Wild Northerner Magazine Summer 2018 - Page 39

Nowadays, picking to me is a no brainer. I use them for fishing on a regular basis, they cost money and I have a free supply literally at my fingertips. One night in late spring, I went out after dark and picked six dozen in under 15 minutes. Six dozen worms saves me a lot of coin that I can now use to purchase more tackle to use with the worms, known as Hodgydews.

Worm picking is easy. Wait until it's dark on a rainy day or night, grab a flashlight, cellphone or headlamp and slowly walk around your yard trying to be as smooth and fluid as possible as any vibration will notify them of your presence. If you look closely you will see the light shine off the worms and if you are fast enough you will be able to grab it before they zip back in their holes. Oh yes, some of them are fast, sneaky and resilient.

I have classified my Hodgydews into a few categories. There are the Over Achievers - the ones that stretch out far where 3/4 of their body length is above ground. They try to scramble when they sense you, but they over achieved and can't scoot back in the whole fast enough. There are the Shadow Huggers - you catch a quick glimpse of their heads at the last second as your light crosses their path. In a glimpse they are gone. There are the Lovemakers - ones stuck together in love’s embrace and not aware of your presence. It's a two for one and sometimes on a rare moonlight occasion you come across a three-for-one. There are the Newdews. Too small to be plucked from the garden, but they still have potential to be a Hodgydew if they work hard and stay true.

Then there are the true Hodgydews, the ones that are quick, the ones that test their abilities. These worms put up a fight. These are the ones that will gator roll. These are the ones that will not be removed from their homes in the middle of the night by force. Yes, these are the worms that bring home the personal bests. These are the worms that make picking just a little bit more enjoyable.

Get out in your own backyard, local field or greenery after rain and see if you can light up some dew worms. It's also an excellent way to get your kids more involved in the outdoors and fishing, and what kid is going to say no to playing outside after dark or bedtime? Your kids have fun being outside, you have a free supply of worms and you both of have memories for a lifetime.

Happy hunting and fishing.