Z-Man Fishing Products introduced their Baby Goat to the angling world at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades’ virtual trade show on July 14.
It immediately caught the attention of a significant number of Midwest finesse anglers.
In their eyes, it looked to be a simple and small beavertail or creature bait. For many years, these anglers have been hoping to find a replacement for a much beloved two- and three-inch beavertail rig that its manufacturer ceased producing and vending about a decade ago.
Upon seeing Glenn Young’s and Ryan Harder’s video about the Baby Goat, we emailed Daniel Nussbaum of Charleston, South Carolina, who is president of Z-Man, and asked him if he could send us a sample or two of the Baby Goat to work with, thoroughly examine, and publish a gear guide about it.
He replied that COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted Z-Man’s production schedule, and therefore, Z-Man was struggling mightily to manufacture the Baby Goat and its two siblings, which are called the Goat and the Billy Goat. But they had manufactured a few of them in a Watermelon-Red hue and The Deal hue, and he sent us a few of them to work with.
Here is what we discovered about the Baby Goat.
There is a tad of debate among a few Midwest finesse anglers about which is the Baby Goat’s anterior section and which is its posterior section.
Some of our Midwest finesse colleagues, who see it as a finesse-sized creature bait or crayfish-style bait, contend that its segmented area is its abdomen or posterior section, and this area is somewhat similar to the abdomen of a crayfish. Therefore, its anterior is adorned with its head or cephalic and two appendages, and those two appendages are an abstract rendition of a crayfish’s chelipeds or claws.
One of our Midwest finesse colleagues described the Baby Goat as “a segmented stick-style bait with a heck of a tail.” In his eyes, the tail is part of its posterior section.
Several others see it as possessing some of the characteristics of a grub that is adorned with a forked tail.
In this gear guide, we describe its posterior section as being embellished with “a heck of a tail.” Thus, in our eyes, the segmented portion of its torso is part of its anterior, and its head is situated at the tip of this segmented section. This head is where Midwest finesse anglers will insert the hook and bait keeper of a mushroom-style jig.
As we examined and worked with the Baby Goat, we concluded that it is a multifaceted bait, exhibiting some of the characteristics of a creature bait, a crayfish bait, a grub, and a stick-style bait.
According to our measurements, it is about 2 13/16 inches long.
Its torso and head, which is about 1 13/16 inches long, consists of nine significant segments that are somewhat oval shaped.
The epidermis of each segment is smooth.
The first segment is its head. It is about one-quarter of an inch long, one quarter of an inch high, and five-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot. Its circumference is 1 1/8 inches.
The fifth segment, which is situated fifteen-sixteenths of an inch from the tip of its head, is one-quarter of an inch long. At its widest spot, it has a width of one-half of an inch, a circumference of 1 7/16 inches, and a height of about five-sixteenths of an inch.
Segment number nine is three-sixteenths of an inch long. It has a width of about a quarter of an inch at its widest spot, a height of about three-sixteenths of an inch, and a circumference of about seven-eighths of an inch. This segment is situated at the junction with the Baby Goat’s forked tail.
This tail consists of two appendages that form a forked tail, which is one inch long. These appendages are flat and thin with a thickness of about one-sixteenth of an inch. Each appendage is crowned with a boot, which Glenn Young described as being similar to the curved tail that graces Z-Man’s Slim SwimZ, which is a swimbait. The length of the boot is about three-eighths of an inch, and it is five-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot. The heel of the boot is endowed with a ridge that is five-sixteenths of an inch long. Each ridge is a tiny extension of the two thin and flat appendages on which the boots are molded. Three minute and pointed appendages, which are about one-sixteenth of an inch long, adorn each of the ridges. The tail’s epidermis is essentially smooth, but each of the four flat sides are subtly pockmarked with eight tiny pimple-like features.
From the tip of its head to the tip of its tail, the Baby Goat’s dorsal and ventral areas are identical.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Black/Blue, Canada Craw, The Deal, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin/Orange, Hot Craw, Hot Snakes, Okeechobee Craw, Pearl, and Watermelon Red.
It is not impregnated with salt and scent. It is exceedingly buoyant.
It is manufactured with a soft-plastic material that is called ElaZtech, which is an astonishingly durable material that will allow anglers to tangle with scores and perhaps a hundred or more largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass before the Baby Goat will become too tattered and torn to stay properly affixed to a mushroom-style jig. And if Midwest finesse anglers insert the head of a mushroom-style jig slightly inside the tip of the anterior section of the Baby Goat, its durability and longevity will be enhanced; for more information about this tactic, see the link at endnote number four.
A package of six costs $4.99. Most of the different hues will be available for an anglers to purchase around Dec. 15.
- Here are three links to more insights about the Baby Goat and its siblings on Z-Man’s website: https://zmanfishing.com/cms/products/goat; https://zmanfishing.com/cms/chatter/getting-your-goat; https://zmanfishing.com/cms/chatter/not-top-water-bait/.
- Here is a link to the Z-Man’s introduction of the Baby Goat and its siblings to the angling world on July 14: https://www.facebook.com/ZManFishingProducts/videos/199508834824436.
- Midwest finesse anglers will affix it to a Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead and present it to their largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass quarries with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves at a variety of water depths. Here is the link to the Midwest Finesse column that explains how to employ those six retrieves or slight variations of them: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946. What’s more, when it is affixed to a jig, the Baby Goat can be presented to largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass that are suspended by employing it with a vertical presentation, which is a tactic that the late and great Guido Hibdon, who was one of the pioneers of Midwest finesse fishing, used to employ back in the 1990s with a tube, such as his G-2 tubes, on the highland reservoirs in the Ozarks.
- Here is a link to a Midwest finesse column about how to insert the head of a jig inside the anterior section of the Baby Goat or other soft-plastic baits: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/Travis-Myers-Insights-About-Jigs-Tubes-and-More/373022. We must note, however, that it is a difficult chore to execute this insertion tactic with the Baby Goat.