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Can somebody give me an explanation why a 30lb Striper would eat a little worm. I just cannot imagine why they are so effective this time of year. In another month we will be fishing w/ live Herring and Bunker. I assume it is just the smell, but does anybody else have an opinion?
 

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IMO...They swim and eat,everything is a meal to them!!I'm sure they eat the bloodys when they migrate north,so it's in thier genes to eat up a bloodworm.
 

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There are literally hundreds of types of worms emerging from the mud banks to begin the spring cycle of life. Many species of nematodes and polychaetes become food sources for the hungry overwintering stripers. Bloodworms, a member of the polychaete family, are an indiginous species to the Delaware River banks and are a familiar bait to stripers. In general, large stripers are piscivorous (fish eaters) but will gorge themselves on any available forage, particularly this time of year, with their high energy needs from overwintering or making the spawning run driving the need to feed.
 

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LOOKS LIKE CAPT HARV KNOWS A LITTLE TOO MUCH ABOUT WORMS! BUT ITS NICE TO SEE SOMEONE CAN ANSWER QUESTIONS TO HELP FELLOW BARNERS.
 

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Most of the commercially bought bloodworms come from Maine leading folks to assume they are not located in other areas. I think the high tide changes in Maine make it an ideal location to harvest bloodworms. The do indeed inhabit the Delaware River mud banks as well, although I have never heard of any commercial harvest for them. Stripers don't join the migratory group until they are 2-4 years old, and sometimes older, and many of these fish, use the emerging worms as a welcome food source after sparce winter feeding. Worms, although small, are a high protein source of nourishment, although I don't plan on eating any!
 

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When I fish the delaware I do really well on bloodworms (DOD), but in the bay I have done much better on clam and I seem to catch bigger fish on clam then bloodworms.

Johnny d
 

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cap,

very informative, its good to see that the information spread around on the barn can be so helpful
 

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I have great luck with the pieces of bloodworms, I don't really understand it, but I always catch the biggest ones (35"+) on half of a bloodworm on a 2/0 bait holder hook in the river. With the price of bloodworms this year I may have to start cutting them into three peices.
 

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i would agree with capt harv and add that stripers like all fish are cold blooded and for every 10 degree increase in water temp their metabolism increases 300%. as some of have pointed out worms are good now and a month from now live herring or clams are better.
 

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I read somewhere that Bloodworms are a very high protein source, as Capt. Harv mentioned. (Can't find the literature right now.) So, it makes sense that with their increased metabolism, and making their spawning runs, high protein is the food of choice. Probably too, the worms are the first to poke their heads out as the water warms up. Speaking of poking out... the Sun just came out and it feels good through the back door. It's about time. What a crappy weekend!
 

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I have kept fish tanks for 25 years, so let me throw my nerdy .02 $ in....
With some fish a little smarter than others, most fish have three things that run around their tiny brains 24/7;
#1) Can I eat that?
#2) Can that eat me?
#3) Can I mate with that.
None in any particular order.
Since the worm is much smaller, it passes test #2 reel easy. It's not the right shape or color to consider #3. So it has to be #1.
Now I gotta go. I'm to high on the geek scale, I've got to go find something naked to stare at. ;)
 

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About ten years or so ago I was over at the old Grassy Sound Marina in North Wildwood. It was late November and low tide. I grabbed a shouvel and jumped down on some exposed bottom and dug. First shouvel turned up a blueclaw that had bedded down for the winter. After that I came up with some big blood worms. Not many but big ones. And I only had a small area to dig in.

Capt Harv is right on the money about the tides in Main. When low they have miles and miles of exposed mud flats to dig and rake. We just don't have that kind of exposed bottom in these waters.

Stripers will eat both big and little. I caught a 40 pound striper a few years ago on January 9th in the rips. That size fish shouldn't have been there that time of the year. When I cleaned it the stomach was bloated with fish the size of your finger nail. Thousands of them so small that they were almost transparent. I was amazed that a fish that big would take a target that small.

I froze some and sent them to a friend who works for Fish and Game. He called back and told me they were baby butterfish. The big striper must have been hanging in the rips sucking down schools as they washed by.

Do bloods work better than other baits? I don't think so. A few years ago I was heading out for some flounder fishing in the back. It was about a week after the season opened and the water was still very cool. There was a bad fog and I figured it would keep boat traffic down so I grabbed a bag of clam bellies and decided to give the stripers a shot first. The area I wanted to fish was right along the intercoastal and I wouldn't have fished it on a clear day because of the traffic. I anchored and baited up.

One rod with clam and the other with bloodworm that I had left over from kingfish the day earlier. Never had a hit on the blood but banged them on the clam and both lines were right next to each other. Go figure.

A few years ago I fedX a few bags of frozen clam bellies to a guy in Dallas. He fished a river down there that had stripers but he couldn't catch any. His one friend was always busting on him about it. They live line some kind of shad and for whatever reason he just couldn't catch any. I included instructions and sure enough he killed the stripers with the clam in fresh water.

I believe that if you can put a scent trail out in any area that you will pull these swimming seagulls right into you hooks. Bloods do work because they do put out a scent for the stripers to follow. To me it seems that certain areas have popular baits. If the locals are catching on bloods then bloods are the bait everyone wants. Same with bunker, clam and eels.

It's like the tackle show we attended in January in S.C. We visited one soft bait rep and told him we needed bubblegum soft baits. He smiled and said, you must be from Jersey. He said that everyone in Jersey wants bubblegum soft baits for weakies and everyone down south wants rootbeer softies. It seems to just be where you are from and where you fish.
 

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As to bloodworms, scent certainly seems to play a major part in the attraction. I've had friends who fished with me balking at the price of bloodworms and thinking that a nightcrawler would work just as well. Well in the middle of a hot bite where you couldn't keep a blood in the water, the crawlers went untouched.

I keep a saltwater tank in which a Speckled Grouper resides. He seems to eat anything. I gave him a bloodworm which he immediately scarfed down. Still in his little feeding frenzy mode, I tossed in a nightcrawler which he sucked down just as quick and the spit it right back out and not touch it again.

I guess it had to do with "marine" versus "freshwater" taste but I was a little surprised that Stripers feeding way up in the freshwater parts of the Delaware would refuse a nightcrawler.

Has anyone had any success with the bloodworm flavored gulp worms? I wonder if they might be effective in tandem with a blood. You know, the piece of blood for the stink and the gulp for the meal. Or maybe by themselves. At least they don't bite. Just wonderin'
 

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I've had very good feedback on the gulp worms and the fish bite blood worm alternative. a customer came into hands too this morning looking for them cause he was catching winter flounder under the 50 cent bridge, also prch fisherman have been swearin that the fish bites out fish the live blood worm, no mess more for your money and longer shelf life. you get 5 in a bag of fish bites but you only need a small strip on your hook so you can get about 3 baits per worm and once they are hooked its hard to get them off. thanks Tim.
 
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