More on the Goldfish, Awesome Bait

For colorblind folks, that's goldy there on the right. (Bait Werks photo.)

You may recall a few months back we had a post on a study that concluded, in part, that bass don’t just like but prefer goldfish over other prey fish: “The order of ingestion was suggestive of a preference for goldfish, then bluegill and finally channel catfish. Handling time was greater for channel catfish, less for bluegill, and the least for goldfish.”

A BassParade reader who also is a crankbait painter extraordinaire contacted us and related the following story:

    I used to have a largemouth bass in an aquarium, and he would immediately eat goldfish as they were given to him. Viciously chasing them if they even made it below the surface. Sometimes eating them out of my hand.
    But if you gave him minnows, it was a completely different reacion. Upon being presented with a minnow, bluegill or baby crappie, he would always wait until after dark to attack them. The bluegill and crappie would sometimes coexist with him for a while before they finally disappeared.
    After reading the [post] and pairing it with my own experiences with my bass, I decided to paint up a goldfish pattern. I added the kill spot because I believe everything needs one, even if it’s not matching the hatch.
    It’s something about the color anyway – most bass have never seen a goldfish. I’ll be giving this a try this year to see how this works on bass in the wild.

That was from Dwain Batey, owner of Bait Werks custom lure painting. Dwain is a native Okie, now in Siloam Springs, AR.

Dwain’s been fishing and doing some form of artwork since the ripe old age of 2, and says, “Painting lures is the perfect mesh of my two passions, except that it keeps me from being on the water as much as I would like.”

He started Bait Werks in 2009, and in March 2010 quit the day job to paint fulltime. He sponsors Clark Reehm in the Elites, and has painted for several anglers on both tours but says “most of them don’t want to be mentioned.” He says he’s painted for Michael Bennett and Cody Meyer “to name a few” on the FLW side.

Below is more of Dwain’s stellar work. See more at

(Bait Werks photo.)

(Bait Werks photo.)

(Bait Werks photo.)



  1. Jacob Robinson

    February 2, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I havent noticed anything like that with my bass. They attack whatever as soon as it hits the water. But i worked at a pet store when i was in high school and people used to come in all the time and buy goldfish to fish with. Said they caught bass and catfish with them.

  2. Alex Voog

    February 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I wonder if it’s because they have such a heavy slime coating, in addition to minimal fin spikes? They probably go down the hatch like an oyster as opposed to bluegills being like a piece of dry french bread.

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