Goldfish were first kept as pets in China around the year 960 and have been reared and sold as pets ever since. They are commonly thought to be the first foreign fish species to be introduced to North America from overseas. They are a beautiful and peaceful pet, but are bred to be just that. PETS ONLY. Unfortunately aquarium owners regularly dump their pets into local ponds and lakes which seriously threatens the survival of native fish.
Goldfish are one of the most frequently released pets and can also do some of the worst damage to native fish species. People often think that dumping one fish is not going to make a difference. However, goldfish stir up mud when they feed, increasing the cloudiness of the water and affecting the growth of aquatic plants and overall health of the body of water. They also eat young fish which makes them a competitor as well as a predator of native fish. Each fish has the potential to live up to 50 years with the ability to reproduce into large populations.
Ultimately, experts say that aquarium owners need to be responsible when they wish to say good-bye to live fish. Even killing them is better than dumping them in the wild. They may save the life of one fish, but in doing so they could wipe out an entire population of native fish.
While we normally only practice catch & release, these fish need to be removed from local waters. If you have the means to transport them to an aquarium, they will become wonderful pets and eventually eat out of your hand. They are also great fish for display in residential backyard ponds. Privately owned pet shops might also be willing to take them in to resell.
If you have to kill them, freezing them in a container of water and then burying them is the most humane method. We recommend burying them in your garden so they do not go to waste. They make an excellent fertilizer. You can also use them as cut bait if you bait fish for other predatory species.
We have had success catching goldfish on the fly and on spinning rods. Our most productive colors have been yellow and basic shad pattern. Whether you are presenting a fly or a lure, here are our 2 MOST IMPORTANT tips when it comes to catching goldfish.
1. Make sure the lure/fly is small enough to fit in their mouth. While these fish may look like carp or koi, their mouth is only about the size of a dime. We missed A LOT of hooksets trying to figure out these fish. They would hit the tail and the fly would pull right out of their mouths on the hookset. Since these fish are so easy to see under the water, we have only been sight fishing for them. Set the hook as soon as they inhale it.
2. Most important tip for lure/fly presentation – All fish have been caught while letting the fly/lure drop. Stripping or jigging it in front of their face will get them interested, but as soon as you pause and let the fly sink is when they will hit. It is important to not use a lure that is too heavy because if it drops too fast, they will give up pursuing it.
If you have any questions about keeping goldfish in your aquarium or any other goldfish questions, we recommend contacting Clementine at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has been very helpful identifying goldfish species for us and is very knowledgable on the species.