Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Rainman

Keeping crawlers alive?

28 posts in this topic

How do you keep crawlers alive for a long time? I get about 1200-1500 Crawlers in the spring but have a hard time keeping them throughout the summer. By the end of June they are pretty much Dead. Is there a trick to this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

get and old 25 or 30 gal barrel, cut the top off, and bury so that about 4 to 6 inches is still out of the ground, then fill with wet leaves/ leaf compost. You have to dig through the barrel to get them out but it keeps them alive. There are probably better ways but this is what my dad did years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep my crawlers in ice cream pails. I put the crawler bedding in the pail and then ad 8 dozen crawlers. I put the pails in a fridge and then turn the pails upside down every three days. I keep them for a long time this way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just out of curiosity... why do you turn the pail upside down every three days?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Throw them in the fridge they will last a long long time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the compost for crawlers. I had 12 dozen that I put into some compost and after a couple weeks, the crawlers were the healthiest you'd ever see. The compost was almost to the consistency of black dirt. If you have a local compost pile, a few 5 gallon buckets, you'll be good to go.

Keep in mind when traveling across the border, you'll have to leave the dirt behind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do keep them in the fridge. Maybe I over crowd them or get them to cold. Maybe both. Was thinking about burying a tote in the ground and trying peat ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Copost and coffee grounds works for me. I have used the commercial bedding with good results always store in the fridge coffee cans hold quite a few dozen this seems to do the trick for me. Now only if these temps straighten out and they start coming up I'll be a happy plucker. On a side note it is illeagal to collect crawlers on public golf courses? Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use worm bedding and coffee grounds. Works great and keep 'em cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where in the heck do you get 1200-1500 crawlers?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a few tricks to this. First off never have too many in a container. Secondly, keep them cool. Either in fridge or cool damp room with no sunlight. We used to keep at least this many in old cow stock tanks. Good peet dirt worked great for this, but worm bedding is also good. We would feed them corn meal once a week and keep soil loose by tipping tank on its side every few days. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a side note it is illeagal to collect crawlers on public golf courses? Thanks

Golf Courses are private property. I would check with the GM at the course to see if it would be ok for you to go pickin'. They may or may not want any and all crawlers removed. I live on a course but have never noticed much for lumps/mounds from crawlers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to try Gulp this year to see if I can avoid keeping the real ones alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where in the heck do you get 1200-1500 crawlers?!

In my yard!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can pick up that many in the street in front of my house after a 1 inch rain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much to my wifes chagrin, I have had over a doz, Canadian crawlers in my frig, since the last time I hit the shore last fall! They are all looking good still. Had planed on using them by now but can't seem to find a open spot in the ice to cast them out on a hook yet. All I did all winter is put a pinch of flower and a few drops of water in them once in a while and their all still kicken! But I do like the barrel in the ground Idea for lots of them during the summer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lep, I work on a golf course and would never let people out there pickin crawlers. Just too many ways they can screw up the turf if they get on the greens. Besides, ya let one, a 100 are gonna be right behind him. There are some mornings when a guy can take a dust pan and pick up 100's of em in just a few minutes and from the bunkers. But, to let folks out there is just asking for trouble. If ya really wanna ask someone about it, by all means, DON"T talk to the GM, go to the grounds super. Most GM's don't know the diff between a golf ball and the Gulf of Mexico.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Paul, by GM I meant "Grounds Manager" not General Manager. I have a hard time respecting our local Gen Manager as he seems to think it's ok for his customers to water the bushes in my backyard. But that's another topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep mine in garage "bait fridge" not cold enough for adult beverages. about 41 deg I keep it. I try to turn them over and pick out the dead ones every couple days. can't wait for that first warm rain!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a side note it is illeagal to collect crawlers on public golf courses? Thanks

Looks like a golf course might be out, you might want to try a high school football field. The one in the town near me has lots of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you can by them in flats. I think 500 come in one. not sure how much they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used foam coolers with commercial bedding and kept crawlers from April through September. This was a flat (500)of crawlers, and I bought worm food (available most places where bedding is sold). At first, I thought the food was gimmicky, but I will say the worms beefed up after using it as directed. Keep the soil moist and keep the cooler in a dark corner of your garage or basement if either stays cool enough, or a fridge if you can. CHANGE SOIL MONTHLY! This is a critical step that if skipped will kill worms fast. The other advice I can give is to "rotate" your worms weekly--reach down and pull up the gob of them, sift out the sickly and skinny ones and toss them, and work your soil loose again if it gets clumpy. Most critical? Do not over populate your soil...if worms start dying quickly, you have too many worms for the amount of soil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad used to keep a flat all season, and oftentimes end up throwing them out in the winter. We made moist bedding, and kept it moist by adding water as it dries out over the summer. I think he put worm food in there periodically. He kept them in a bait fridge he kept at work. Once a week, he'd go through the lot and pull out the dying worms (only a few each time). Typically, they are shriveled up and the bedding clumps on them and they climb to the top. He always said that the dead ones can kill the lot and they need to be pulled out. I thought he was nuts, but he kept healthy worms all season. He had them in a styrofoam box that I remember being about 18"x18" x4" high.

