About Us

Bait Merchant started in 2021 when I became obsessed with custom poured and unique shaped baits. Our home base of Castaic Lake in Southern California is a tough lake to learn to fish, one where getting snagged and losing tackle is common, and where inconsistent conditions and extremely high fishing pressure means constantly working to figure out what bait size, color and shape to use.

After wasting a ton of money on baits that didn't work, and not being able to afford things like tungsten weights due to how much tackle is lost, I searched for manufacturers. Through that, I discovered a massive nationwide underground of anglers making their own baits, almost none of which are available at tackle shops.

Fascinated by how, when, why and what fish will eat, once I realized how much better they perform, I became addicted to buying and testing custom baits hand-poured by local anglers. Bait Merchant was born from my own desire to fish with top performing baits made by small garage-based custom bait makers. 

My friend and fishing partner Porter Hamilton joined me in sourcing unique custom baits, experimenting with professional level machine injection with "Porter's Magic Shad", and testing hundreds of variations of styles, shapes and colors of custom baits from all over the world.

Every bait we sell is the personally-crafted creation of an independent bait maker who hand-injected the material into a mold. We are 100% dedicated to local business and angling community support.

We love trying out new baits, testing things and talking to other anglers, hearing what works and getting input. Your ideas, feedback and bait suggestions are always welcome!

If you see us on the water or at the dock please come say hi and we'll give you some sample baits to try and share whatever is working for us that day!

Andy Halio aka "The Bait Merchant" and Porter "First Cast" Hamilton.