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what is the differnts between wax worms and meal worms, i was wanting to get some for bluegill fishing and wanting to know witch is the best and what is the differents..Thanks Mark

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I do know that MEAL WORMS are nothing but Maggots born in decent enviorment. ( You use Damp feeds like dog , chicken, pig, or any other feed product) ' put it under an OPEN shelter , put a wet sack over it and let it get soured and the flys will do the rest, these meal worms will turn the color of the meal you are using. It would be the same as putting a bag of feed in the water to bait fish with! Wax Worms I'm not familiar with they are more of a Northern insect?????

I do know that MEAL WORMS are nothing but Maggots born in decent enviorment. ( ou use Damp feeds like dog , chicken, pig, or any other feed product) ' put it under an OPEN shelter, put a wet sack over it and let it get soured and the flys will do the rest

Hmmm, that sounds like a Southern thang. By golly, I gotta try that.

Wax worms are the larval stage of a moth, while meal worms are the pre-pupal stage of the darkling beetle. I've never used either and they aren't available locally where I live. However, I've done a bit of research on them. The best thing that I know about them so far is that they dont require much special handling as fishing bait.


True "fishing worms," for example, are different. Here I'm speaking about "night crawlers," "wigglers," "garden pinkies" and whatever other names they go by. These are actually kind of fragile. To be at their best, they should be 'hardened off' the day before you go fishing. Then they should be kept cool with bagged ice when out fishing, pampered in damp straw, sawdust or grass clippings. This means you need an insulated holding container, zip-loc bagged ice, advance preparation and so on.

You can dispense with these things, but you risk your worms croaking from heat stroke or drowning in their own muck for lack of proper handling.


"Waxie's" and "mealies," on the other hand, need only be kept out of direct sunlight in a bedding like sawdust or corn meal. Toss in a small piece of potato for moisture and that's about it. In fact, meal worms would appreciate this sort of treatment, as they EAT grains. Here in Dixie, where corn is a staple, they are considered a pest because of their taste for corn meal (thus their name).


Above 85 degrees F and they start to feel the effects of the heat. But they withstand it better than soil worms. And Johnny Wilkins says the tend to float, so more weight is needed to keep them where the fish are. This COULD affect your ability to detect the mouthings of light biting fish... I don't know. Much depends on your tackle, I suppose.


Now, if you have a boat or you lounge on the bank with your tackle cart at hand, well - you may have many options for storage and bait handling. It might be possible for you to maintain an entire "buffet" of live bait offerings. I recall fishing in Florida with my brother-in-law, Jim. When we went out in his boat, we often had worms, crickets, meal worms, minnows and even a few cockroaches when we could catch 'em!


But if you are a walking, hiking or cycling angler like me, you are interested in bait that takes care of itself. I don't have a boat and I'm not content to just sit there on the bank. I chase the fish, essentially, going where they are. This leaves true worms, with their fussy ways, as a second choice. Since the only other option for me are crickets, the choice is easy.


But these grubs, when kept well bedded in a vest pocket pouch, might possibly be the perfect live panfish bait for on-the-go anglers - when you can find them.


If you can get them, I suggest you try both and see what happens. After all, the only way you can learn which is best is to go fishing - and that is never a bad thing!

C O OL. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

my wife uncle has alot of meal worms because he raises them and we dont use oats or meal brand to raise is worms and it is never wet like i have heard and he swears by them fishing for panfish and he is going to give me some to raise so i cna have some for my self because he said they was high  but the main thing is u cant find them any where.

  but i have heard from other people on here talk about wax worms so i was wondering what the diff was and now i think the wax worms r a northern thing   lol

 and thanks for the info and anymore with be appreciate

Mark, really , the ONLY time I've ever seen a wax worm was up NORTH , Now I've seen a lot of WAX Paper down South , but that's bout it? LOL

Ive got  friend who raised mealworms for awhile; I dont know if he still does.

But he told me it was really easy. He kept them in a box and just did what little he had to do, like feed them and give them the potato I mentioned. After a while they turned into darkling beetle larva - meal worms.

