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A fisherman told me a strange story...

 Ok, a couple years ago I was trying to catch some worms for fishing. I tried looking everywhere, but to no luck.
I finally went the easy route, and walked to the local fish and tackle store in order to purchase a dozen worms.
I was at the counter, ready to pay for the worms, when the old man there said, "well, you're pretty young. Why don't you catch your own worms instead of buying them?". I said that I had tried, but failed. 

At this point, he proceeded to tell me a ludicrous story of how he, as a kid, would stick a pitchfork in the ground after a rain, twang it back and forth, and the worms would all go to the surface (where he would pick em up and put them in a can)

WTF?

I figured he was just pulling my leg, but I tried it anyway. And what do you know? it works like a charm!
 Why does it work?



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Nisun7 years ago
Sounds like worm grunting. I saw it on Dirty Jobs once, but here is some info i found on wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worm_charming
maemole5 years ago
There's no harm in trying. Instead being disturbed by the idea, why don't you just try it? You'll never know if he's just joking around till then.
David976 years ago
I think its a bit like a sub woofer turned face down will attract snakes.
well it could just be a trick, let say it could work only once
LoneWolf7 years ago
WOW that is weird!!!!
Years ago my friends granddad showed us how to use a 6 volt battery and 2 foot copper rods to make the worms come up from his compost pile. You just hook one rod to each pole on the battery using regular insulated 14 to 18 gauge wire. Then insert them in a "V" pattern with the ends not quite touching by about 2 to 3 inches in the pile 1/2 to 3/4 of the rods length into the pile.  Works every time for me. Be careful not to touch the ends for more than a few seconds. And if the wires get hot stop for a while.

CAUTION : Always wear protective gloves and goggles. And NEVER continue if  rods get hot. This will happen if compost is too wet or the ends are too close together.
AND IT WORKS??!!
this is how I always caught worms if I couldn't find them just by looking. 
kevinhannan6 years ago
Even though there's a best answer I thought I would share with you what we used to do.

Get either a watering can or fine-spray hosepipe and spray a small area (say 2m2) for a few minutes when it is getting dark or actually dark and loads of worms will come up. If it's light all they will do is pop their heads up to breathe and keep mainly inside the dirt - worms are light-phobic - go out on a wet night and shine a torch-light on a worm and see it shoot away at lightning speed. When I did this at dusk or dawn, the birds all come and sit on my fence to get the worms before me!

Once you get your worms why not breed them in a worm-bin to make life easier in future?
Pumpkin$6 years ago
This is true, I fished for a good couple of years as a teenager, and the vibration drives them out. I used to use a metal post, and a axe head though.
seabananers7 years ago
he was worm charming you may have heard of snake charming it's the same concept
Earths_hope7 years ago
if you jump up and down, and use a small amount of water, it makes it sound like rain, so they will come as well.
arc200520007 years ago
 Walk without rhythm, and you won't attract the worm...

Anyone? Anyone?
You and I look like the only Freemen here.
 Weapon of choice ;)
HARHAR! Works on spice worlds and the dancefloor
Buster827 years ago
worms are attracted to rain. when you stick the pitchfork in, it opens up the ground so all the worms could come to the surface.
dedduk Buster827 years ago
Actually the worms are NOT attracted to the rain...they come out of the ground so they don't drown..lust like you and I would if you spend too much time under water........
dombeef7 years ago
 People think that the worms hear a natural predator( I think it is a mole) in the ground so they try to escape to the surface
I am a keen fisherman and gardener. The two hobbies meet nicely. Collecting worms is easy, let them come to you! All you need is a couple of rotten old planks of wood and a damp shaded area in your garden. Place the planks on the floor and allow the vegetation to die beneath them. Keep the planks in the same spot!!!! After a while the vegetation beneath will have died off and a lovely bunch of worms and slugs will have taken up residence there. I can guarantee that every time I go fishing I can collect at least a dozen or so earth worms from my little worm garden area! and I am sure the same trick will work in your shaded garden area as long as the ground is moist and not allowed to dry out ever! This also depends in which part of the globe you live, here in England we get plenty of precipitation. Good luck with the worming and the fishing!
woodvale0357 years ago
we caught our own worms years ago  in a similar way to this although we would bring a watering can can and some dish washing liquid, put a squirt of washing liguid in the water stab the ground with a garden fork etc and then water the  patch of gound (couple of sq meters at a time)
we would lightly tap the ground also and i think this was to simulate the sound of rain.
i don't know the theory but it did work well.
a tip we found out was if a worm surfaces but does not come out completely rather than pulling and breaking it if you just hold it then it will work itself out.
BS Kustomz7 years ago
the worms think its raining so they come to the surface to keep from drowning, some birds will tap on the ground with thier feet to the same effect
GeekTinker7 years ago
When I needed free bait to go fishing with as a kid in the midwest, I would turn over some flat rocks in the low parts of our back yard.  Underneath I would find a few dozen worms worthy of being placed on a hook to temp a fish within about 10 to 15 minutes.  Sometimes a few other grubs or bait worthy bugs would turn up as well.  I was always careful to put the rocks back exactly as I found them.  That way I knew I could return to harvest more worms at my leisure. 

If you don't have access to such a worm goldmine, you could get some of your own to decorate your landscaping.  Flat stones that are about 12 inches by 12 inches and over 1 inch thick would be best, but you could use larger ones if you wish.
Whales7 years ago
 worms usually surface after rain anyway.. idk really why on that part. But the movement of the fork, or stick w/e messes witht he worms and they run(in worm-land terms) to the surface.

The same may actually work if you played a loud speaker at the ground
ZakE. Whales7 years ago
they surface or else they would drown
AndyGadget7 years ago
It certainly works, along with dozens of methods for extracting lumbricus terrestris from hos earthy lair.  We have worm charming contests in the UK.
dixiedazzle7 years ago
Just the info I needed - My worm bin got turned over last year & I was unaware & lost my worms.  Maybe I can reclaim some of them !!

we used to drive a 1 x 2 stake in the ground, you take another 1 x 2 board and rub across the top of the driven stake like a violin and vibrations will get the worms to emerge out of the ground.

Fodaro7 years ago
I believe that here in the UK we have an annual "Worm baiting" contest, or something like that. I saw it on the TV once, although I can't find anything about it at the moment. Some contestants swear that stamping on a piece of plywood works wonders. I'm not a fisherman myself, so never tried it.
bladie7 years ago
This is true, I always did this when I would go out fishing. When you vibrate the ground with the pitchfork, the worms reckons its raining. To avoid drowning, the worms go to the surface. Worm also do this during any rainfall. In Dutch worms are even called rain-worms for that reason
Karletto5557 years ago
yes, you can dig them with a tool or you can use traps. when you'r digging them there's high chance you will cut them in half (by pulling or cutting). the bait will be fresh only for few days more. that's why live worms are much more expensive.

i usually dig them in sludge bottom in low tide. look for small 0,2 inch holes
hoka7 years ago
I used to use an old cross cut saw blade on a tree stump after a rain, would flex the saw blade until it made sounds. But now I just fire up my chainsaw and either put it on a tree stump or on the ground while running. I recon it is the vibrations that cause the worms to respond, I have seen bears whacking on a downed tree to eat the worms that come up, and I have seen many different birds dance on the wet ground as well...
qwertyty7 years ago
thanks!other time i gived 3 $ for a dozen o worms.now it s free!
 Amazingly, an article on the subject came out in Scientific American this month: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=worm-charmers
Kiteman7 years ago
As far as I can work out, the vibrations make the worms think that it is raining.

I have watched a gull dancing on the spot on short grass, then feasting on the worms that surface around its feet.