How to Use a Battery to Get Nightcrawler Worms

Live nightcrawlers make excellent fishing bait.
Live nightcrawlers make excellent fishing bait. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Nightcrawlers are nocturnal worms that thrive in moist soil. In the evenings, you can find nightcrawlers closer to the dew-ridden surface, but sometimes they need a little encouragement. Because mild electrical current also draws nightcrawlers to the surface, you can use a car battery to charge the top layer of soil, which encourages exploration by the deeper worms. However, nightcrawlers are repelled by bright lights, so you need to modify your headlamp to keep it from scaring off your prey.

Things You'll Need

  • Headlamp
  • Red cellophane
  • Tape
  • Car battery
  • Jumper cables
  • Two metal rods
  • Rubber gloves
  • Shovel
  • Bucket

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Tape a piece of red cellophane over your headlamp to help conceal your presence. This also helps to preserve your night vision.

Locate a moist area of ground.

Insert the metal rods into the soil, approximately 4 feet apart. Try to push them in by hand, as hammering them in will scare away the nightcrawlers.

Put on your rubber gloves.

Clamp one end of the red jumper cable onto the positive terminal of the battery. Clamp the other end onto one of the metal rods.

Clamp one end of the black jumper cable onto the negative terminal of the battery. Clamp the other end on the other metal rod.

Wait approximately 30 minutes.

Remove the jumper cables from the battery terminals.

Dig up the soil between the two metal rods. Be careful you don't chop the nightcrawlers in half.

Pull the nightcrawlers out of the soil with a slow, gentle tug and place them in the bucket.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use care with the battery. Never allow the two ends of the jumper cables to touch once they are connected to the battery.


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