the earthworm does not have the opportunity to escape.

Canvas mittens

Next, the sleeve is removed into the shade. As soon as the air temperature begins to rise noticeably, you can dip the object in water for a few seconds, which helps the outer layer to get wet and cool the internal environment. You don’t have to worry about the worms; they won’t drown, but will only cool down, because water won’t penetrate inside. What is the benefit of this method: when water evaporates, it cools the internal space.

Plastic containers

You may also find the following storage method attractive because you don't have to look for something extraordinary. Storing worms in plastic containers will provide them with a calm and comfortable existence. This container can be an ordinary plastic bucket.

Worms in a plastic container

What should be the sequence of actions:

  1. Find a bucket or other plastic container.
  2. Dig up damp soil where you want to send the worms.
  3. The entire mass moves into the bucket.
  4. Everything is covered with dry leaves.
  5. The bucket must be covered with a lid. The lid must have holes to allow air to enter the container.
  6. You need to wet a large rag and wrap it around the bucket to keep the inside cool.
  7. The bucket needs to be put in the shade.

If all steps have been done properly, the worms will be stored for a long time inside the plastic container. The only thing is that you can check the well-being of the worms two to three times a week to make sure they are safe.


Some anglers prefer not to remove the worms too much from their natural habitat, so they decide to dig a regular hole where all the worms are placed during fishing. This method is more suitable for those cases when the fisherman will spend a day or two or even more in nature.

Storing worms in a pit

To properly store worms in a hole, you need:

  1. Get a small handbag made of linen material.
  2. Sprinkle soil mixed with dried leaves inside the fabric. Add a small amount of water to wet it slightly.
  3. Worms need to be put in the ground.
  4. When you arrive for fishing, you need to dig a small hole where the bag of worms is placed. You need to sprinkle dried leaves on top, or moss.
  5. If the temperature outside is extremely high, it is advisable to lightly water the bag to cool the ground.

According to the experience of fishermen, bait can be stored in this way for about a week or even more. If the angler decides to do this with dung worms, the soil must be replaced with manure and flavored with a few drops of water.

How to store worms when fishing in hot weather

Of course, every fisherman knows how to store worms for fishing.
To do this, you must first go to a fishing store, then, having bought two jars of dung worms, hide them in the refrigerator so that your wife does not see. It’s clear that for this to happen, the refrigerator must be filled with chaos from expired food, dirty cans, plastic bags, and it wouldn’t even hurt to add a carburetor to the refrigerator. But seriously, storing worms at home does present some difficulties for fishermen, especially when storing them in an apartment. And in fact, you can’t do without a refrigerator. How to store worms at home if there is stuffiness and real southern heat on the balconies and loggias in the summer?

And ideally, the fisherman should have his own refrigerator, even the smallest and not modern one. In addition, the traditional place for storing your bait is, of course, a garage, obviously not a “shell” or some kind of metal shed, where there is a Harley-Davidson, assembled with your own hands, an Izh-49, or, at worst, a “macaque” released in last century, but giving a head start to new high-speed cars. No, only in a brick, or better yet, a wooden structure, the optimal temperature for storing worms is maintained in the summer.

In the apartment you can also find a secluded corner where relative coolness remains in summer. You can also keep bait in the basement. But it's best for homeowners. The ideal place to store worms would, of course, be a cellar. This place seems to have been created for such purposes. Here in winter and summer there is approximately the same temperature, which allows you to keep worms here all year round.

So far we have only talked about premises for storing worms. But if you just take a large jar, fill it with earth and place worms in it, then they will not last even a day, well, at best they will live for several days, even if the ambient temperature is quite optimal. And the worst option is to keep the worms in a glass jar or plastic bag.

How to properly store worms? It seems that the ideal filler for keeping worms alive, either for long-term storage or for aging them before fishing, would be ordinary moss. In our country it is sphagnum, which covers the cranberry bogs of the middle zone. In the North, such moss is the moss lichen, which serves as food for deer.

Speaking of storing worms... If we remember the unforgettable Leonid Pavlovich Sabaneev and his scientific and fascinating work “Fishes of Russia,” then we can suggest his system for storing worms, although it is somewhat exotic, but nevertheless it works. First of all, the recommendations of the scientist and fisherman indicated the need to clean the worms, that is, to let them soak for two to three days before fishing in a container without soil, namely, in moss.

This natural filter removes everything unnecessary from the worms. They become clean and vigorous, and become much stronger on the hook. According to Leonid Pavlovich Sabaneev, a real fisherman will never take freshly dug worms with him on a fishing trip. It seems that another famous fisherman and writer, Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov, spoke about the same thing.

How to store worms for fishing for a short time? This means: I dug up or bought worms, and tomorrow or the other day the fishing should already take place. Here is exactly the case described at the very beginning of the article, that is, hiding a jar of worms in the farthest corner of the refrigerator, risking hearing your wife scream about all the crap in the refrigerator, or placing worms in your own refrigerator.

In this case, you can immediately throw away the jar in which the worms were purchased and place the worms in your own more durable jar that has a lid with holes. At the bottom of the jar you need to put a layer of fresh moss or even moss harvested a long time ago, but revived with water. And only after that the worms are put into the jar.

