How to Shock Nightcrawlers Out of the Ground


If you like to fish, you are probably in need of night crawlers. According to sport-fishing website Arizona Lake Fishing, "night crawlers are the tried-and-true fish bait that you can’t go fishing without." If you are tired of having to go to the store to buy bait, there is a good possibility that you have a personal bait store in your very own yard; to retrieve it, all you have to do is shock the night crawlers out of the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal rod
  • Six-volt battery
  • Wire
  • Find a patch of healthy soil. According to an article on, the USDA asserts that an acre of good farm soil in North America can be expected to have a population of 50,000 earthworms on average; in soils rich with organic matter there may be many more. If your first effort is unsuccessful, keep trying: there are bound to be some night crawlers in a healthy patch of soil.

  • Look for watery conditions. According to Arizona Lake Fishing, night crawlers are likely to surface if you water your lawn or if weather conditions have been rainy.

  • Search at night. Arizona Lake Fishing states that looking for night crawlers is best done when the sun is down; as you might guess from the name, they are found most easily at night.

  • Bring a flashlight. You will need a source of light when you are hunting during night hours; it is best to use a red light because night crawlers are unable to see red light and will therefore not be startled.

  • Create a shocking tool. Tie one end of your wire to the top of your metal rod; tie the other end of the wire to the six-volt battery.

  • Shock the night crawlers. Place the bottom of your metal rod into the ground: this will send a mild surge of electricity into the soil to shock night crawlers out. Wait for them to surface and then pull them from the ground.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be gentle when pulling the night crawlers from the ground: tug gently until they are completely dislodged.
  • As a warning, Arizona Lake Fishing explains that "this technique does have problems and has been known to damage the worm’s nervous system which eventually kills the worm."


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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