Smallmouth ‘Snackables’

The new Z-Man® TRD GobyZ™ transcends traditional goby baits with action, buoyancy and resistance to another level

Bass leads charmed lives. Unlike humans, they are forced to eat anything that bothers them. Consider the sea bass and its deadly enemy, the round goby, those ubiquitous underwater invaders that plague smallmouth nests by the dozens, gobbling up bass eggs like Skittles. It helps explain why largemouths and predators of all species exhibit an insatiable appetite for plump little pests, and why game fish bloat to impressive proportions through an endless buffet of gobies.

A natural incentive for bass in goby-rich environments (Great Lakes and beyond), the new 2.4-inch monitor TRD GobyZ™ bolsters Z-Man’s trend-setting line of fine baits with a surprisingly adaptable shape. Poured with extra malleable, 10X Tough ElaZtech®, the TRD GobyZ compresses just as easily as the live version, which means the bass snaps up and doesn’t come loose. Yet even after dozens of aggressive attacks, a single one of these little swimmers is no worse for wear. That’s the ElaZtech advantage, those difference-making rewards that separate the TRD GobyZ from every other goby mimic swimbait out there: optimal combinations of smoothness, action, and all-day durability.

“Although it mimics a round, snack-sized goby almost perfectly, the new TRD GobyZ is also an incredibly versatile fine bait,” says Z-Man pro Grae Buck, whose Pennsylvania base of operations ranks him in the lakes Ontario, Erie and other sea bass and goby-rich environments. “Put the hook on a Pro ShroomZ™ or my favorite Ned jighead, the Football NedZ™, for an enticing slow-swimming, bottom-crawling presentation. The natural buoyancy of the bait gives it a nice calm spiral and glide on the drop. Largemouths always react to this slow spiraling action, like a tube, only with much more visual realism and appeal.

“What’s really cool is that after you let the bait fall free, it will loosen up and often pick up the pull of a bass that’s already hanging.”

The new TRD GobyZ the size of a 2.4″ Ned rig from Z-Man.

Beyond Ned Rig’s powerful applications of bait, Buck has also been playing another sneaky trick, surprisingly effective when the bottom is fouled with gobies by the dozen. “The ElaZtech floating body of the TRD GobyZ also makes it incredibly effective in a drop,” Buck believes. “Although gobies don’t typically swim more than an inch or two above the bottom, suspending this bait in a dropshot has been absolutely crushing for me. The dropshot gives the bait a different presence. Maybe it looks more vulnerable to bass. It is especially effective when the bass are not as aggressive or when they are inundated with dozens of live bait fish, and you need your bait to stand out from the hordes.”

Even in goby-free lakes, Buck notes, bass see and feed on all sorts of bottom-dwelling species, from gobies to sculpin, darters to bullheads, willows and perch. The TRD GobyZ’s lazy paddle tail moves with a subtle yet realistic swimming action, even at ultra-slow retrieve speeds, suggesting all manner of structure-hugging prey. “We have fished the TRD GobyZ in lakes where the bass have never seen a goby. It doesn’t matter. In all types of lakes and reservoirs, bass of all species are devouring this bait with astonishing aggressiveness.”

Sculpted with a wide, burly body and a flat bottom, the TRD GobyZ cuts through sand and rocky substrate as a floating ElaZtech 4×4 body that arrests your falling speed and keeps you clear of obstacles. The flat belly of the bait also allows it to nap comfortably on the bottom of the lake, much like a goby does, with the floating tail slightly raised for visibility. Lifelike anatomy includes protruding eyeballs, elongated pectoral, dorsal, and anal fins, and a round, flat paddle tail/caudal fin that offers subtle, natural swimming motions at any retrieve speed.

The versatile TRD GobyZ shines in a team dropshot, Finesse BulletZ, or Football NedZ jighead (L-to-R).

“Whether you’re casting this cool little fine bait on a ned jig or dropshot, its soft, authentic body and natural buoyancy give you plenty of confidence, and for good reason,” Buck notes. “I normally like to fish the TRD GobyZ with a drag and stop retrieve. Gobies don’t really swim. They just kick their tail, almost like a tadpole, and crawl along the bottom, stop and go. But occasionally I also like to do a jerk or jump 6 inches and pause. Try throwing it from side to side. And when you stop, the bait uses its buoyancy to rise slightly, provoking bites even after a 10-20 second rest.

“If you fish the Great Lakes or even if your home waters are completely devoid of gobies. . . the TRD GobyZ always seems to induce bites. For Ned rig and dropshot fans, the new bait adds a new twisted dimension to an already proven Z-Man finesse system. Compact swimsuit. Bottom-dwelling bug. And an undeniable bass receiver.”

Enabled by its ultra-smooth ElaZtech body, the Ned-rig compatible TRD GobyZ swimbait combines the texture and action of a live round goby, while also mimicking other bottom-dwelling fodder. Available in October, the 2.4” TRD GobyZ features ten powerful colors, including natural goby/land tones and prominent patterns for sight fishing. MSRP $4.99 per 6-pack. For more information, visit

About Z-Man Fishing Products: A dynamic company based in Charleston, South Carolina, Z-Man Fishing Products has been fusing cutting-edge fishing tackle with technology for nearly three decades. Z-Man has long been one of the industry’s largest suppliers of silicone skirt material used in jigs, spinnerbaits, and other lures. Creator of the original ChatterBait®, Z-Man is also the renowned innovator of 10X Tough ElaZtech® soft baits, among the most sought after baits in freshwater and saltwater. Z-Man is one of the fastest growing lure brands in the world.