maternal grandfather, Benjamin Woody, loved to go fishing in the Kinchafoonee Creek and he shared his passion with his numerous
grandchildren. His preferred appliance for angling was a homemade cane pole
with a wiggling worm.
Pronounced kinch-uh-FOO-nee, the creek begins somewhere in Marion County,
Georgia and flows for about seventy five miles ending at the Flint River
near Albany, Georgia. The part of the creek Papa preferred for fishing is
situated in Webster County, formerly known as Kinchafoonee County, and
located only a few minutes from his doorstep.
preferred to fish with earth worms and he knew exactly how to coax them out
of the ground; a practice that is commonly known as worm grunting, a
disgusting sounding description for this little known exercise. Because of
an interesting episode on the Discovery Channel we now understand that the
distinct sounding vibrations made by this method mimic the sounds made by
moles, a predatory animal which stalks earthworms.
used an archaic and fragmented wooden boat paddle and an antique saw blade
to coax the worms out of their hiding places. Apparently until recently the
scientific community did not understand how the method worked, but after
lengthy research have now determined that the groaning sound truly does
cause the worms to emerge out of the ground. Actually, the soggier the
soil, the easier it is to charm them to the surface.
entrepreneurs who sell fish bait to the consumers actually use this unusual
method to gather their stock. The local professional worm grunters must
obtain a permit in order to practice their trade; some families, like the
Revell clan, have essentially been practicing this technique for
generations, and compare it to making music.
are not convinced that this practice is authentic, investigate the 9th
Annual Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival; or the Competitive Worm Charming
Championship, in the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida, maybe then you
too will become a believer.