Worm Harvesting with Iron and Wood

Worm Harvesting with Iron and Wood

Gary Revell makes a living coaxing earthworms out of the ground using music as bait. (St. Petersburg Times)

Known as the “King of Earthworms,” Gary Revell rises before dawn each morning to head out on the hunt. Armed with a wooden stake called a stob, and a large steel file called a rooping iron, Revell’s roop-on-stob vibrations lay the perfect worm trap. The vibrations cause the ground to shake and within moments the soil erupts with earthworms.

Revell has been “rooping” worms for 50 years but the tradition goes back generations. He sells to bait shops all over the south and says he enjoys earning his livelihood tromping around in the woods. On a good day Revell brings home thousands of worms.

This short video by the St. Petersburg Times is part of columnist Jeff Klinkenberg’s “Real Florida” series about Florida culture and people who make the state unique. The video follows Revell out on an early morning worm-foray with productive results.

CHANNEL: St. Petersburg Times / TampaBay.com

Length: 2:10

Video by Maurice Rivenbark
Story by Jeff Klinkenberg