Certified Biodegradable Fishing Lures! Could This Disrupt The Entire Fishing Lure Industry?

By: Joseph Simonds on August 25, 2015
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biodegradable fishing lures

The first ever 100% Completely Biodegradable Fishing Lure is here!

Biodegradable as in see you later, gone forever, nothing left but a little carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in just weeks!

And it actually catches fish!


More on that in a second…

Because before we get into the exciting news regarding the fully biodegradable plastic lures that could disrupt fishing lures and tackle going forward, let’s discuss a couple BIG PROBLEMS with recreational fishing right now.

The Big Fishing Problems

(Recreational Fishing)

Let’s face it, there are some pretty serious issues with fishing that will affect our entire industry over the next decade in both freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing.

Many recreational anglers might not even be aware of the issues, but the fishing industry is under attack by certain government agencies, some states, non-profits, and even some legislators that are making it tougher for us to enjoy our treasured sport.

And you might find it tough to believe as an angler, but there are countless people and groups that would like to see recreational fishing go away altogether.

Clearly, these are misinformed people that do not understand the sport of fishing… they don’t understand how many millions of jobs it creates… and they don’t understand how much money it brings in to protect and support wildlife and conservation…

But either way, the fishing naysayers are out there, and they aren’t going away anytime soon.

Here are a few of the main issues facing recreational fishing that must be addressed, and will continue to be under attack for years to come:

  1. The overfishing of certain fish species
  2. The pollution and the killing of animals/wildlife from discarded fishing tackle and careless littering. Not to mention some of the chemicals that many of the older plastic fishing lures were made from sitting in the bottoms of our lakes and oceans… literally TONS of it.

biodegradable fishing lures

In this post, I intend to focus just on problem #2 – discarded fishing tackle.

In particular, plastic fishing lures… and we will discuss how these new certified biodegradable fishing lures can make a huge impact on the problem.

The Tampa Bike Ride That Embarrassed Me…

I live just a few blocks from Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa (self-proclaimed the longest continuous sidewalk in the world at 4.5 miles), and the other weekend I decided to take a nice bike ride down Bayshore Blvd on my new beach cruiser.

certified biodegradable fishing lures

A pic of Bayshore Blvd looking south

After biking what felt like 10 miles (but in reality only 2 miles as it was 92 degrees that day), I decided to take a quick stop on the wall to look for fish (it is not uncommon to see tarpon off of Bayshore in the mid-summer), and of course, to get a quick drink of water.

But what I saw right below the sidewalk seawall startled me…

In fact, it disgusted me, and embarrassed me.

Right below me on that popular seawall stood a massive, smelly, floating island of trash… in essence, it was trash all piled up and locked together just floating with the tide… and the site was truly embarrassing as a fisherman.


Because the pieces of this trash pile that were most noticeable (and memorable) were the fishing nets and the fishing line that was holding this “floating trash island” together.

Of course, as I looked down closer into the stinky, filthy, floating pile of trash I could see a few fishing lures, some plastic baits, and even a couple plastic oil cans from boaters.

It looked something like this below.

Note: The sea lion was not really there. Only used to exaggerate the point…

biodegradable fishing lures

Floating Trash – Image Source: www.abovetopsecret.com

And as I was looking around at the other people enjoying this nice Tampa day on the water, I thought to myself that if I were a tourist and it was my first trip to Tampa, my only thought would be,

“These fishermen are the most irresponsible people on the planet”.

Even though you and I know that floating trash like this isn’t entirely caused by fishermen, the smoking gun that ties it all back to us is the fishing nets and fishing line that can be seen more clearly than anything else in the trash pile.

So of course, we will get the majority of the blame.

And this is NOT just a Tampa Bay issue as you know. This is global. The years of irresponsible littering combined with the normal breaking of fishing lines, lures lost, etc have come back to bite us a little bit. And as a fellow angler, this should be a bit embarrassing to all of us.

Because let’s face it, every single angler has lost at LEAST one lure or plastic bait in his or her lifetime (if not many dozens). It just comes with the territory if you fish enough.

