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How to Raise Leeches for Fish Bait

by Neal Litherland

For people who want to catch catfish. leeches are used for fish bait in a number of locations, including Michigan in the United States and parts of England. Raising your own leeches requires knowing what you need to keep them happy and healthy until you're ready to use them to catch fish. All you need is basic blood meals, a cool environment and to keep them out of the sun.

1.

Acquire your leeches. You can have them delivered to your home by ordering offline or you can buy them live at a fish bait shop. Fill your leech container with unchlorinated water. Chlorine is deadly to leeches and you want to keep their environment chlorine-free. For every 250 ml of water you can easily store a single leech. If you have the space you can store them individually, or you can do two to a single unit. More leeches per container isn't recommended, according to the website Biopharm-Leeches.

2.

Feed your leeches. Place the leeches into a container with a blood meal, which are sold by fish bait stores and leech care sites. Once the leech has finished the meal, give it about an hour or so to be sure it's done eating, then put your leeches into the water in the storage container. A leech can survive for more than a month off of a single blood meal, and you shouldn't be storing a leech for longer than that in a container. Cover the top of the container with a lid that either has small perforations in it (leeches are very elastic) or which has a cloth top that allows air in but won't allow leeches out.

3.

Store the container in a cool place such as a refrigerator. Leeches should be fine as long as the temperature remains below 77 F. Leeches need to stay out of direct sunlight.

Items you will need

  • 250 ml container
  • Lid
  • Cool storage space
  • De-chlorinated water

About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.