A ceiling of moss should also be made above the worms. You need to add a little water to the jar. Excessive moisture will kill the worms. They will stick together and begin to decompose. And here too there are Sabaneev’s recommendations. It is imperative to discard weak and decaying worms, otherwise they will infect the rest of the colony.

And the worms will soon turn first into a sticky, and then decaying lump. It is advisable not to mix dung worms with tender subfoliates. Dung beetles are filled with a pungent “juice”, the smell of which would kill a wife who accidentally sniffed a worm. But for a fisherman, this smell is not pleasant, but it evokes nostalgic notes and longing for fishing, especially if this happens in the middle of a long winter.

How to store worms at home for a long time, including during winter? If you need to store the bait for a week or two weeks, it is best to place it in a wooden box with holes. Once upon a time, parcels were sent in such boxes. The bottom of the box can be lined with damp gauze. Then you need to put a layer of moss on the bottom of the parcel or other similar box.

For long-term storage in winter, when worms are in demand, for example, in Volga ice fishing for ide or in burbot ice fishing, you need a larger box. You can take, for example, a shell box. It is just the right shape for the purpose we need. Where should I put it? As already mentioned, there is no better place for long-term storage of worms than a cellar. The owner of the apartment can install storage for his precious bait in the basement, or, as they also say, in the “shed”.

How to properly store worms in a wooden box? If you intend to keep the worms for a long time, then you will need to add some soil to the moss. Still, this is a natural environment for worms, which contains the substances necessary for these protostomes. Before fishing, you can collect the required number of worms, clean them, as mentioned above, in moss and - go fishing!.. But to maintain the vital activity of the worms, they need to be fed.

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How to store worms at home and feed them? Leonid Pavlovich Sabaneev recommended feeding your favorite worms even with milk and honey... This is likely why there were such good catches at that time, since the worms then were, as they say, blood and milk, since they fed excellently on honey and milk.

More down-to-earth recipes include meat broths without salt, used or, as they say, drunk tea, boiled and raw potatoes, and cottage cheese. All this is added little by little to the can of worms, but not often. Once a week is enough. The main thing is that there is ventilation in the box. Although wood itself “breathes” well, it doesn’t hurt to drill holes in the walls of the box.

How to store worms for fishing specifically in the reservoir where fishing takes place? At first glance, there are no difficulties here: I put a jar of worms under a bush and that’s it. But such an approach to storing bait, which is often in short supply, can lead to the death of worms and, in fact, loss of fishing, since often in fishing areas you simply cannot find a single worm in the entire area. And if you take into account the hot weather, then the chances of keeping the bait in the jar are zero.

How to store worms when fishing in hot weather? I remember that before there was no highway to the city of Kozmodemyansk. From Yoshkar-Ola to Kuzma, as fishermen call Kozmodemyansk, it took a whole day to travel along a dirt road, somewhere consisting of crushed stone, in the best case, somewhere reinforced concrete slabs were laid, and somewhere the car slid through the mud if it rained , and in dry weather - along hard and “humpbacked” clay ruts.

That's why the day was spent on the road. In this case, the means of transportation was most often a postal all-terrain vehicle - GAZ-66. To do this, you had to go to the post office early in the morning and negotiate with the driver to take it with you. And then there was a whole day of jostling in a van full of parcels. The goal was Volga fishing for sabrefish, donka with a rubber shock absorber.

Since getting there was long and difficult, I planned, of course, for more than one day. Often they lived for more than a week on a gently sloping sandy shore-beach, which was licked by the Volga wave, or even came rolling in with whitecaps on top when a storm broke out. The sabrefish took it greedily, pushing into the hand with two or three blows at once, when a school approached, and then the silvery saber fish rose from the water on the undergrowth and fought, sparkling in the sun.

Such long and productive fishing required a lot of worms, and besides, it was June heat. How to preserve worms when fishing in hot weather?

In those days, we used wooden boxes filled with moss, soil and sawdust to transport large quantities of worms and store them on the shore. Sawdust is probably not a very useful thing, although it is not harmful to the worms, but it does not allow the earth to stick together and turn into dense lumps, which would be like death for the worms.

But it was one thing to bring worms, although that was not easy. The main thing is how to keep worms in good shape while fishing in hot weather for a whole week or even more. To do this, we found a place in the upper tiers of the Volga cliff where an ice spring gushes out. And there are quite a few such springs and springs along the high bank of the Volga.

And next to such a spring, a cave was dug in blue clay and the main or, so to speak, basic part of the worms, packed in boxes, was kept there. If the fishing took place on the low left bank, then some lowland was found, completely covered with willows, there they dug a real cellar and put boxes of worms in it. Sometimes, instead of boxes, thick linen or canvas bags were used, in which worms also live for a very long time.

How to breed worms yourself

  • Humus is suitable as soil, to which you need to add cellulose. Soil moisture should be at least 80%.
  • The room temperature should be from 17 to 20 degrees.
  • In order to grow 1500 pcs. it is necessary to ensure the free dimensions of the box.
  • Correct colonization of worms. You need to make holes in the soil into which the worms descend and the holes need to be filled with earth.
  • Food for worms. Groundbait can be plant humus, cabbage leaves and bread.

It is forbidden to give synthetic food to worms; in addition, it is not recommended to keep worms and use water with chlorine. It is recommended to use rainwater.

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