The Baits & Flavours Column
Mr Wriggles, sometimes known as Dave Dowding, continues with his close look at worms. In Part Two he looks at the redworm.
Dave heads the Suffolk based Mr Wriggles bait company where he constantly strives to devise effective new baits and flavours and improve on the well known ones.
He is affectionately known as Dave the Flave due to his love affair with baits and flavours and is a self-confessed flavour junky.
PART 2 - THE REDWORM (Eisenia foetida
Following Part One's introduction to the worm and its make up, itis now time to look at the various worms available to the angler, howto keep them, feed them and even breed them if you use themregularly.
For years the three main worms used in coarse angling were thelobworm, redworm and the brandling. That was until a new kid on theblock appeared, a big redworm called the dendrobeana. More on thesein the next section but suffice to say they have had quite a bigeffect on the popularity of the brandling and redworm in both anglingand composting.
The ultimate cocktail worm for the angler (for the fish I mean)there are so many combinations in use by anglers you just mention aspecies of fish and wait for the list from people on how they usethis versatile little worm.
Redworms average between 1" and 2" in length but can easy exceedthe three-inch mark if conditions are right. A deep red in colourthey are easily distinguished from their other manure lovingcounterpart the brandling as each of the brandlings body segments endwith a yellow band and quite often this makes the tail section appearyellow.
The redworm is a lively little critter that can really catch thefish's attentions especially if fished as a double or even abunch.
Few species will turn their nose up at a bunch of redwormswriggling enticingly on a feeder or float set up.
Although the redworms merits are many they do have a downside,they are not a worm recommended for keeping for any length of time asthey can be quite temperamental little buggers and often for noreason they imitate Lemmings and disappear in a mass Hari Kariritual. Quite often you won't be able to find the cause, if indeedthere was one.
Redworms inhabit the top 6-8 inches of soil so it is rarely aproblem to collect enough for a days fishing.
The best asset to a good supply of redworms is a manure heap soget friendly with the local riding school or allotment gardener.
If you do intend to collect redworms from a manure heap don'tbother with the fresh steaming ones, as there will be few worms to behad due to the high core temperatures. Another factor here is thatmost horses are regularly wormed these days and the effectiveness ofthe medication can continue into their waste for a short periodbelieve it or not, so look for a heap that has stopped steaming, evenbetter one that has a few weeds and grass growing from it and youwill have found a lifetimes supply of these excellent fish catchers.
If you can't get access to a manure heap then find a spare part ofyour garden and lay down either some old sacking or carpet or even aplastic sheet. After a few days, especially if the evenings are dampor wet you should be able to lift the cover and just underneath willbe redworms. Collect them off the top and replace the cover, it cansometimes be a rather slow process depending on the area you coverbut if it's your only option it does work.
As long as it's not the middle of summer with high temperaturesand the area is kept damp then you may even find some good sizedlobworms will come up too.
Home Sweet Home
If you do want to keep redworms to ensure your own regular supplymy best advice would be to make your own wormery or start a compostheap and introduce some redworms from an established manure heap, asthis will get things moving quickly.
If you don't want to keep large numbers of redworms for any lengthof time your wormery need be no more fancy than a good sized plasticbucket with a lid, but don't forget some aeration holes as plasticcan tend to make the contents very moist through condensation, ifgood air circulation is not provided. A couple of rows of