Types of Fishing Worms

Types of Fishing Worms

Explore America's Campgrounds

Worms are common bait for fishing, and there are hundreds of species you can use. Many worms are larvae of moths or beetles, but they can be any invertebrate creature without legs. Plastic worms also are commonly used as bait, but live worms often are favored because they wriggle, smell and taste good to fish.


Mealworms actually are darkling beetles still in the larva life stage. They are high in protein and commonly are used as fishing bait. You can mail-order mealworms or purchase them off the Internet, or from pet stores or bait shops. Mealworms last longer on the hook while fishing than many other live varieties of bait, making them excellent fishing bait. Mealworms are prime bait for bluegill, trout, perch, whitefish, pan fish and tropical fish, according to Elizabeth Zimmerman, a certified environmental professional. Mealworms also are commonly used for ice fishing.


Bloodworms are large, moist worms ranging from 2 inches all the way 18 inches. They are harvested along the Northeastern coast of the United States. Bloodworms have mouths and teeth and will bite people, so they should be handled with caution. They are ideal for fishing for winter flounder, perch, kingfish, weak fish, porgys and striped bass.


Butterworms have a strong, fruit-like smell, making them appetizing to many species of fish. These larvae of Chilecomadia moorei moths are bright yellow and orange and are imported from Chili. Butterworms are good bait for bass and panfish.

Red Worms

Red worms, also known as red wrigglers, are a smaller type of earthworm used for fishing for trout, bluegill, perch or crappie. They are commonly used bait for beginners because they can survive in vast temperatures and are easily dug up from the soil in your yard.