Worm hunting tips?

Another Dave

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We only have a small patch of lawn but last night I went out with the head torch and spotted dozens and dozens of lobs. I managed to capture a grand total of two. They are so wary it made stalking for shy chub look easy. My other problem is pulling them from the hole, they always seem like they are going to break. What am I doing wrong?
 

seth49

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I used to gather lots like this, I found it best not to use a bright torch, as that would make them retract very quickly, move very quietly as there very sensitive to vibration, and grip them for a few seconds till they relax, and then you can slowly pull them out.

Just a matter of practicing till you get the hang of it, used to get lots like this, if there were plenty, waterproof pants and stopping on your knees, was a help in avoiding backache too.

I found a head torch best to keep both hands free, trap the worm with one finger, and then pull out it with the other hand.
 

peterjg

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Catching lobworms is better than catching fish! Tread lightly, torch not too bright, wait until full dark, best when no wind and grass wet and grass not too long. Be systematic, walk up and down in rows and not all over, grip the worm using thumb and fore and middle fingers, don't pull too hard be patient, don't be tempted to water lawn with wading up liquid in the water.
 

Peter Jacobs

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If you plan on using a lot of lob worms or red worms then maybe consider making a wormery?

They are reasonably readily available and you can find them on t'internet
 

Roger Johnson 2

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I agree with all advice so far, my tips are use a head torch with a red filter, and as your fingers get slimy dip them in sandy soil, it improves the grip, try putting a finger on the tail of the worm at the hole to prevent it retreating then with the other hand grasp the worm and gently pull. Worm hunting is nearly as much fun as fishing, explaining to the constabulary why you’re crawling around the cricket field in the rain muttering “ Gotcha you slippery, ba****d” at midnight, isn’t!


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Another Dave

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If you plan on using a lot of lob worms or red worms then maybe consider making a wormery?

They are reasonably readily available and you can find them on t'internet
It's the big lobs I'm after Peter. I once heard it takes them a surprising number of years to reach full size. Besides, the lawn is full of the slippery devils, I just need to improve my skills using some of the tips on here.
 

rayner

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I'm far from capable to catch my own, tackle shop has them in their fridge. Last I bought were three years ago, If I remember right they were 6 quid for 1/4 a kilo.
 

Another Dave

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Only shop we have here is AD rayner. £2.50 for ten worms last time I coughed up. Seeing all those worms disappearing last night was like finding a tenner but it keeps blowing away when you go to pick it up.
 

john step

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Roger Johnson 2 is spot on. Red head torch. Tread lightly. Finger over entry point to lawn. Hold but dont pull with other hand . Ease out when they relax.
 

Steve Ruff

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A tip from a recent gardeners world programme ...

Mix a small very amount of mustard powder in a watering can and pour that mixture on the lawn / ground.

The mustard powder irritates the worms and they come to the surface.

Got to be worth a go ?

Steve
 

Another Dave

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Can't remember the last time I saw mustard powder but I have a jar in the fridge - surely they won't know the difference. Might try that tomorrow. Meanwhile I have made some small piles of play sand ready for grip tonight, and I found some clear plastic in the recycling which is now coloured in red to make a filter for my head lamp.
 

Molehill

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I agree with all advice so far, my tips are use a head torch with a red filter, and as your fingers get slimy dip them in sandy soil, it improves the grip, try putting a finger on the tail of the worm at the hole to prevent it retreating then with the other hand grasp the worm and gently pull. Worm hunting is nearly as much fun as fishing, explaining to the constabulary why you’re crawling around the cricket field in the rain muttering “ Gotcha you slippery, ba****d” at midnight, isn’t!


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Spot on, I had many happy nights chasing worms in my younger days, and yes the police were called once, but I did used to "stray a bit" onto people's lawns! Worms are always bigger in the neighbours garden :wh.

I sometimes used a paraffin lamp in those days as torches were pretty rubbish, but whatever, keep the light down or red. I don't do much now as my eyesight is rubbish and my glasses keep falling off when I bend down. Once you have the technique and feel for it exactly as described above it is easy, but a worm simply won't come I leave it rather than break it.
 

Another Dave

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Thanks for all the advice lads. I already have enough for a decent session, sandy fingertips made a huge difference.
 

flightliner

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Terry m, good call, and I used to walk along the white lines on the local football pitch, always turned up some good results.
In my local tackle shop today lobs were £7 for 30.
 

rayner

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Terry m, good call, and I used to walk along the white lines on the local football pitch, always turned up some good results.
In my local tackle shop today lobs were £7 for 30.
Come to think of it the last I bought were 6quid for 25 big lobs, not 6 for a 1/4 kilo.
 

bullet

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Golf courses are also excellent places to find them. A headtorch with white and red beams helps. Locate them with the white, then move in for the take with the red.
 

David Rogers 3

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I think a bit of fairy liquid does the same (other brands are available)
In the late '60s/early '70s, Shakespeare marketed a product called Easiworm, which was essentially a sachet of "shampoo" for mixing with water and designed to have the same irritant effect (not at all necessary, as noted above) as washing-up liquid. Needless to say, it didn't last long before being withdrawn!
 
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