They say necessity is the mother of invention. That certainly seems to be the case for Bay Rat Lures co-founder, Damian Kuzmin and his business partner, Scott Borstorff. The duo had a difficult time finding durable fishing lures in the colors they were searching for. “Some of the baits we were using, you would catch two or three fish and the tail would break off or the hooks would pull out,” said Kuzmin during an interview for the Great Lakes Fishing Podcast. “We did some engineering, did some background, figured out what kind of plastic we wanted to use and came up with our Short Shallow. We consider it to be the #1 spring bait on Lake Ontario for trout and salmon.”
Bay Rat Lures are made in Erie, Pennsylvania. All of the parts used are made in the USA and Bay Rat stands behind every bait. “We injection mold, paint, decorate, assemble, and package right in our facility. We use 100% made in the United States components. The plastic is made in New Jersey. The hooks are Eagle Claw, one of the last companies that still make a hook in the United States,” added Kuzmin.
Bay Rat’s 3.5” Short Shallow is their most popular bait for spring trolling. But the Bay Rat S3 Short Super Shallow is also a popular choice. The company also has deep divers in long and short body styles. Kuzmin says more and more anglers are discovering their Battle 1.5 square bill and their hand-painted spoons. Bay Rat is also introducing a new meat head for 2020.
Bay Rat is well known for having a wide range of colors. “Color, people don’t think it’s very important. I think it’s really important. If we’re fishing Lake Erie, for example. The western basin of Lake Erie has a dirty water situation. The loud colors, the oranges, and chartreuses really stand out. You get to the middle of Lake Erie, we’re starting to get green water so it’s a different color pattern. We have a whole series of colors to cover that. When you get down towards the Buffalo area, it’s almost crystal clear water where the more natural colors really stand out.”
With names like Coho Crusher, Heat Wave, and Filthy Pouch, Bay Rat is creative when it comes to describing their lures. Kuzmin says it’s a team effort. “You’re going to see some PG-13 names on some of our lures. All of our kids throughout the shop, employees’ daughters and sons have come up with names. They like the colors and come up with names. But most of them are from tried-and-true captains.”
Bay Rat Lures are made by anglers, for anglers. “We’re passionate about fishing. Everyone in our factory loves to talk about fishing. If you have a question about how to run a bait don’t be afraid to give us a shout. We love talking about fishing,” said Kuzmin.
Want to know more about Bay Rat Lures and how they develop their products? Press play on the player below to listen to the entire conversation.