[Note: This entry was previously stretch worm.]
jim stretcher n Also stretcher (worm), stretch worm [In allusion to these creatures’ method of locomotion by lengthening and contracting the body; for the first element cf jimmy longlegs n, Jim Narrowface n] chiefly GA, AL Cf leatherjacket n 3
A large, aquatic fly larva, as of the crane fly n or horsefly n 1, often used as bait.
[1856 SC Court of Appeals Rept. of Cases 9.382, The said defendant . . did wickedly, maliciously and falsely compose, write and publish, of and concerning the said plaintiff, a false, wicked and malicious libel, . . to wit: ‘To de big faced blacksmith,’ (meaning the plaintiff,) ‘and his stretch worm overseer, the infant, Peter Dickey, hog killer.’] 1925 Special Crops 24.276 cGA, We had a good supply of bait on hand. It consisted an [sic] angle worms, grass hoppers, jim stretchers, shrimps and dough with cotton worked in it for carp. 1957 Talladega Daily Home & Our Mtn. Home (AL) 10 May 6/5 ceAL, This area has one unusual bait that is used there nearly exclusively. The Jim Stretcher. It is a worm that looks similar to the weed worm, and it hatches out in the mountain streams in the early spring. Down in Coosa where the land is flat the worm is seldom found, and when it is used it is not very effective, but when attached to a bream hook it is a real killer in Talladega Creek. 1958 Browne Pop. Beliefs AL 48, Stretch-worms, split up the center, washed and dried in the sunshine, then baked until dry, crushed into powder and taken, will cure chills. 1966–69 DARE (Qu. P5, . . The common worm used as bait) Inf LA12, Stretch worm; (Qu. P6, . . Kinds of worms . . used for bait) Infs GA1, 14, 72, Stretcher. 1986 Pederson LAGS Concordance (Earthworms) 1 inf, nwAL, Stretch worms. 1999 Foxfire 11 262 neGA, You can find what they call stretcher worms in the edge of the water. 2009 in 2020 DARE File—Internet neGA, Folks around Here Call em [=cranefly larvae] Stre[t]chers. . . [Another poster:] Folks call them Leatherjackets and Jim-Stretchers too. Supposed to be a great trout bait too. 2012 Ibid GA, Here is a “stretcher” and a “go-devil” (helgramite). [Photos show a horsefly larva and a dobsonfly larva] [Another poster:] We called them jim stret[c]hers and penny winkle. I know we use to go to creeks and grab a big hand full of leaves. We would get a bunch and tear the bream up. 2020 DARE File—Internet neAL, We would dig worms, cut weed worms, hunt jim-stretchers, sain minnows and hellgrammites and sell them for fish bait.