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Worm Gruntin' Festival: How to Catch a Wiggler

By: Liza Park
By: Liza Park

Aaahh, it's the sweet sound of springtime, springtime in Sopchoppy, Florida, that is. That's where the annual Worm Gruntin' Festival and worm gruntin’ contest digs in every year.

"The best conditions is a cool spring morning with a heavy dew with a heavy fog, and springtime, yeah, you going to do your best," explains Gary Revell, a worm gruntin' veteran.

Worm gruntin’ experts say earthworms are attracted to the vibrations made with the stooping iron against the wooden stob, and these gruntin’ contestants are vibrating the ground as much as they can to attract and catch the most worms within an hour.

"I'm just worm gruntin’ with a stob and some metal like my mom taught me, no particular way to do it. Just how my mom taught me when I was little," says worm gruntin' contestant Shelby Chane.

Nathan Johnson, another worm gruntin' contestant, adds that he works within a team.

"Well, it's easier to look for stuff because behind you, you can't see all the worms."

And it really does help to have folks look out for the worms behind you, especially if you're new to the whole worm gruntin’ game.

Worm gruntin’ has been around for generations as a way to collect fishing bait.


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