Red, sometimes bright ruby ​​color, the larva of the dergun mosquito helps the fisherman in all seasons. Especially when fishing from ice, when the choice of baits is reduced to a minimum. You can find it in areas of reservoirs with a muddy or sandy-muddy bottom. It feeds on detritus (organic matter that makes up the surface film of the bottom). The larva develops within about two years, after which it pupates and turns into a non-blood-sucking mosquito. As a bait, anglers usually use bloodworms 15–25 mm long, for bait – small larvae (10–12 mm). Bloodworms are obtained mainly by washing the bottom sludge in a sieve. In summer, sometimes a sufficient number of larvae can be washed up at the edges of the surf coast, where they are nailed by a high wave. In Moscow, St. Petersburg and other large cities, handicraftsmen are engaged in the extraction of bloodworms, supplying it to fishing shops and markets.

It is quite difficult to preserve the tender larva. It is best to keep bloodworms between 0 and 4 ° C. The fact is that this delicate bait only brings success to the angler when he is able to keep it alive. As they say, in its original form. Unlike summer in winter, it is still easier to do this. However, it must be remembered that at subzero temperatures, unlike maggot, bloodworms die. About how to deliver bloodworms to the fishing site in the required form, I have repeatedly talked with the people who catch it. I was guided in this by the consideration that the miners are vitally interested in supplying the goods to the markets and stores in the most fresh form, because in this case we are talking not about grams, but kilograms and about rather substantial amounts of proceeds.

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The rules of transportation and storage, as it turned out, are as follows. Bloodworms must not be overcooled and overdried; it must be moist and have access to fresh air. Usually, winter fishing anglers traveling to relatively close water bodies deliver bloodworms (both for feeding and for nozzle), placing it in a layer of no more than 0.5 cm in a damp old newspaper folded several times. But what if you have a long trip by train or car? In this case, it is best to use a special thermos bag, in which the positive temperature is close to zero. There are other ways of storing, and here I will show the main ones.

Bloodworms are placed in a metal or plastic box, after making small holes in the lid for air access. Having lined the bottom with a damp, boiled and washed in cold water infusion of tea, half-fill the box with bloodworms, wrap it in a damp canvas rag and put it on the lower shelf of the refrigerator. The main condition is to sort out the larvae every day, removing the dead with tweezers, refresh the tea leaves and make sure that the rag is damp all the time. With this storage method, bloodworms retain their original freshness for a week or more.

In another case, water is poured into the bath of a special cassette, which can be purchased at a fishing store, so that it reaches the grate, and the larvae are laid out in an even layer (2-3 matchboxes). After a while, a live bloodworm will leave through the holes into the bath, and weak, inactive and dead larvae will remain on the grate. They need to be washed off with a stream of water. You can preliminarily place a layer of silt in the bath (from an ecologically safe reservoir). Place the cassette in the refrigerator or other cool place. The water, of course, is not chlorinated, it is advisable to change it daily, and dry the bloodworms every week on a newspaper and pass it through the grate, thoroughly rinsing it in a soda solution. This significantly lengthens the shelf life of the tip.


Bloodworms remain for quite a long time in a spacious glass jar with a layer of silt at the bottom. It is advisable to take silt in the same reservoir where the bloodworm was taken. In this case, you also have to regularly refresh the water and sort the larvae, removing the dead. With the onset of autumn cold weather, the jar can be kept on the balcony. Within 2-3 days, bloodworms can be kept fresh by wrapping it in several layers of old newspaper. In this case, the inner layers are moistened with water and carefully wrung out. Keep refrigerated. Before going fishing, the required amount of bloodworms are laid out on a newspaper, dried for 5–7 minutes and placed in a bloodworm (in a damp cloth in summer, in a dry cloth in winter). They put the bloodworms on a hook, being careful, so that the contents of the larvae flow out less.

With the help of a special knitting machine, sometimes it is necessary to pre-harvest bunches of bloodworms, pulling them together with thin rings cut from nipple gum. Bloodworms, tied in bunches, remain alive longer under water, content does not flow out of it. Naturally, the fish takes such a bait more accurately. Most often, bunches are used for winter fishing for bream. After catching the next fish, the bunch of bloodworms, although partially crushed, remains on the hook and allows you to catch several bream without changing the nozzle. This is especially convenient in frosty weather.

author – Kazantsev V. – Catching from the ice. All Secrets of Ice Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)

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