Another trick I use is before I go out, I take a margarine container and put some ice-cubes in it and put a dozen or so crawlers in it. This causes the worms to plump up and firm up. It seems to do a neat "beef up" of the sometimes shriveled up worms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So lets say I have a huge leafy compost pile in the back yard. I am talking 8' x 8' x about 2'-6" deep after sitting all winter, in the fall it is nearly 6' high. If I take a big flat of crawlers and throw them in there will they turn that compost into soil? Will they survive in the compost pile? I have been thinking about this for a while as I fill that freakin bin up each year with the leaves in my yard. It is crazy cause my yard is 75x150 and each fall I get 55-60 bags of leaves. Crawlers in the compost pile would help out if it would work, and I would constantly have bait at the ready.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: CarpKing921
On a side note it is illeagal to collect crawlers on public golf courses? Thanks

Looks like a golf course might be out, you might want to try a high school football field. The one in the town near me has lots of them.

try a cemetery, no one there complains. grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • They can sure humble a person. 
    • Well I tagged out this morning.   I got out later as my daughter and her family were over so I headed out after breakfast.  I drove by the field to see if there were any there so I could plan a route to the blind.   There was a fl8cknof Jake's and a flock of longbeards.  I quickly snuck into my blind and stuck a funky chicken decoy out.  As I was stepping into the blind the Jake's start clearing the trees between the blind and them.  They worked around out front a ways.  Suddenly I see 2 toms fly into the field.  The jakes immediately charged the toms driving them out of the field.  After that the jakes saw the funky chicked and headed over to check it out.  With the toms gone and time dlipoung away I picked one out and shot him at 30 yards.  He'll taste good on rhe grill this summer.   Got in the blind at 10 am and was done by 10:15 am.  It's been a long season. 
    • Fun in the yak today in SE SD caught and released a bunch of these today:
    • How can a bird with brain the size of a pea out smart us!
    • The 2 lakes i bass fish have slowed way down the last week.   A swim-bait ripple shad was hot ticket for a while but that is just a pike attraction right now.  Been switching to a Senko and helped a little.   Pads are coming up fast now and we should see a spike up in activity soon.  Cannot wait to throw the frogs soon as that is the biggest rush watching those eruptions in the water!!   Thanks for posting as i found it to be quite slower than usual also.   Which means i need to find better ammo during those times.  
    • Tomorrow we will be back at it
    • I am giving it a last hurrah tomorrow. Sorry I haven't been able to check in here much. I have hardly been able to get out this year between work, a baby at home, and a recent trip out of the country for a relative's wedding.    Last time I was out I had a real nice Tom within 20 yards after a very long standoff. I think I screwed it up by rushing myself a bit. He stood around 50 yards out literally strutting back and forth like someone had drawn a line in the mud that he wouldnt cross. He must not have wanted to fight with the strutter decoy we had out. He did that for 45 minutes to an hour and finally came our way after a hen led him towards us.    They came past us but were outside the decoys and angling slightly away from us. Then the tom turned and started angling straight at the strutter decoy. That meant he was basically quartering to me and when he was 15-17 yards or so out I drew because in the back of my mind i was thinking if he kept moving that way and past the decoy he would quickly be in a spot I would have had no shot.   In hindsight I think he had realized (once he got close enough) that he would have been able to whoop up on the decoy and he was coming in to do just that. I probably should have waited to see, but I didn't and right as I hit the backwall of my draw his head popped up on alert and he turned around and walked straight away knowing something wasn't quite right. I could have easily shot at him at 20 yards but he was facing away and I just didn't feel comfortable. I am confident I would have hit my mark but I didn't like shooting at something walking straight away when I am not experienced with bow hunting turkeys.   I know some people will say that I should have shot, but I have been bow hunting for awhile and never wounded anything because of a poor shot or poor shot selection, so I didn't want that to be a first. Hopefully I get a shot at redemption tomorrow!
    • Way to go team!! I sure took the avg score down with my jake
    • nice story, fishing has a way of easing the pains we have. even when we hurt like crazy when done for the day we are looking forward to the next outing.
    • way to go, guys yep, the toms not about to give up even though its close to closing time have seen several strutters the past couple weeks and heard gobbles yesterday while fishing
  • Our Sponsors