How to Breed Maggots

Updated February 21, 2017

Maggots, or waxworms, are a favourite bait for panfish anglers. Maggots are the larval stage of an insect belonging to the order Diptera (commonly known as flies). They grow in rotting food, so the smell alone is enough to deter most would-be maggot farmers! However, some hearty souls prefer to breed their own.

Take the raw ring bologna and place it into your bucket. You will produce more maggots with more bologna.

Put the bucket outside in a warm, dry and shady place. Flies will find it almost instantly.

Cut your 3/8-inch wire mesh so that it covers the entire opening of the 5-gallon bucket. Place a rock on top of the mesh to hold it in place. The mesh will prevent birds from eating your bait.

Check your bucket every couple of days. You should see signs of maggot infestation.

The larvae will exit the bologna when they are ready. Collect the larvae after you see them crawling around on the bottom of the bucket. Place them in a container with some wood shavings and refrigerate.


Using a piece of ring bologna is much less rancid than using a whole chicken or fish like some of the literature on this subject calls for. Maggots don't last very long. Use them as soon as you can. Refrigerating them will slow the process of becoming a pupae.


If you live in a northern climate, this procedure will only work during warm seasons.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Piece of raw ring bologna
  • 3/8-inch wire mesh
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About the Author

Jay Angel has been a writer since 1998, specializing in scientific writing, as well as articles about fishing and hunting. He worked as a columnist for the Illinois newspapers, "Daily Chronicle" and "News Tribune." Angel has a Master of Science in fluvial geomorphology from Northern Illinois University.