What do you do when you build an earthworm bed so you can have worms for fish bait and the numbers start growing rapidly? According to Clay Burton, you start selling them.

“We started growing worms for us to fish with and they started multiplying so fast we decided maybe we ought to try and sell some,” Clay said.

With that declaration, Burton Boys Worms business was launched this past December and it has started growing rapidly.

So, who are the Burton Boys? I learned about them and their enterprise while sharing lunch with Carl Burton, their grandfather and a long-time friend. What Carl told me smacked of a good story so I set out to learn more, meeting the boys and their parents recently at the Ruston Farmer’s Market where they had set up shop with their fishing worms.

The dad is Dusty Burton; mom is Kristy and the family lives in the Quitman area of Jackson Parish.

“We got to thinking about what we might want to get the boys as an extra special Christmas gift,” Kristy explained. “We love to fish and had ordered some European night crawlers, worms that are different from the Canadian night crawlers. The Canadian variety require refrigeration otherwise they don’t survive. Not so for the Europeans which can tolerate temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees.”

“Our fishing worm supply started growing so fast there was no way we could use them all so we decided to introduce the boys to the business world by setting them up in a business of growing, marketing and selling the earthworms. We have business meetings every week in order to plan and discuss how to turn the business into a profitable venture,” she added.

Clay has a vision problem, amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye” and it was his idea to use some of the profits of the business to help others with similar problems.

“I have to wear special glasses for my eye condition and I want to use some of what we make by selling worms to help other kids who have the same condition and may need some help to get glasses,” Clay said.

How do you raise enough earthworms to satisfy your fishing needs with enough extra to put on the market?

“Our worm nursery consists mainly of peat moss with some dirt added, We feed the worms such things as banana peels, egg shells, cardboard and grain,” Clay added.

Kristy came up with the idea that in order to attract potential customers, there has to be an attractive presentation of the product.

“We found someone who came up with the design for the containers that are attached to each box of worms. The design features the two boys – one wearing glasses – in a circle surrounded with the logo “Burton Boys Worms”.

The young growing business has already attracted the attention of at least one tackle shop owner, K&M Bait Shop in Farmerville, where the products are available to sell. Hopefully, other bait shops will soon follow suit.

A tip ‘o the hat is in order for Dusty and Kristy Burton for inspiring their sons to want to launch a business.

Oh, one other thing of interest are the ages of these two budding entrepreneurs.

Clay is 7; Cole is 5.

”The Burton brothers, Clay and Cole, have launched a successful business of growing and selling fishing worms.” Glynn Harris photo


CANEY LAKE – The bass are schooling with some in the 4-5 pound range caught on topwater lures with soft plastics taking some beneath the breaking schools. Crappie are around the deeper tops in 17-18 foot water and have been fair on shiners and jigs. Bream fishing is still fairly good around the lake on crickets or worms. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bream and crappie fishing is still fair to good around the trees and bushes. No report on bass. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass fishing has been fair to good on a variety of lures. Bream are still hitting crickets and worms. The crappie bite has slowed with fair catches on shiners or jigs. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass fishing has been fair to good with topwater lures taking fish early with soft plastic working best later in the day. Crappie are fair with best catches made on shiners or jigs fished the edges of the channels in 18 foot water. Bream are still fair to good fishing worms and crickets around shallow beds. Catfish are biting cold worms fished off the banks. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Bream are still hanging around shallow beds and fishing is fair to good on crickets and worms. Crappie fishing has been best fishing around the lighted piers at night using shiners with some hanging around deep brush and hitting jigs and shiners. Bass have been schooling some and hitting topwater lures. Also fishing around and under the boat docks on soft
plastics is working. No report on catfish. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT –Bream and catfish have been good while bass and crappie are slow to fair. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Catfishing is good while bass, bream and crappie are rather slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water continues on a slow fall and fishing has been improving daily with plenty of crappie, barfish, bass and catfish being caught. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

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