The great news is that it is never too late to make some changes and to help clean up some of the mess…

Starting with throwing away all used fishing line, old fishing tackle, plastics, etc,. And step two would be fully biodegradable plastic fishing lures…

The First Ever “Certified” Biodegradable Fishing Lure

Meet MHG

FACT: My brother Luke and I absolutely LOVE Berkley Gulp baits (you can see some of our reviews and testing of Berkley Gulps on our “Fishing Tips” page here)

And you may or may not know this, but Berkley set a new standard with their revolutionary plastic GULP Baits that not only help you catch fish like crazy (we prefer Berkley Gulp over live bait in many instances), but they are also biodegradable.

You might be asking, “But I thought this entire article was about the FIRST ever biodegradable fishing lure…”

Well, there is a big difference is in “Biodegradable” and “Certified Biodegradable”:

biodegradable fishing lures

  • According to the creator of the Berkley Gulp baits, John Prochnow”, the revolutionary Gulp baits will take about 2 years to disintegrate in saltwater, and around 8-10 months in a well run landfill. You can see his interview about the Gulp baits with Field & Stream here. And this is no slant on Berkley at all. They are the best in the fishing lure business and their plastic fishing lures are more biodegradable than any of their competitors (Keep in mind, the other competition’s plastic lures NEVER biodegrade). This comparison is to only educate anglers on the difference when you see “Biodegradable lure” and “Certified Biodegradable lure”.
  • As you just learned, the next step up in biodegradable fishing lures is 100% Certified. Once you have been “Certified” by BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute), your biodegradable fishing lures will be obsolete (aka returned to the natural life cycle, only releasing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) in 8-12 weeks. And that is for their freshwater lures. The 100% biodegradable saltwater lures they are working on at MHG will biodegrade even quicker! You can read the full article about these biodegradable lures here on the MHG blog page.

That is a pretty big difference. And a HUGE difference compared to most plastic fishing lures.

A difference that has forced a lot of fishing lure companies to start having talks with this plastic making company called MHG.

And you will love the MHG tagline… “Replacing Plastics, and Providing Solutions For A Healthier Planet”.

And this is not some brand new company out of nowhere. They have been around since 2007 and they now own 125 patents across nearly 20 countries for a range of manufacturing processes and biopolymer formulations.

Here is a great quote from their CEO that really spells out why they are doing this:

MHG’s CEO Paul Pereira,

“As an avid fisherman, I’ve seen first hand the plastic pollution in the ocean. When you think of all the fishermen out there, and how many lures get lost each season, it is hard to think of all that plastic that will sit in the ocean for hundreds of years to come. The same thing applies to fresh water fishing but in a larger scale. With these biodegradable lures powered by MHG, pollution that is a result of the fishing industry can be reduced.”

Do These “Bio” Fishing Lures Actually Work?

biodegradable fishing lures

The picture above is Pro Bass Angler Todd Tucker catching the first ever bass off of a certified biodegradable rattle trap.

Since that first bite, the team at MHG has tested and caught countless amounts of fish using their lures. In fact, they are confident that over time they will be able to replicate just about any fishing lure that uses plastic (which is pretty much all of them) with their biodegradable plastic.

The MHG team set up a booth at this years 2015 ICAST where they made a big announcement that the well-known Bill Lewis Lure (maker of Rat-L-Trap lures) would be the first big fishing lure company to start using their certified biodegradable plastics in their Rat-L-Trap lures.

certified biodegradable fishing lures

MHGs Scott Tuten and Bill Dance with a biodegradable Rat-L-Trap

Saltwater Biodegradable Fishing Lures

We are trying to line up a call with the CEO of MHG, Paul Pereira, to get some more details on what other fishing lures we might see their certified biodegradable plastics in, while also getting any information on this environmentally safe plastic coming to saltwater fishing.

The rumor is they are working on saltwater lures as you read this…

Either way, we want to get behind these biodegradable plastic lures either way. It is great for the environment, it is better for the fish, it is better for the wildlife, and if these lures can catch the same amount of fish as before, we just can’t see any reason anyone would not want to use them.

The MHG Biodegradable Fishing Lure [VIDEO]

Trouble viewing videos? Click here for Help


I don’t know about you, but this could be the start of some pretty exciting news for the entire fishing world.

