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Artificial gobies as bait? Why not?

March 4, 2013 - Jordan Travis
"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." That's the old phrase that comes to mind when I see these goby-shaped baits you can buy now. Although it might be better stated as, "If you can't beat 'em, use 'em to your advantage." The round goby is an invasive species that has a knack for stealing bait. I've had this happen to me a few times, especially while fishing the Thunder Bay River. But there's more to their obnoxiousness than just bait theft. They also gobble up eggs of native fish and compete for food, further complicating the food web already impacted by the zebra mussel. But here's an interesting fact: gobies eat zebra mussels. That's right, an invasive species is a natural predator of another obnoxious invasive species that's negatively impacted the food web. They're also food, and certain predator fish have taken to eating them instead of the now-vanished alewives. I've heard them referred to as "bass candy," which might be why you can buy rubber gobies, or crankbaits shaped like gobies. Short of creating some kind of virus that targets only gobies, there's no getting rid of them. So why not use them to your advantage?

 
 

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