Bait Merchant began in 2021 with a focus on localized tackle. My home base of Castaic Lake in Southern California is a tough lake to learn to fish and one where snags are common and losing a lot of tackle is a familiar experience.
I wasted a ton of money on baits that didn't work, and couldn't afford the best stuff like tungsten weights due to how much tackle gets lost. A lot of other local anglers shared the same sentiment so I searched for manufacturers I could work with.
Through that, I discovered a massive nationwide underground of anglers who were making their own custom baits, almost none of which are available at tackle shops or are easy to find.
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. I decided to invest in creating a business to help others do the same - catch more fish by using what the locals use. Bait Merchant was born from my own desire to use all the top performing baits made by custom bait makers who are too small to have their baits sold in stores.
I buy TONS of custom baits and do my best to work with custom bait makers to keep things in stock once I know they work. I also have my own baits made, and have many of them hand-poured in my own custom colors to try to come up with new things fish haven't seen before.
I love trying out new baits and talking to other anglers, hearing what works and getting input. Your custom baits, ideas, feedback and product suggestions are always welcome!
If you see me on the water or at the dock please come say hi!
Andy Halio AKA "The Bait Merchant"