Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Calling all worm grunters

To catch a fish you have to offer some bait, and the old-fashioned way to do that is to hang a worm on the line. Getting those worms is another story. The folks in Sopchoppy, Florida, population 460, are experts in the field, which is why they offer a festival every spring in honor of their worm-charming skills. 

The 17th annual Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival will be Saturday, April 8, 2017, in the northwest Florida town southwest of Tallahatchee and will include artisans and craftspeople, horseshoe championships, live music, hoola hoop contest, 5K race, bait casting contest and, of course, the worm grunting contest.

Just what exactly is worm grunting? Take a specific piece of metal and a piece of wood and worm grunters call worms to the surface. According to the festival press materials, these vibrations — not the noise — mimic those of a mole, which snacks on worms.

Lodging options include camping in Sopchoppy City Park, Ochlockonee River State Park, Holiday Park and Campground and Newport Campground. For accommodations with a roof over your head and toilet, try Sweet Magnolia Inn, Best Western Plus Wakulla Inn and Suites and Wakulla Springs Lodge in Wakulla and The Magnuson in Crawfordville. 

Cheré Dastugue Coen is a food and travel writer living in South Louisiana who is the author of several Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire and the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

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