Grubs and mealworms are excellent bait for fish who feed on worms and insects, including sunfish, trout, and panfish, along with many others. They can be used with almost any kind of rig, from a fly line to Carolina rig to a bobber. They can be used singly or in a setup with multiples, but they do often pop when they are punctured, so hook them once in and back out to keep them from slipping off.
Grubs can be harvested from infested trees, vegetables, and other plants, but are also available and commonly found in tackle and bait shops.
Fishing with Artificial Grubs
If you can’t find live grubs near you, you may be able to track down some in soft plastics. These are two to four inches long and have either a twin or a single curly tail that creates action and vibration when the lure is moved through the water.
While trout and freshwater bass are happy to eat a grub that is live or artificial, predatory fish like spotted bay bass or halibut will often pass on the live grub, but strike on the soft plastic.
Live vs Artificial Grubs?
When using live or artificial grubs or mealworms in places inhabited by many species of fish, there will be a difference in the kinds of fish you catch with which kind of bait. This is because live grubs are presented very differently from artificial grubs.
Live grubs tend to attract strikes from foraging fish instead of predatory types. This is because live grubs are cast out to a target area, then allowed to settle to the bottom. The angler then waits for a hungry fish to swim by.
Artificial grubs, by contrast, can be swum along at any speed or bounced off the bottom. Because of their moving tails and louder action, they tend to trigger a reactionary response in predatory fish. They only have a split second to decide whether or not to strike a potential food item, so they are more likely to take a chance on a plastic grub than a foraging fish.