One of the most popular ways of fishing is by using live bait. It is a very successful way of fishing—especially when you are out with kids. Without a doubt—the most popular live bait is the worm!
I remember when I was growing up half the fun of fishing was digging my own worms prior to the actual fishing trip. I would venture to say that the average person now just purchases their worms prior to their day on the water. But if you are fishing with kids, keep in mind that finding and digging up worms yourselves can be a great experience too, and for them it will probably be just as much fun as hitting the water.
The life span of a worm can be very short—especially when kept in the styrofoam container they come in when purchased at a store. These containers can act as a sauna and can kill the worms very quickly. Not only that, but the dirt they come packed in can make a huge muddy mess all over you, your clothes, and your boat. As a guide for Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Marina I have learned not only how to lengthen the life span of the worm but also to reduce the mess and even to increase your fish catching!
Having two and sometimes three trips a day during my busy season there are some weeks that I use up to 50 dozen night crawlers. For those that didn’t sign up to do math today that is 600 worms! Can you imagine the mess that 600 worms can make?
Even if you are only packing a couple of dozen worms, the best cure for this mess is to get a small cooler to put your worms in (six pack size). Fill the cooler about halfway full with ice water. Transfer the worms into the cooler–you can wash them first, but it is not necessary. I don’t recommend the soft side coolers—as they will eventually leak. That cool ice water will allow the worms to live all day long in the summer. On an extremely hot day you might need to add some ice later in the day.
Not only does the step above reduce the mess you would have had with the original container of dirt, it has also made your worms a little chilly. You might not think anything of this—but it is a very big deal and a very good deal for you. This will make your bait much more active when you take them out of the cold water and put them into the lake. They will be much more tempting to the fish. This is the tip that can increase your catch for the day!
Try to always recycle any Styrofoam product you use. It can take 500 years for one cup of Styrofoam to disintegrate. Over 25 million cups (just cups), are thrown away annually. Can you imagine if that many coolers were tossed???
I hope that these simple tips used by all the guides on beautiful Table Rock Lake will allow you to catch more and bigger fish with less mess. And, may your worms live a long happy life—until the catch of the day swallows them up, that is!