The best time to hunt for night crawlers is just before dark after a nice rain. This is especially true from late spring thru to early fall. Of course you can’t arrange for perfect conditions every time you want to go fishing. In the absence of rain you can use your water hose to dampen the ground sufficiently. Rake around in the built up grass and leaves around the house. You have to admit we NEVER get it all raked up. Now we have an excuse not to do it! Night crawlers love dampness and organic materials.
Let’s say you are having trouble getting them to show themselves. You’ve seen the little ant-hill-like piles that show that worms should be there. You KNOW there should be worms in that bed. You have a couple of options:
#1- Wet the ground down and wait them out.
#2- So what my mom called “Poling for worms”, sometimes known as “Fiddling” or “Worm Charming” .
The suggested method is to use a 3″ diameter x 3 ‘ long stake driven 6-8″ deep into the ground. Run a saw back and forth in a steady pattern. They say it mimics the vibration made by a mole digging. It drives the worms up and away to escape the mole. We used a thinner pole and a flat board rubbed across the top to produce the vibration and have been used just the tapping of the hammer. The vibration is the thing. Good vibes being good worms! The ground must be moist.
Winter is the hardest time to find worms. They have a tendency to dig down as much as 6 feet to create a burrow to stay warm and moist during the winter. They do the same thing during droughts but water brings them up then. As long as it’s above freezing it can work on the winter, also. Otherwise you’ll be keeping warm digging 6 ft. deep holes.
During the winter it’s probably better to dig deep into your pocket, go to your local bait shop, and buy the worms! Haha