Definition of hellgrammite in US English:



North American
  • The aquatic larva of a dobsonfly, often used as fishing bait.

    • ‘Larvae of alderflies differ from hellgrammites in that they lack the two hooks at the end of the abdomen.’
    • ‘Live bait, such as nightcrawlers or hellgrammites, can increase the odds of catching bass.’
    • ‘Big trout like a big mouthful, and hellgrammites are bigger than your average mayfly or stonefly nymph.’
    • ‘And both species are more than willing to hit small lures as well as natural baits such as nightcrawlers, meal worms and hellgrammites.’
    • ‘When preparing for pupation, the hellgrammite emerges from the water and quickly moves across the earth's surface.’


Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.