While fishing will continue to be under attack for generations to come, one of the main targets on our back has always been the vast amount of plastic fishing lures that are left in the wild to choke fish, to choke birds, to choke wildlife, and to choke up our beautiful waterways and ocean/lake floors.

And having a 100% biodegradable plastic fishing lure could change all of that. In fact, it is hard to imagine the positive impact it would have worldwide if every big fishing lure company switched to these safe and 100% biodegradable plastics.

The big questions that still remain are how much more will it cost the consumer to have certified biodegradable plastic fishing lures, how quickly can companies like MHG get the fishing lure companies on board, and it is really possible to recreate all fishing lures using these environmentally safe plastics?

To me, it seems inevitable. In fact, I bet that I will look back on this blog 10 years from now and laugh at how silly it seemed that this was big news…

What can you do today to help clean up and support fishing? Go check out Keep America Fishing, and check out all of the great things they are doing to protect our rights to keep fishing.

Of course, NEVER throw any fishing line, lures, or plastics overboard, and always throw away any used fishing tackle.

And then go periodically check out MHG Plastics to see what it in store next. Of course, we will notify you as soon as we hear anything on our end as well (especially for the saltwater lures).

P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like this post, please Tag them or Share this with them. It would mean a lot to me. 

Fish ON!

Why did PETA try to drown actor Joaquin Phoenix in order to stop all Catch & Release Fishing?

Watch the wild PETA fishing video and read the full rebuttal (Open Letter) to PETA by clicking here.

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4 months ago

very thankful that someone else has thought of this problem , and I love that they are striving to come up with a solution that benefit both anglers and environment. ave pondered this problem for while after seeing how much plastics are left in all waters. thank you to those working to fix this Bless You

5 months ago

I’m concerned about Gulp being in non recyclable plastic bottles with dubious liquid . There is a health warning that states it could cause cancer and birth defects. REALLY. . what is that about . Shouldn’t be allowed in NZ waters and the glitter is very harmful to the environment too.
Any Eco alternatives.

1 year ago

Well, this looks like a step in the right direction. Anything to keep our waters cleaner!

1 year ago

I have been making biodegradable soft baits for 7 years now. I probably should take them to market but I need a partner with a few funds. I am based in New Zealand. Contact me if you are interested in discussing. markcrarer1@gmail.com

jon hanson
1 year ago

Hello i have invented a biodegradable soft plastic that gives off U.V light and is made out of real bait and does not take months to disappear. it will disappear in 48 hours to no longer then a week. And if eaten by fish birds or reptiles it will be a safe food source they can break down with ease. Hopefully soon i will be on Shark Tank

6 months ago
Reply to  jon hanson

It is good to hear about your invention. It would be great to have biodegradable fish hooks and lines. I volunteer with the South Florida Wildlife Centre in Fort Lauderdale and many of our patients, like Pelicans and other bird species, ingested fish hooks. It requires complicated surgeries to remove the hooks. Please do everything possible to invent and promote environmentally friendly biodegradable fish hooks and lines.

Don Johnston
1 year ago

Fast forward 3 years. MHG has gone back to their roots and are now Danimer Scientific but still working on Bio-Plastics…a very good thing. When I google searched “certified biodegradable plastic lures”, this article came up first at the top of the list. I saw very little regarding “certified” but I wasn’t willing to open every link on the first couple of pages to check. Is there an update to this article on this site or can a follow-up article be written?

1 year ago
Reply to  Don Johnston

I am the only one in the world that has a biodegradable not certified by i have talked to them and i done my own test but i will be getting certified why i have the money

James Wilkinson
3 years ago

Wow really?. What great news. Now if they can do it with fishing line. A hook that had a section like a fuse that would break down would be great too. This is like back in the day when the government made duck hunters use steel shot instead of lead. Many people complained about steel shot performance before they thought about the lead problem. It is a problem with the ducks eating the stray lead shot in the bottom of the lakes. Most everyone figured it out sooner or later. I bet some didn’t and still complain. I feel this article could use some work. PM me if you would like to discuss my ideas.

2 years ago

I hope to discuss your ideas, please contact me.