Help Your Customers Make More Fishing Memories

Anglers of all ages will be making memories on the water this summer, and you and your sales team play an important role by providing solid advice and dependable products.

Help Your Customers Make More Fishing Memories

Bait & Tackle Senior Editor Dave Maas and his son Luke with a couple South Dakota farm pond largemouths.

When it came to fishing, my father’s patience was tested on numerous occasions when I was a youngster way back in the 1970s.

I was oblivious to how an Abu Garcia baitcasting reel worked. When I backlashed one trying to cast in the yard, I’d get another rod from the corner in the shed. Soon my father would have five or six reels with Stren blown up in a huge mess that often required cutting. Stren earned more than a few bucks from my father back then.

When drifting live minnows for smallmouth in the tailraces below Wheeler Dam, I’d want to play with the shad minnows in the boat tank. At the time they were more interesting to me than fishing. What boy doesn’t like silvery, flippy shad? Dad laughed after the initial shock of watching me hurl the Zebco reel and Wonderglass rod into the river. Hey, it slipped while I was casting! Seriously, it did. The old cork handle was slick.

Whether at the dock or tackle shop when I’d scamper away to look at the minnows in the tank, he’d indulge me but always tell me to not reach in to grab one. Smart man. He knew I would. At the outdoors store I was a flight risk and needed a leash.

On the way to Fisherman’s Resort near Wheeler Dam we had to pass “The Dam Store.” I always giggled at the name but was thrilled because I knew we were close. It meant fishing and looking off the dock for turtles and snakes; throwing rocks and eating fried catfish; seeing all the other boats and finding youthful adventures.

That’s been more than 40 years ago but the memories remain. I don’t get over to Fisherman’s Resort too often these days. It’s changed a lot, of course. When I get the chance to visit, it’s fun to reminisce.

Summer has arrived. Your customers are bringing in their sons and daughters to buy new tackle, lures, minnows, leeches, crickets, wax worms and gear. Remember to make those youngsters feel important. Say hello to them, ask if they’re going fishing and what they hope to catch. Be sure to tell them good luck, and if they catch a whopper to come by for a photo for your bragging board.

What’s a whopper? Anything that bites, man. Bream, catfish, perch, bass, walleye, trout, white bass, speckled trout, pike or whatever. Make those kids feel special. Help them create good memories. Forty years from now they may still be talking about it.

If there’s something in particular you’d like covered on the Bait & Tackle Business website, feel free to pass along your ideas to me and BTB Senior Editor Dave Maas at

The author, BTB Editor Alan Clemons, with a Key West, Florida, barracuda.
The author, BTB Editor Alan Clemons, with a Key West, Florida, barracuda.


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