Few bait options are as versatile and attractive to fish as mealworms. Used by both freshwater and saltwater anglers, these larvae can lure a variety of species, including trout, panfish, catfish, and more. However, hooking these wriggly critters can be a bit of a challenge for the uninitiated. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to hook mealworms for fishing, ensuring your bait stays on and the fish bite!

Why Use Mealworms?

Before we delve into the process, let’s address the ‘why’ behind using mealworms as bait.


Mealworms are an excellent all-around bait, attracting a wide variety of fish species. Their wriggly movement and scent make them irresistible to fish.


Mealworms are readily available in bait shops and pet stores. They’re also easy to store and keep alive, making them a convenient option for anglers.

Hooking Your Mealworm

Now, let’s get to the main event: how to hook a mealworm.

Step 1: Choose the Right Hook

Selecting the right hook is vital. A small hook, typically size 8 or 10, is ideal for mealworms. The small size ensures the worm isn’t overly damaged and continues to wriggle, attracting fish.

Step 2: Pick the Mealworm

Pick a lively mealworm from your batch. Look for one that’s wriggling actively. The livelier the worm, the more likely it is to attract fish.

Step 3: Position the Mealworm

Hold the mealworm gently between your thumb and forefinger. Aim to hook the mealworm through its midsection.

Step 4: Pierce the Mealworm

Carefully pierce the hook through the mealworm’s body. The goal is to keep the worm alive, so avoid piercing its head or tail.

Step 5: Secure the Mealworm

Thread the mealworm onto the hook until it reaches the shank. The hook point should protrude from the other side, allowing it to catch fish effectively. Ensure the mealworm is firmly secured, but be careful not to damage it excessively.

Pro Tips

Here are a few expert tips to make your mealworm baiting more successful:

  • Double Up: If you’re targeting larger species, don’t be afraid to use two or more mealworms on a single hook to create a more enticing offering.
  • Use a Float: Mealworms are often most effective when presented off the bottom. A float can help achieve the ideal positioning and make bites more noticeable.


Knowing how to hook mealworms for fishing is an invaluable skill for any angler. These versatile baits can entice a wide variety of fish species, increasing your chances of a successful catch. Remember, the key to hooking a mealworm is to keep it alive and wriggling. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll soon be a pro at baiting with mealworms!

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