It is not actually that difficult to catch nightcrawlers but will take a little patience and time. The best time to catch them is after a good rain. Then go out at night and you should have no problem finding plenty of them. You need to take a small bucket or pail, a flashlight (it’s better to use one with a red lens because a white light can make them disappear because they have light sensitivity), and rags to keep your hands wiped and dry.
Look for yards that have not been chemically treated. Sometimes parks can be the best place to find your nightcrawlers, but some parks have time regulations, so check to be sure how late the park will be open. If you have a neighbor that doesn’t mow his grass frequently, ask if you can search for nightcrawlers in their yard.
The hunt begins! Start a slow search at the edge of the yard. This will be the most uncomfortable and hardest part of your nightcrawler hunting. You will need to be in a crouched or bent position while working your way slowly across the yard. Stretch every now and then as this will be hard on your back. Shine your light around the ground to spot those shining worms.
Usually part of the worm will be in the hole and the rest stretched out on the ground. Try to grab hold of the worm as near the hole as you possibly can, but keep your grip gentle so you will not crush the worm. Be sure and not stretch out the worm because this will damage it and cause it to die quickly. Discard any damaged or overstretched worms.
You need to make sure your hands stay dry or it will make it a lot harder to catch them. Some people use the electrode worm catchers but this can cause them to die faster as it may damage the nightcrawler internally.
After you have caught the amount of worms you want, then you need to keep them alive. Any foam worm keeper will work well for this. You can use some high quality nightcrawler beddng and follow the package instructions on how much water to use. Be sure and set up your container a couple of days before you put your first worms in it. Keep the container cool because nightcrawlers could die if they get too overheated.
Once you have put the worms in the container be sure and check on them a few hours later. The good, healthy worms will have gone in the bedding but the injured or sick ones will still be on top. Throw out those sick or injured ones. After you have only the healthy ones left be sure and feed them every now and then, but don’t feed them coffee grounds. Use some corn meal or some other ground meal in small quantities. You can also use commercially prepared worm food if you would rather.
Your worm bed is now set up but you need to not forget to keep adding nightcrawlers so as to not diminish your supply but don’t put more than your bed can handle.