Raising Crickets For Fishing

Raising crickets for fishing or pet food

How to Raise Crickets for Fishing Bait

Quite possibly a favorite food for bluegill and all other panfish is the cricket. Fortunately they are extremely easy to raise and very easy to keep alive. Unless you are flyfishing, casting lures or noodling for catfish, you will need some bait. You could try earthworms or you could use crickets, both of which can be purchased from your local tackle and bait shop. However, if you are hardcore about your favorite past time or just a cheap person in general, then it may be worth the gratification of raising your own crickets.

A lightweight, well vented and inexpensive tank for raising your crickets.

Raising Crickets Fast, Simple and Easy

It is up to you figure out how to get the crickets for this project.  I have included a link near the bottom of this article to a reputable cricket dealer on Amazon to help you get started.  In order to use crickets as bait it is going to take about a month for them to grow to a large enough size. However, for them to reach full maturity it takes roughly 3 months. What you are going to need aside from cricket eggs are the following things. You will need some sort of can, fishtank or plastic bin that is 18 to 24-inches wide. This is known as your brood box and you will keep it stored someplace like a garage or basement. Crickets can be a bit troublesome when they get older. They will try to escape and you essentially need to outsmart them and prevent this from happening. A good way of doing this is take your brood pen and before you start raising, prepare the pen to be non-stick by applying floor wax to the interior of the pen. Fill your box with moist sand which is necessary for the crickets to lay eggs in. You will not need to re-moisten for another 3-6 weeks. From here you can lay out 3 to 4 inches of wood excelsior over the sand for the crickets to rest on.

Watering Your Crickets

Water base for raising crickets

Place a mason jar on top of this base, and fill the edges with cotton balls to easily water your crickets.

Like humans crickets also need water, so you are going to have to set up some sort of drinking station for these guys. You can use a glass jar placed upside down in a saucer as a drinking fountain and fill the edges with cotton balls to prevent them from drowning. Any open water is likely to kill your crickets!. You can also water them using a sponge inside of a small dish, or even cotton balls stuffed in a dish. You should check the moisture of these often and fully clean the cotton and bowl every month or so.


This chicken food works for feding crickets

This chicken feed is great for crickets

To feed your crickets, you can put chicken laying mash in the excelsior or inside of a small bowl set low enough for them to easily access.

Stock Your Cricket Pen

This next part of the article is assuming you stocked your brood pen with fresh crickets that you intend to have mate. Basically you want to make sure you have an adequate amount of room with an equal ratio of female and males to allow for them to do the hanky panky. You are going to want to have about 20-30 adult crickets, because some of these little buggers will take a dirt nap sooner than you might like. So it is important to have a lot in your pen to increase your odds of successfully raising some crickets to use as bait. Females are typically identified as having a large tube at the end of their bodies. This tube is used for laying eggs. Males do not have this feature.

Shop for crickets here to start raising your colony

Some crickets will have wings and can fly so you are going to need some sort of covering to prevent their escape. It goes without saying that in the possibility of a cricket suicide pact, you should remove the dead bodies. It is not only the right thing to do but is healthy as well. Temperatures of your brood pen should be kept warm. If the weather isn’t warm enough you may want to use a heat lamp of some sort. It is generally recommended to use a 100-watt bulb in the winter and a 40-watt in the warmer months if your crickets are in a garage or shed. You need to shield the crickets in some way so that they can’t touch the bulb and burn their little bodies. Also try to keep it away from things that could catch fire. Once the crickets are the right size for bait, heat won’t be necessary since this will slow their growth.

There you have it you now officially know how to raise crickets for fishing bait. It isn’t really that hard per se and it is a great option to use in place of worms. Also if you are third world poor it is a good source of protein. But eating insects is generally frowned upon in western society unless you drizzle chocolate it on it and attach the word delicacy to it- yum yum

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