Mealworms make an excellent bait. The long, strawcoloured grubs, segmented and rather similar to a centipede in appearance, are the larvae of a large beetle found in granaries and flour mills. They can occasionally be purchased at pet stores, where they are sold as food for insectivorous birds and mammals. Although they are expensive, they can be stored for a very long period in a ventilated tin of fine bran or oatmeal. If an even temperature is maintained, they will often go through the chrysalis stage, adult insect, and breed, allowing a succession of baits from the one purchase.

Mealworms should be mounted through a middle segment rather than one near the tail end, which is delicate and likely to break off during the cast.

Even if there is no acceptance of a mealworm bait on or just below the surface, it should be allowed to sink and lie on the bottom for a short time before being retrieved gently.