Wriggling Success: Are Mealworms a Good Bait for Fishing?

person holding grey fish


When it comes to fishing, choosing the right bait can make all the difference in the success of your angling adventures. There is a wide variety of bait options available, from artificial lures to live bait. One type of live bait that has gained popularity among anglers is the mealworm. In this blog post, we’ll discuss whether mealworms are a good option for fishing and explore the advantages and disadvantages of using them as bait.

Why Mealworms Make Great Bait

  1. Versatility: Mealworms can be used to target a wide range of fish species, including trout, panfish, catfish, and even some saltwater species. Their wiggling motion and natural scent make them an attractive meal for various fish, making mealworms a versatile bait choice for many angling situations.
  2. Easy to Obtain: Mealworms are readily available at most bait shops and pet stores, as they are commonly used as food for reptiles and birds. They can also be purchased online and are relatively inexpensive compared to some other types of live bait.
  3. Longevity: Mealworms are hardy creatures that can survive for extended periods without food or water, making them a low-maintenance bait option. When stored in a cool, dark place, mealworms can last for several weeks, reducing the need for frequent bait store trips.
  4. Simple to Use: Mealworms are easy to hook and can be used with a variety of fishing rigs, such as float rigs, drop shot rigs, or jig heads. Simply thread the mealworm onto the hook, piercing it through the head or tail end, and cast out to entice fish with their wriggling action.
  5. Environmentally Friendly: Using mealworms as bait can be more environmentally friendly than some artificial lures, as they are biodegradable and pose little threat to aquatic ecosystems if lost or ingested by fish.

Disadvantages of Using Mealworms as Bait

  1. Limited Appeal to Larger Predatory Fish: While mealworms can attract a variety of fish species, they may not be as effective at luring larger predatory fish like bass, pike, or muskies. Anglers targeting these species may find other bait options, such as larger minnows or artificial lures, more effective.
  2. Soft Texture: Mealworms have a relatively soft texture, which can make them more prone to being stolen by smaller, less desirable fish species. Additionally, their soft bodies can make them more susceptible to damage during casting or when reeling in a hooked fish.


Mealworms can be a highly effective bait option for many fishing situations, with their versatility, ease of use, and natural appeal to various fish species. However, they may not be the best choice for targeting larger predatory fish, and their soft texture can make them more susceptible to theft or damage. Overall, mealworms can be a valuable addition to any angler’s bait arsenal, providing an easy-to-use and readily available option for a wide range of fishing scenarios.