Matt Moreau

Do Bass Like Goldfish As A Snack?

14 posts in this topic

Hey guys just wondering your thoughts. I know that bass will eat just about anything but in my experience i have found that they love goldfish. My buddy had a tank with a few yearlings in there and we would feed them minnows and goldfish... they always seemed to eat the goldfish first. I have no idea why or if its true but just thought I would get your thoughts... Just painted up this little guy to for that reason...

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You bet they like goldfish. Seems like I remember reading somewhere that people who fish with live bait use goldfish quite often. A bass is an opportunistic feeder that will eat just about anything that will fit in it's mouth and that resembles some sort of prey. No doubt you've seen pictures of a bass with another bass, almost as big as it is, lodged in it's mouth.

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No Doubt! I cant tell you how many times I have had a giant follow/stalk a fish on the end of my line... but to my avail never will they take the bait so to speak. I guess I am asking if they prefer goldfish to lets say a shad as that has been my experience.

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I imagine bass will eat pretty much anything they can fit in their mouth at some time or another, but let me share an experience from the past.

2-3 years ago I was fishing a bass derby. The rules were any legal method. Live bait. Two poles, etc. I figured I'ld use that to my advantage. I found some active fish in two spots the day before, and stopped by the pet store for a couple dozen gold fish. I figured I'ld drift one behind the boat while throwing a popper up against the bank. That isn't so easy as it sounds. I wound up just fishing one or the other, and I never got a bite on the gold fish. I hit my second spot and just picked up my flipping stick with a soft plastic flipped a 4+ 5+ & 3+ in fairly short order (had over 13 lbs and it was a 3 fish derby). Determined to cacth something on one of those expensive gold fish I headed to another area on the lake where I knew you could always find a few small bass and I splt shot a goldfish up amoungst them. There were several bass swimming around in my spot that I could see from 12-15 inches. They never gave the gold fish a second look, but several of them picked up the split shot as I dragged it between them.

I wound up winning the derby, but I never caught a single fish on the gold fish. Probably could have caught enough for second on the stupid split shot.

Edited by Bob La Londe

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No Doubt! I cant tell you how many times I have had a giant follow/stalk a fish on the end of my line... but to my avail never will they take the bait so to speak. I guess I am asking if they prefer goldfish to lets say a shad as that has been my experience.

I kind of doubt that they "prefer" a goldfish over a shad or whatever the prevalent forage is on any given lake. Will they eat them given the proper circumstances? No doubt. But just as Bob said it's not a sure fire deal they will eat them on any given day. The same thing can be said of larger than normal shiners, but guides in Florida have clients who come to Florida from all over the country to do nothing but fish large shiners for huge bass. If you think about it there are no exact sets of criteria as to what a bass will bite from one day to the next. I know I've had days when I literally killed the fish on a certain type and color of lure only to have them turn their noses up at it the very next day. This may not be the exact answer your looking for, but to me it is always an interesting subject to toss around.

Edited by RayburnGuy

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I fish the tidal potomac river on the Virginia-Maryland border and it is full of goldfish most are 12" plus you dont see many goldfish under 12" I have several strike king series3,series1 and series1xs all in the now discontinued GOLDFISH color several of the packages even say goldfish it is orangeback with black scales and a white belly when the bite is tough and I have been catching them cranking I tie on the goldfish it works hands down

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You bet they like goldfish. Seems like I remember reading somewhere that people who fish with live bait use goldfish quite often. A bass is an opportunistic feeder that will eat just about anything that will fit in it's mouth and that resembles some sort of prey. No doubt you've seen pictures of a bass with another bass, almost as big as it is, lodged in it's mouth.

I've read similar in German angling magazines concerning northern pike ,...... as a reason they gave the simply better visibility of a goldfish in the water .

Many UK anglers use dead sea fish like mackerel and herring for pike , ........some of 'em even go that far to prepare them with food colors before fishing to achieve blue , yellow , red or whatsoever colored bait , that would virtually pinch the eye of the pike !

greetz , diemai :yay:

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Here is a Goldfish paint job I did for a guy that hammers them on goldfish colors back east

I tried it in socal had some followers but I did not have enough confidence to throw all day

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Edited by K.C.K.

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I'll bet it is illegal to use live goldfish for bait in many states so the artificials make that much more sense

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interesting you brought this up. many years ago i had a couple of 8-10" bass that i put in a 30 gallon tank. i went and got 12 goldfish from the pet store to see what would happen. nothing, the bass toally ignored the goldfish who were having a good time swimming around. so i turned out the lights ( completely dark in the room ) and left. came back a few hours later and 4 were left! all huddled around the fake tree branch in the tank. next morning they were gone too. ok, so the bass ate the goldfish is obvious. what amazed me is that the bass found the goldfish in total darkness. i don't worry about dark or off color water anymore.

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When i was fishing in South Carolina i used a custom goldfish jerbait and the went crazy for it i don't know what it is but the sure do eat them up

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When i was fishing in South Carolina i used a custom goldfish jerbait and the went crazy for it i don't know what it is but the sure do eat them up

Since the gold fish color seems to be a natural variation of carp color, and bass eat small carp, it should be a good color scheme after the carp spawn in early spring.

Out here in SoCal, in lakes with big carp populations, the water's surface is reddish orange in the spring with carp eggs.

Those buggers sure do multiply!

Once they grow past 6", most bass can't eat them anymore, and they quickly grow into 10lb+ monsters.

At one of our lakes, Cachuma, you can see wave after wave of carp cruising the lake near the shore in the spring. I'm guessing it's a bunch of males following a female, waiting for her to release her eggs so they can fertilize them.

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using live goldfish as bait is definately illegal in md. i used them once in a private pond and it worked really well, i think it had to do with how visible they were in the really clear water on a sunny day. of the five i used none lasted longer than a minute or so, most of them were eaten as soon as they hit the water. of course this is on a private bass fishing pond with tons of bass and competition. they did get eaten faster than regular minnows and worms tho.

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