Goldfish as bait ?

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by nasty nate, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Is it leagal or illeagal to use goldfish as bait? I know bait shops that sell them, but no one can give me a strait answer if they are leagal or not, but one thing I do know is that they do make for some really good bait.
  2. Good question?????:confused2:

  3. I have never fished with gold fish but I have fished SC with black salties which is a hybrid goldfish and they are legal according to there website.
  4. Cgoyette

    Cgoyette New Member

    Don't waste your time or Money. Goldfish to be effective need to BE BIG and they cost to much.

    talking big catfish bait only below;
    Big Crappie HEADS (with a bit of the stomack left, ask a guide to keep you some) are the best for Blues as is cut herring. Flat Heads are partial to bream BIG ones 1 lb or more bigger than your hand will get bite every time on the river humps, white perch work but not as good as a bream.

    Eels work fantastic when you can get them. Flatheads crawl overthemselves to bite em!

    Live on lake Marion (Potato Creek) if you been there you will know my place its the one with the football field sticking out in the lake.
  5. I am not sure in your area but I have used them in Ohio............I am pretty sure they were legal??
  6. sarg

    sarg New Member

  7. Fishing with goldfish was legalized just this year, if I recall correctly. It was illegal for a long time because DNR worried about filling SC waters with non-indigenous fish. So yes, you can use them 'till your heart's content.

    On the other hand, though, I don't know why anyone would. Especially since you can catch bait over and over again with a $25 cast net from Wal-mart.
  8. They were legal two years ago when I called DNR and asked. If you want to be on the safe side call DNR and ask them. They have the numbers on the DNR site for the people over the fisheries.
  9. I can get hand size goldfish for 7 dollars a dozen. I think that they are plenty big, and cheap too.
  10. Team Hold EM Hook

    Team Hold EM Hook New Member

    We get goldfish for like $8 a dozen and they are 3-7 inches long and it is one of the best baits we use for flatheads as well as blues
    DNR told me at Santee you can use them just don't release them
  11. Cgoyette

    Cgoyette New Member

    Where are you getting them that cheap?

  12. Team Hold EM Hook

    Team Hold EM Hook New Member

    All of the bait stores I have seen em in have been that way. I wanna think Short Stay at Lake Moultrie had at that price last year
  13. Joe, I tried some goldfish for the first time this past year over around Shortstay, drifting during December, but they didn't produce at all on that trip. Later, I used some on schooling catfish, mostly blues, with a channel or two mixed in. I was using a float, fishing about 4' deep, and in this case the goldfish did well, except for the bright colored ones. The fish took much longer to bite the bright gold ones, versus the mottled or black colors. Surprised at that, 'cause I figured the shiniest ones would attract the bite best, but not the case.
    I guess my overall opinion is that the goldfish might work ok, but it isn't my bait of choice; actually would fall behind bream, shad, herring, white perch, and even shiners.
  14. Cgoyette

    Cgoyette New Member

    Thats the same thing that happens to me every time I have ever tried them.
    There must be somthing or a type of place these guys use them in that works well.

    Goldfish users who LIKE them where do you use them? Trenches? Flats? Underwater ponds? river channels? there might be a common theme and if so I wold try it if enough of you said the same thing and place.

    Isnt that what this BB is all about learning? Hope to hear from you guys.

  15. Cgoyette

    Cgoyette New Member

    I am on the potato creek/wyaboo side...randolphs has never had them that I know of. And goat island I dont recall ever seing them.

    I cast net my own shad and buy herring, and beg every crappie fisherman I know to save me the heads.

    Eels smaller 10-14 inch ones are great and I get them here in Beaufort for COBIA fishing...tried some last year on santee on teh river bed humps and man flat heads where fighten over them. Never caught a blue on a eel...might be able too just not me.

  16. Team Hold EM Hook

    Team Hold EM Hook New Member

    I got one for ya
    We were at a paylake one year and it was in the 40 degree range. A couple buddies of mine and one of ems kid was using cut eel and could not get a bite. Well they had a steel barrel w/ a fire going inside and the guys son said maybe they want a hot meal. He took a piece of cut eel and stuck it to the fire barrel and singed both sides, put it on a hook, 40+lb blue. They caught several fish like that this night and we dis them say a few weeks later
  17. We use them on the Altamaha and yes they do work well. I've never fished them or seen them around the Santee-cooper area but I haven't been up in a while, that will change this weekend, 4 days at short stay. We use them for flatheads on the river and they are sold by the pound. Some of them are 10'' long and are of the koi type goldfish. The small ones seem to die quickly in a fast moving river but the bigger ones are great on limblines. You can't use them on limblines or trotlines in SC unless something has changed in the last year. We fish them in log jams and brushpiles along the side of the river for flatheads, channels hit them too. I would think that they would work very well on the tailrace canal. I think the fish down here are preying mostly on live bait so the goldfish do well. I'd rather have bream but will take big goldfish. I'm reading posts with guys catching 30lb flatheads on moultrie with cutbait. That tells me that those fish are following the herring and shad and picking up easy meals from underneath as they die or are killed. Just a thought and I'm no expert, but I think this is why the goldfish don't work as well on the lake, too many easy food sources elsewhere.
  18. sometimes I've done well with them and sometimes I've been skunked, same as with any bait. I will say that I've always seemed to do best with native baits. Whatever I can catch, a catfish will eat.