Do you love big bluegill?
How many raise their own bait ?
At work I helped a guy start his cricket raising bin and holy buckets do we have crickets , might have to find a market for the extras . I will be starting red worms come spring so I have a steady supply and won't be buying them at wally world
I have a redworm bin system. I made my own and also purchased a worm factory. The worm factory is much better but also somewhat of a rip off at $80. I mean but then again I've fished with the worms about 20 times in less than a year. You save not only money purchasing the worms but gas to go to the bait shop and it's just easier to have them close anyway. The castings and fluid are great if you have a garden. The worms work well as bait just provide them with some shredded newspaper, slightly damp mixed with cornmeal and then give them vegetable scraps and whatever else. The cornmeal helps them grow quicker and keeps them fat. Sorry for the somewhat brief response if you have any questions just ask
Like Jacob, I raise my own worms. It started as just a flower pot, into which I dumped leftover bait. Today, it is a bona-fide "system," also built around plastic tote bins. I feed mine coffee grounds, meal and salad scraps, all in small quantities. It takes a LOT of worms to really put a dent in some groceries; you can overfeed if you aren't careful...
I also monitor the moisture and I stopped using garden soil. It can introduce parasites and will compact, both the bane of all good earthworms. I just use shredded newspaper, with some leaf mold, sawdust and a little bit of pond weed from time to time. I'll soon be into a bigger bin, too, which is a good thing. I'll just place the second one on top of the first, filled with my growth media and food. Then, the worms just work work their way up into the new one though the drainage holes in the bottom. This leaves the old bin full of composted worm bedding, which I mix into my wife's barrel of houseplant potting soil.
The thing I like the best is that my worms are healthier and stronger than the mass produced ones in the bait stores. When I hold them together, the store bought wigglers are a weak brown color and almost no collar or muscle rings are showing. are the opposite - a shiny, reddish color and the collar stands out.
I have 2 worm beds. I cut a plastic 55 gallon drum in half. I put som small drain holes in the botton and glued some old
screen materials over the holes.
then I filled them half way with rabbit poo. I dumped my left over red worms in after a couple of fishing trips.
and in the other bed I have earth worms. I pick them up off the sidewalk after it rains. and now I have plenty of worms
I tried to raise crickets but was not to good at it.
jason the crickets are easy , we just used a rubber maid tub with some window screen in the lid. Place some egg cartons in it opened up , a sponge soaked with water ( they drown real easy ) feed them bran meal from the groc store , place a tub of damp peat moss in there and they will lay eggs in that , you will see them in that tub laying eggs . after a week pull that tub out and place in another tub with a lid . After about 2 weeks the little ones will hatch and are very small . you can keep putting in the peat moss tubs after you pull one out and they keep laying eggs . Clean the breeders tub once a week as they do smell . Make sure you give the babies feed and water . I hope this is a bit clearer than mud.
David I do have a couple of rabbits so I will be good to go there
if you start with adults they will lay within a week , I am not real sure how many eggs they lay at one time , we started out with 1000 ( we feed salamanders and frogs and have been feeding some of the adults to them ) . We haven't counted but we hatch several hundred a week
I raise red wigglers, and have off and on for the past 30 years or so. Roughly speaking under ideal conditions your worms will double in numbers about every 90 days. I just had some hatch this week. New hatched wigglers look like a tiny piece of white thread. I keep my worm bed in our well house during the winter months. It stays plenty warm all winter long. I feed mine a variety of things. Cantaloupe rinds in the warmer months, and I alternate their feedings with rabbit pellets (food) that I soak in water to a consistency of pancake batter. The vitamins and minerals in the pellets are good for your worms. I only feed on the top of my bed, and keep the top covered with a piece of carpet which I cut 1" smaller than the top of my bed. I keep the carpet damp, but not to wet. Your worms will let you know if your bedding in right, as they will leave if it isn't.
I have unintentionally raised bass bait when my two koi bred in my minnow pond. Bass love them.
I don't use live bait but I do have a worm bin and it has grown 10 fold. I started crickets but up north here in the winter they are hard to keep because of the cold and they smell so bad I ain't putting them in the house. The worms are easy I keep the moist put my coffee grounds in the bins for them to eat and every once and awhile I give them chicken starter feed. I attempted Wax worms but I found out you can never neglect them or they tend to crock. All that for someone who only uses artificial but it was one of them things I just wanted to see if I could but at least the Grand kids have worms to use when they fish the pond.