The Importance of Fishing in the Tackle Industry
You’d think it would be a no brainer that you would fish in the tackle industry. After all, that’s why we all got in this industry to begin with. Unfortunately, this isnt always the case. Sounds crazy, right?
You love to fish. You decided to leave your “regular” job for a job in the tackle industry and follow your passion. Fast forward several years. Business is booming (or not) and you find yourself fishing less and less or not at all. What happened?
It’s happened to many of us and it’s something we need to be aware of. I’ve been guilty of it myself. I’m going on my 15th year in the tackle industry. Fishing is all I wanted to do as a child. My love for fishing eventually landed me a sales job in the tackle industry. My father played a major role in my love for fishing. It was something we did together all the time. When he passed away in 2011, fishing became tough for me emotionally. I eventually sold my boat and stopped fishing all together for a period of about five years. I had lost my passion and it was taking a toll on my job. I was no longer happy and needed a change.
In January of 2018, I was working a distributor show and learned my buddy John Crews of Missile Baits was looking for a Director of Sales. The following May, I took the position with Missile Baits. John stressed to me the importance of fishing in the tackle industry.
This was the push I needed. My family and I were now living in Tennessee with a new job that required me to fish again. I borrowed a jon boat and started amassing tackle. I had a lot of catching up to do on new techniques and tackle that had been developed over the last five years. I knew I needed to learn everything I could, so I’d be able to sell them effectively.
Now there’s a Skeeter Boats FX21 in the garage loaded with more tackle than you can imagine. I’m happy again and having more fun than ever fishing! It’s reignited my passion for the industry and it shows in my performance at Missile Baits.
It’s even more important for tackle dealers to make time to fish so they can stay up to date. Your customers will ask what they’re catching fish on at that time of year on your local lake. You’ll be more than prepared for this question if you’ve been fishing yourself. Knowing how to fish new baits and techniques will also help you sell more tackle. You’ll be able to recommend what rod, reel and line they need to fish these new baits effectively. You’ll also gain their trust in the process and make new long-term customers.
Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Koby Krieger of Roland Martin’s Marine Center know this better than anyone. He adds, “Our store is very small, but we have all the right stuff. This is due to my knowledge as well as our employee’s knowledge. We are all tournament fishermen on one level or another.”
It’s tough to keep up on current trends and techniques in the tackle industry if you’re not involved. Fishermen buy tackle from fishermen. When you’re up to date on all the latest baits and techniques, you’re better equipped to help your customers which translates to more sales.
You’ll also be able to meet new people and expand your reach. Networking is huge in this industry. I’ve met lifelong friends on the lake and at tournaments. I’ve also been able to influence buying decisions in the process. Tournament fishermen especially, want to buy tackle made by and for tournament fishermen.
Bassmaster Elite Series Pro John Crews started Missile Baits in 2012. He said, “All of our designs are spawned out of necessity on the tour. If I can just buy something already available that works great, I’ll just do that. Being a pro angler for so long, most of my friends are pro anglers. If there’s a new trend that I miss, I’m confident one of them will catch it.”
Whether you’re a manufacturer, salesperson or retailer in the tackle industry, you need to make fishing a priority. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. Let’s go fishing!