Pautzke History of Excellence

It’s been almost 90 years since Pautzke Bait Company emerged as the leader of trout fishing baits in North America. 


Quality and Craftsmanship Since 1934

In an amazing journey that no one could have predicted, we’ve come a long way since Dad Pautzke began cooking salmon eggs on his small kitchen stove in the early 1930s. From that humble beginning, our world famous Balls O’ Fire salmon eggs have served countless trout anglers across the globe and defined trout fishing for hundreds of thousands. We’ve sold more than 95 million jars of Balls O’ Fire salmon eggs, carved a niche into the dough bait market with Fire Bait, now stand as the premier egg cure and brine company in the world and continue to keep pace with our top-notch quality and craftsmanship that has maintained our position as the oldest bait company in North America.

As the fishing industry evolves we’ve follow suit. In our fourth generation of family ownership, Pautzke is owned by Casey Kelley, the grandson of Keith Williams, and better know as the genius behind our flaming red salmon eggs that trout anglers worldwide search for. For the first time in our company’s history we’ve added a new member to our family, scoring Chris Shaffer as our Director of Operations. Shaffer has been with us more than 15 and remains the face of the company while working closely with Kelley.

As the World’s Bait Company, Pautzke is no longer complacent with Green Label salmon eggs being our only nucleus. Rich in trout science, we’ve dug up old family recipes, hunkered down in The Bait Lab and expanded our line from a mere three products less than a decade ago to more than 50 today. Focusing on only trout for so many decades our scope has expanded recently to include crabbing with Crab N Shrimp & Blue Crab Fuel, halibut & rockfish with Halibut & Rockfish Nectar, catfish with Catfish Nectar, Crappie Fire Balls for panfish anglers and dozens of cold and warm water species with our new Fire Dye and Fire Gel.

To ensure our quality keeps pace with expansion we’ve added the world’s finest pro staff and keep Dad Pautzke busy crafting more innovative products while keeping our loyal fans armed with the best trout, salmon and steelhead baits on the market. We’ve also teamed up with the US & Canada’s most professional promoters, guides and educators to construct a nationally recognized pro staff and launched Pautzke Outdoors to help showcase how easy it is to catch fish when using our products.

Our vision for the future is built upon our past as we strive to continue to bring innovative, industry leading products to fruition and remain eager to continue serve you – our extended Team Pautzke family. Thanks for your support over the years. We look forward to many more decades of sustained success together.

     Chris Shaffer, Director of Operations
Casey Kelley, Owner