How to Grow Worms For Fishing: Worm Farm 101

Geoff Stadnyk in Guides on

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The seasoned fisherman finishes his preparations at night. He’ll be ready before he wakes,well before the light of day. Just before he retires for the night, he takes one last look inside his worm box. Loaded with night crawlers, he smiles with the knowledge of the money he’s saved since he learned how to breed worms. He maintains his boat with the money he makes each week from supplying local tackle stores with HIS worms.

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I Want to Breed Worms! Where do I Start?

Breeding worms for your own fishing purpose saves you some valuable dollars. It can also be a lucrative business if you have the space to do it. You might find that more than just fishing businesses are interested in your product. Farmers have good use for worms as well. Whatever your interest in worm farming may be, you’re at the right place to learn how to do it. Let’s get started with what you’re going to need.

Your Worm Farm Starter Kit

Whether you decide to take a jaunt on down to your local hardware store, or look for money saving options online, you’re going to need a few supplies to get started. Luckily, breeding worms doesn’t have to cost you much. The cost of the initial set up will last for years. Who knows? You may even have this stuff around your house already. Here’s what you’ll need in the way of supplies:

Worm Box

Wood is probably the best material, though plastic storage bins can work too. Approximate suggested measurements are 3-6 feet long, 2-4 feet wide, and 1-2 feet tall.
Note: Plastic storage bins will need ¼ inch holes drilled about 6 inches apart on the sides and top of the box for air.

Peat Moss

Make sure to get enough to fill half the bed.


Damp shredded newspaper, damp shredded cardboard, aged horse manure, and damp aged sawdust work best.
Note: Special care must be taken with horse manure. 

Secure Cover

You could use a lid if you can secure it (must be able to breathe), or screw in some wire mesh over the top. This will keep any unwanted visitors from getting into your worm box.


You’ll need to have some worms to get started. Find them yourself, get them from your tackle store, or find wholesale suppliers. It takes about 24 worms per square foot of your worm box, or worm bed.


The last ingredient. Keep that bed moist!

Building your Worm Box – Step by Step

worm-boxOnce all your supplies have been gathered, you’re ready to put it all together. Here’s a good step by step list of how to go about it.

  1. Pick the location for your worm box. It should be in a shady area. Indoor worm boxes are an option for those who need to keep them from freezing temperatures.
  2. Mix your filler and add it to your box. Fill it up half way.
  3. Add peat moss to fill the box, then mix all ingredients. Keep your mix loose. Compact soil won’t work as well. Add a layer of peat moss to the top to help keep moisture.
  4. Water your mixture. Take care not to soak it so much that water is left on top. Ideally, you want your mixture to be damp at all times. Too much water in your mixture will kill your worms.
  5. Introduce your worms to the mixture. Feel free to cover them with loose soil on top so they don’t crawl out. As I said before, about 2 dozen worms per square foot of worm box is the right amount.
  6. Check your worm box periodically to make sure it is damp. Keep it between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum results. Watch your worms multiply.

For business purposes, scale this whole process up. Beds can be built with cinder blocks on shaded land. Use punctured plastic as a base. Build as many as you like.

Worm Box Care and Maintenance

worm-box-maintenanceKeep your worm box damp at all times. Temperatures should range from 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your box or bed out of direct sunlight. Worms will leave soil that’s too cold or hot, and die. You must feed your worms! Worms will eat just about any organic matter. Lastly, refresh your soil roughly every 6 months. You can move the worms to the side, and dig half the soil out of the middle of the bin. This soil will work wonders in your garden. Replace with a fresh mix of filler and peat moss.

How to Breed Worms Using only the Best

It is suggested that European or African night crawlers work best for composting and fishing. Night crawlers are known to live a bit longer than other worms when submerged under water. You’re all set with free worms for your fishing or business purposes. Learning how to breed worms, and creating a worm farm can be a fun project. Once finished it takes a little care, but can pay off for sure. To leave you with one last thought, NEVER CAN YOUR WORMS…

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.