I have very limited time to fish for big blues and flatheads due to my family responsibilities. Yes, I love to fish but my obligation to be a husband and dad is far more important. So when I do have a chance to get on the river for 5 or 6 hours, the last thing I want to do is waste precious time looking for precious bait. So I try to fish for bait before the main event and I also try to do it during hours that will not affect my duties at home. So I fish for goldeye before work, during lunch and sometimes after work for an hour or so. If my wife has an appointment with the kids, I might run to the creek to fish for a goldeye or two. It is that serious, every minute on the river should be in the pursuit of catching a 50 pound blue, not a 1 pound goldeye.
Where Do You Catch Them?
I target goldeye in the Papillion creek which is a tributary of the Missouri River. Currently my best spot is one mile from the mouth of the creek. They can be found several miles up the creek but in my experience there is a higher density closer to the river. You can also find them in the Missouri river in current seams and around wing dikes, but when I am on the river in my boat I hate to be wasting precious time fishing for bait. Now with that said once my catfish poles are in the water baited up I do pass the time waiting for the pull down by fishing for bait which includes goldeye and common carp.
How Do You Catch Them?
Bobber & Removable Split-Shot & Hook with Worm
The easiest and most efficient way to catch Goldeye is with a worm on a #2 hook with a removable split shot and a slip bobber. I find it best to only put the hook 12 to 18 inches from the bobber. When I am fishing a creek with a slow current I will cast it half way across and let the current slowly take it back to the bank downstream. Normally the goldeye will swallow the hook so you have to have some needle nose pliers to remove the hook.
What Hooks Do You Use?
I use Eagle Claw size 2 bait-holder hooks to catch goldeye. I prefer the bait-holders because they have the little notches/barbs on the shaft which I believe makes it easier to keep half a worm on the entire hook. Other fishermen have told me to use smaller hooks so the goldeye will swallow the whole hook, but in my experience I find they are able to swallow these hooks. I prefer them slightly larger because it is easier to get them out with needle-nose pliers. I also use these hooks with corn or worm to catch carp and freshwater drum for bait.
Get Yourself A Small Net
I highly recommend a cheap telescopic/expandable landing net because sometimes the goldeye will shake you off if you put slack in the line when you bend down to pick them up. I paid less than $13 for mine at Wal-Mart. Do know that sometime the goldeye will thrash and get your hook all tangled up in the net. A rubber net might alleviate this but due to their cost, I find it better to just cut the hook with my needle nose pliers and tie on another one. Trust me; it is far easier to re-tie than to spend wasted time trying to untangle a mess.
Lures: Crank Bait,Spinners…
The most exciting way to catch goldeye is with a lure. They will readily hit a crank-bait, spinner or crappie jig. My preferred lure is a crank-bait because they tend to be heavier and it allows me to cast farther, thus I can cover more water. I do find that I lose more goldeye at the bank with a lure because they don’t swallow the lure. Do keep in mind the net issues. A rubber net would be better in this case because your treble hooks are going to get tangled in the net and I don’t cut the lures off my hook to save time. Honestly at the end of the day the worm and bobber method is way more efficient for me.
All of the following lures have proven to catch goldeye in my area. Keep in mind I am not a bass fisherman and I tend to look for cheap lures that work. The majority of my lure purchases are bought at Wal-Mart for under $2.00
**** I will be adding more lures as I actually catch goldeye on them ***
This was very popular with the goldeye and I caught about 5 in quick succession with this pink rooster tail.
Wounded Shad 2.5 Inch $1.96 Wal-Mart
Videos Of The Catch