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Pat Shingleton: "Night Crawlers"

4 years 6 months 4 weeks ago Friday, May 15 2015 May 15, 2015 May 15, 2015 10:26 PM May 15, 2015 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

While sitting on the back porch and watching Friday's showers and thundershowers, I drifted back to days gone by. I remember earthworms being flushed out of the ground from episodes of rain and showers. When I was a young lad, we called them "night-crawlers."  These were large earthworms that didn't like the wet but fish loved ‘em. If a shower didn't get them moving upward, the garden hose did. By wetting-down a section of the yard around 7 p.m. the night-crawler harvest was underway by 10 p.m. Some of our friends had worm containers along with any and all needed fishing equipment. In Florida's Apalachicola National Forest the collection of worms is still practiced under the mantle of "grunting."  Grunters rub a curved steel bar over a wooden stake that is inserted into the ground to create a strange "humming" sound. The vibrations annoy the worms and drive them to the surface. Thousands pour out of the ground, becoming prime fishing bait. Local grunters earn $1,000 in three hours for 5,000 worms. Due to today's showers and returning episodes into the evening, you may not be fishing today but might enjoy some grunting.

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