African Night Crawler / Super Red Worm
My worm of choice
Frequently I am asked which worm I prefer out of the worms Eco Valley Worms raise. The worm people ask for is the red wriggler and it has become the worm to get for composting and some people also ask for it for fishing, however the fishermen and women looking to catch larger fish don’t agree as these worms are often too small for a larger hook.
The worm that has been over looked is the African Night Crawler which in my eyes makes almost the perfect worm, encompassing the benefits of numerous worms for composting, worm castings and fishing all in one.
African night crawlers are my worm of choice. The best thing about this worm is it likes warmer conditions and even though in the southern states of Australia it cools down in winter our weather in the land down under is a moderate climate even tropical compared to the freezing conditions in other countries. In the cooler months in my worm beds which are out in the paddock (natural conditions) I keep the beds warm with the composting cycle of the food I feed. Anyone who has composted would know how much heat the food gives off while composting. I suggest only feeding your home worm farm in areas or strips with a good depth of soil for bedding as to not over heat the farm which is much more likely to happen than it being too cold in Australian conditions.
When it comes to consuming waste the African night crawler out performs the other three worm breeds we produce these being reds blues and tigers. The reason I mention this is a lot of gardeners are worm farming to produce cast and tea for their gardens and the Africans in our mix covert more waste into cast than any other worm.
The reproduction rate under Australian conditions and the correct environment can be faster than other worm breeds in an organic worm farm within the home environment.
In fact when harvesting my beds within two week periods I will collect cocoons and also find they have been laid and hatched. To grow out your night crawlers to fishing size they need space and protein I use chicken pallets but in a home worm farm I suggest you only use a handful of moist pallets on a small section of your farm so as not to overheat the bedding. Let the worms move in and out of the food from your soil layer and only re feed the pallets once the food is eaten thus stopping the farm from going anaerobic or simply sour.
The African night crawler makes a superior fish bait in a couple of ways. First they offer a better presentation to the fish than most worms by the illuminating blue stripes running through its body especially in fresh clearer waters catching the fish’s attention. The African night crawler can be used for a variety of fish species. Brim Bass yellow belly and as for Trout the crawler survives well in the cooler water where trout are found.
Unbeknown to anglers the African night crawler can survive brackish water (a mixture of fresh and salt water) the only worm I have heard but not tested is the European night crawler which is also supposed to survive brackish water.
If you are interested in raising African night crawlers for fishing or castings you can do so by top feeding in strips with chicken pallets which also helps to fatten the worms for fishing.
By raising these worms anglers can produce an array of sizes for different fish species they wish to target 5 cm to 20 cm.
I am finding that the African night crawlers are the most successful worms in my farms.
They need soil/worm cast to breed in and enjoy the land down under conditions I have now raised them through drought and flood so not easy times for a farmer but really enjoy the work.
I have recently attended a course at the soil food web on creating compost teas and see great benefits of the worm cast in this process.
Please contact or phone me (07 5462 4034) if you have any questions on raising worms to create wormcast or fishing.
Remember the benefits are huge to the environment by recycling waste, and you get the satisfaction of a great garden and lots of fresh fish.