Behind the Baits: Interview with Dan Moats of Spanky Baits

Behind the Baits: Interview with Dan Moats of Spanky Baits

James Stewart March 14, 2022

This month we reached out to the founder/owner of Spanky Baits with some questions to see what made Dan Moats tick.  Honestly, we were not at all disappointed, so sit down and relax with Dan's somewhat silly take on musky fishing and the man behind the baits.

(Due to extreme goof, we will help translate some of Dan's more inventive answers!)


Musky Shop: What was the deciding push that made you want to start producing baits?


Poor quality baits on the market that were overpriced.


Musky Shop: Who were your fishing influences as a young fisherman?


Robert Shaw & Walter Matthau

(Now for younger readers, or those who've been living under a rock, I feel like I need to flush out this statement from Dan by entertaining you with the famous fishing characters he is referencing here.  Robert Shaw's famous for tangoing  with Jaws as Quint, the hard-nosed boat captain, while Walter Matthau played Max Goldman, a foul-mouthed ice fishing grandpa from Minnesota.  Here's a couple of quotes for further character "research"

Quint : I'm not talkin' 'bout pleasure boatin' or day sailin'. I'm talkin' 'bout workin' for a livin'. I'm talkin' 'bout sharkin'!

Max Goldman: Do me a favor. Put your lip over your head... and swallow.)


Musky Shop: Best Musky Fishing Advice you ever received?


"Keep it simple" and "a lot needs to go right to get a picture taken with a 50" Muskie"


Musky Shop: What is your personal favorite Spanky selection?


Either the Joker (black & purple) or Black and Gold


Musky Shop: Number one requested Spanky from clients?


Black and smoke


Musky Shop: Favorite musky water & why?


Eagle Lake...the best scenery god ever created!


Musky Shop: Personal best musky and story behind it?


56x26. I was dehydrated from a long drive and had a charlie horse cramp in my right calf from the night before.  Early morning, this fish smoked me at the end of a bomb stayed deep and the head shakes were like bowel shaking earth quakes.  By the time this fish hit the net I had muscle spasms in my bicep and could hardly stand up.  Not a day goes by that I don't appreciate great fishing partners.  

Musky Shop: Do you have any other pursuits and hobbies outside of making Spanky Baits?

Hunting, baking/ cooking and just about anything I can do with my hands.....welding woodworking remodeling etc.  Ive been trying to get onto American Idol but they don't seem to like Black Sabbath or Eminem!

(No contestants or judges on American Idol were harmed in the retelling of this interview!)

We'd like to thank Dan again for taking the time to get back to us on our questions about his life in and outside of musky fishing. Check back in for more features on our favorite bait-makers and some interesting information and stories about the people behind the tools that drive the sport.