Id like to try it... but you gotta use em if you rear 'em. Otherwise, you're a beetle rancher instead of a fisherman. Its just simpler for me to use crickets, Berkley Fry, jigs and so on.

Maybe once I get back into fishing (Ive laid off for 20 years), I'll give it a try. 


But please let us know how it works out for you, Mark. Im keen to hear your thoughts on them.

If you guys would like to see the the difference between them check  this is an online store for bait.I believe they have all of the things you are asking about and others you may not have heard off.I would say that waxworms are a nothern thing and we use them year round.They work well for many different kinds of fish.Mealworms alot of people call eurolarvae up here in da nort.

In da nort'...




I hadn't thought of them as regional baits, mostly because I can't get either one. It;s a moot point. But thanks for the link. the whole online bait thing is very interesting.

For years I raised chickens and you can have live chicks shipped anywhere in the country. It's been done since the late 19th century, so shipping a few grubs and creepy crawlies ought to be a snap!

i look on the web site and i do see the diff and i think i will give it a try because isnt very hard to do ( for what i have reed anyway) and if it makes me catch more fish than more power to it!!

That is what is all about! i will keep reading more about it amd my wifes uncle said by next year i will have all i want and even more.  Thanks for the info yall !!

For fishermen - David has the usage and storage of each.


The warmer traveling bait:

Meal and Wax 65. Redworms slightly warm 55  - 65.


The Cooler Crowd (they need cooler conditions and store in a small cooler or cold bag with ice packs)

Crawlers 45, maggots (spikes) fly larva 35 - stored with ice packs along with the crawlers.


Wax Worms , Meal Worms - very light (floating capabilities) light on the hook

Spikes (maggot) slow sink action, still pretty light   

Worm Group faster sink, heavier on the hook


The last capability anglers would like is how tough on the hook they are:


Wax worms - soft (think puffy and white)

                  < Crickets

Meal Worms - thin (crisp shell)

Crawlers - thicker (soft)

Redworms - thinner (soft)

Maggots - SMALL (tougher skin)


I listed the above in the order they stay on the hook so Wax worms will come off the hook fastest (but this means a fish has bitten the bait   : )  ) As you move to redworm, the bait is now staying on the hook slightly longer. If I absolutely had to, I could get 6 fish out of a maggot.


That said, I tend to change the bait if it is at all damaged. Fresh bait is your ultimate lure.


For a few people who have never fished the wax worm, it is a bright, white grub bait that is puffy and an excellent summer bait for fish on the move! This can be seen a long way away by curious fish.


Coldwater - go smallest use spikes. As the water worms, you can move up the scale too from small to large. 

While I don't use mealworms, I can definitely attest to waxworms and maggots being excellent baits. By the way... around these parts we don't call em' waxworms, rather they're known as beemoths. In the spring, when fish are on the nests, I like to use a size 8 fly rod type popper, preferably an Accardo brand Chartreuse colored Miss prissy. Problem is, I don't fly fish. Trying to get any casting distance on a 54" ultralight with this lightweight lure can be tough. So I will thread a beemoth (waxworm) on the popper's hook and let fly. The added weight will really improve your distance, and the taste of meat will encourage the light "tasters" to take a bigger bite and hold it longer.

As far as maggots, they are my ice fishing "go to" bait. Obviously they're tiny, so a small, thin hook is ideal. I prefer a jig size 16 tipped with two or three maggots. If you see the critter up close, you'll notice that they have a flat end, and a pointed end. The flat end has two black dots on it. Pinch the maggot between your fingers, gently, and run the tip of the hook barely through the skin on the flat end. If the juice that comes out is mostly clear, you're good, and the maggot will remain alive on the hook. If the fluid is the same color as the maggot, you've hooked too deep and probably killed it. That's why a small hook is imperative, it keeps the bait lively. Maggots can be bought in a variety of colors, usually referred to as "spikes" or "eurolarvae" at this stage.

I bought my maggots back in Nov., and I used some open-water fishing today, and they were still quite lively. Keep them in the fridge at 36 degrees, squeeze all the air out of the plastic bag they come in, and only take out enough for the day's fishing when you go. They should last for months. Mine do. And as Johnny said, they are quite hardy on the hook, much more so than a wax worm.


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