weed worm n
An insect larva that is found burrowing in the stems of various weeds, and often used for bait; spec:
a A ragweed worm n. scattered, but chiefly Midl
1908 Every Eve.–Wilmington Daily Commercial (DE) 18 July 8/4, The boys who fish in the Brandywine have learned that sunfish take very kindly to a worm that is found in a weed that grows along the bank of the stream, and on the hunt for these worms, which they call “weed worms,” but which resemble caterpillars, the boys have made pathways in all directions. 1912 Camden Post–Telegram (NJ) 30 July 3/4, T. Anderson and his son had excellent luck angling in the upper part of Pensauken creek. . . The bait was weed worms taken from the stems of what is known as “rag weed.” 1938 Nashville Banner (TN) 6 Aug 7/4, The favorite bream bait there [=at Reelfoot Lake] now is the “weed worm,” which is a whitish-appearing worm found in the stem of the common horse weed. 1943 Charlotte Observer (NC) 25 July [sec 3 5]/1 nwTN, The familiar horse weeds, as they are locally known, were standing along the roadside in abundance, and almost every weed stalk had a weed worm hidden inside. 1958 East Liverpool Review (OH) 20 Aug 19/3, Another good gill bait is weed worms, which can be found in iron weeds as well as horse weeds. 1959 Anniston Star (AL) 17 May Vacation sec 10/5, Many local fishermen rate the weed worm as the best natural bait available. It is a small white worm, one to two inches in length, found in the bloodweed. 1969 DARE (Qu. P6, . . Kinds of worms . . used for bait) GA76, Weed worms. 1979 Atlanta Jrl.–Constitution (GA) 15 Apr sec C 18/2, Perhaps the greatest bluegill bait that White ever put on his hook is the weed worm. The little critter makes its home in a knot on the stem of a drag [sic] weed, also known as a bull weed. 2020 DARE File—Internet neAL, We would dig worms, cut weed worms, hunt jim-stretchers, sain [sic] minnows and hellgrammites and sell them for fish bait.
1938 State Jrl. (Lansing MI) 5 Feb 11/4, [Advt:] Helgramites, weed worms and wrigglers. For sale at all times. 1952 Kenosha Eve. News (WI) 31 Dec 7/5, [Advt:] Weed worms for ice fishing. 1953 Moline Daily Dispatch (IL) 8 Jan 7/5, Preferred baits [in the Fox Lake area] are weedworms from the golden rodplant, hellgrammites, corn borers and small spoon lures jiggled about a foot from the bottom. 1964 Racine Jrl.–Times (WI) 27 Dec sec E 5/2, Someone told us where a forest of black eyed susan stems are waving in the winter wind. We gotta go collect some weed worms. 1976 Chippewa Herald–Telegram (Chippewa Falls WI) 2 Jan sec B 3/2, Waxies, silver wigglers, black eyed susans (weed worms) and golden rod grubs seem to be the favored baits. 2009 in 2020 DARE File—Internet cnIL, Any of you guys use weed worms for bait[?] You find them in the fall after the “Brown Eyed Susans” die off. They are just slightly smaller than wax worms, but much tougher. . . These are not Goldenrod grubs. I don’t know the name of the insect . . , but the adult form . . is a very ugly critter about 3/4” long with a mean looking set of chompers. 2010 Ibid WI, Goldenrod gauls have little grubs in them. We call them weed worms. . . Used mostly around here for ice fishing. 2013 Ibid nwIL, What I’m calling a weed worm is the grub out of the stalk of the Blackeyed Susan Plant that grows in the wild.