Jump to content


Photo

feeding earthworms to small fish


10 replies to this topic

#1 Kehy

Kehy
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:14 PM

I've got a couple blue spotted sunfish that I need to spoil, and I heard earthworms were a good food for them. With such small fish, how do I handle the worms? Just... chop them up? Seems a bit inhumane. Can I put the worms in the freezer for a bit first to 'knock them out'?



#2 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:32 PM

If the sunfish are wild and not yet adopted to tank life, then the movement of the live worms may be necessary to start them eating.  Once the fish are accustomed to eating them, then frozen worms should work too.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#3 taldridge0321

taldridge0321
  • NANFA Member
  • Pigeon Watershed, North Carolina

Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:05 PM

I've got a couple blue spotted sunfish that I need to spoil, and I heard earthworms were a good food for them. With such small fish, how do I handle the worms? Just... chop them up? Seems a bit inhumane. Can I put the worms in the freezer for a bit first to 'knock them out'?

Bluespots will readily eat bits of worm, I feed my two frozen bloodworms from any Petsmart. Also, try red worms, which are commonly sold as bait, you can keep them in the fridge and they last forever. You will most likely have to pinch off bits of the worm, unless you use other means. I've had mine for a couple years now and they are getting a really good size. Hope this helps!



#4 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 20 January 2018 - 07:23 AM

If your Bluespots already eat prepared foods, I think freezing the worms prior to chopping would work ok.

Perhaps another live food would be better suited to them and their tiny mouths. A northern NANFA member is going to be out collecting glassworms (midge larvae) very soon and has been taking orders. They will stay alive along time in very cold water (store 'em in the fridge) and can be fed when needed, or frozen solid and fed like any other frozen food. My Blackbanded Sunfish loved 'em and I am expecting my Bluespot will, too. Will email Jenny with your contact info if interested. Any dues paying NANFAn knows to find her ad in the AC.

If you want to stay with earthworms, and they certainly are a good food choice, I think the effort will be worth the reward for your finny friends. Just try to start with the smallest worms you can! I think somewhere on the forum there is a thread concerning the suitability of "red wigglers" as feed. I do not doubt taldridge's fish catching prowess- he could outfish me if you dropped me in a hatchery with a stick of dynamite and put him in the Sahara with nothing but a loin cloth and a box of Lucky Charms. (He's a quietly crazy guy, he might actually be up for that challenge. One of the reasons I love ya, Aldridge.) But I do humbly suggest double checking the efficacity of any anneliad other than "earthies".
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#5 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 20 January 2018 - 12:22 PM

I've had certain fish (also salamanders and turtle hatchlings) that would NOT eat bait-store wormss.  They's bite and chew them a bit (satisfying their fishing purpose) but then spit them out and not try any further worm pieces.  Not sure if it was the type of worm, commercial growing medium additives, or something else.  But wild-caught red worms from my yard were more readily eaten by these same animals (after they'd gotten over the bad taste of the store-bought worms).


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#6 MtFallsTodd

MtFallsTodd
  • NANFA Member
  • Mountain Falls, Virginia

Posted 20 January 2018 - 12:51 PM

I've found that my fish don't like bait store worms. Worms collected from my yard are eaten by just about all my fish. Although my wife disapproves,I set out containers in the summer month to cultivate mosquito larva. Never had a fish turn them down. I think freezing worms would make them much easier and cleaner to chop up prior to feeding.
Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

#7 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 20 January 2018 - 09:24 PM

These are baitshop red wrigglers. https://en.wikipedia.../Eisenia_fetidaThey are not tasty and are poisonous to a degree. Garter snakes have apparently died from consuming them. Their toxicity may depend on where they were grown.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#8 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 20 January 2018 - 09:37 PM

Not worth a darn as bait compared to nightcrawlers or locally dug smaller worms in my experience. Bad luck, or bad worms?


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#9 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:48 AM

Interesting find, Matt.  Eisenia foetida are one of the preferred (and easiest) worms for composting.  The ones sold for bait may be by-products of composting facilities.  I think the small tasty ones I find in my yard are mainly L. rubellus, but i've never keyed them out.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#10 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 21 January 2018 - 12:45 PM

My understanding is that they reproduce much faster and are more tolerant of room temperatures, hence their popularity. As long as they are offered to fisherman as bait, they will sell. Most fisherman are just as likely to blame it on bad luck as they are bad worms. I noticed that they were not very palatable years ago. Fishing in clear water I could see the fish mouth and reject them. My suspicions were confirmed years later when I started a culture of them, and tried to use them as fish food. No dice. Then I started researching them further, and ran into multiple reports on herp forums discussing not just lack of palatability, but also apparent toxicity.

 

Really simple article that gets to the point pretty quickly. https://www.hunker.c...d-nightcrawlers


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#11 elting44

elting44
  • NANFA Member
  • Salina, KS

Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:29 PM

Bluespots will readily eat bits of worm, I feed my two frozen bloodworms from any Petsmart. Also, try red worms, which are commonly sold as bait, you can keep them in the fridge and they last forever. You will most likely have to pinch off bits of the worm, unless you use other means. I've had mine for a couple years now and they are getting a really good size. Hope this helps!

 

I second the bloodworm idea, or frozen brine shrimp, particularly the brine shrimp mixed/infused with spirulina.  Its a great pre-prepared treat that is readily eaten by every fish I have owned and if you are squirmish about cutting up crawlers, this might be the way to go.

 

My understanding is that they reproduce much faster and are more tolerant of room temperatures, hence their popularity. As long as they are offered to fisherman as bait, they will sell. Most fisherman are just as likely to blame it on bad luck as they are bad worms. I noticed that they were not very palatable years ago. Fishing in clear water I could see the fish mouth and reject them. My suspicions were confirmed years later when I started a culture of them, and tried to use them as fish food. No dice. Then I started researching them further, and ran into multiple reports on herp forums discussing not just lack of palatability, but also apparent toxicity.

 

Really simple article that gets to the point pretty quickly. https://www.hunker.c...d-nightcrawlers

 

Great articles, I never thought to question the species of nightcrawler I used as bait.  Thanks!


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas

"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19

Avatar photo credit Lance Merry




Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users