Bass Assassin: The Company Behind the Lures
How effective a lure catches fish is one thing; that has a lot to do with who's tossing and working the lure, and where they're tossing it and how they're working it. But lure manufacturers do another thing, and that's live as part of our community. American lure manufacturers are each and every one the story of one – or sometimes a couple of people who have an idea for a product or a business. But what started their idea was something you, me, and they share. A love for fishing. Bass Assassin lures catch fish, and they catch them well. Before we talk swim-methods, or weights and colors, it's important you know the company. Knowing the companies that make the stuff we use makes using the stuff they make better. It makes us better fisherfolks, it makes them more successful companies, and it makes our lifestyles healthier and stronger. To me, that last thing – protecting, growing, and supporting our community – is the one that gets me up in the morning.
From the jigheads that bounce off the bottom to the tails that attract the fish (ranging from swimming curly-tails to their effective shads and more) to the smells that make them work even better, Bass Assassin is a perfect combination of American business savvy applied to the free market by avid anglers. I talked to one of the founder's wive's for this story, and the commonality between companies big and small in our community is remarkable.
My job is simple. I get writing assignments. As much as I love to write, though, and as much fun as talking to people like Teresa from Bass Assassin is, the articles are on schedule. That's the part that is the toughest, quite frankly. Once you get the "Teresa's" of the world on the phone – and get to talk to people that were there when nobody was confident the company was going to succeed – the job's everything you thought it would be. And I could write ten thousand of these stories, and the Bass Assassins of the world will always be special.
We have x-number of articles we need to publish y-times a month. I get to pick some, and the goal of the site - to deliver education, information, and entertainment to the angling community -- determines that some percentage of what me and the other writers produce for the site is broken into rough categories. We have to focus some percentage of our efforts on how to do things, some percentage focuses on teaching people why they should do things certain ways, and some percentage tells them about what is working for other fisherfolk. Not us. Not writers, not professional guides, not politicians, not high-valued and highly-respected and recognized technicians who work in the world of outdoors publishing. That won't work. We have to tell your story to people just like you. It is challenging, fun, and more enriching then we could ever tell you.
Picking Great Lures
I am writing an article about baits. It asks what three baits you would want in the bag if you were gonna be on that show "Lost". Alone on a dry strange desert island with nothing but one bag of what you anticipated you would have to have to live ten episodes and not be eaten by the smoke monster (if you do not know, do not ask). In the article I don't start out with product names. I tell people who want to know the answer to the best baits to think putting one type of bait on the bottom, the other type swimming in the water column, and the other one splashing around on the surface. If I had to further isolate favorite lures from those three categories, I would pick the ones that bounce on, or otherwise disturb the bottom.
Lures that bounce on the bottom would be the one category of lures I would pick if I had to pick only one type of lure to survive on a desert island. You can use them with a hand line, and fish not only see them, they hear them. They see the color of the lure, of course, and they see the shine of the flash, and the eyes on the head are OK, but the lure bouncing on the bottom and the mud it kicks up are more natural than any of the above.
Bass Assassin makes a wide range of lures (and scents to make them work better) that are particularly well-suited for building a solid collection of jigs and bodies that work well in our waters. We were lucky enough to get a bunch of samples from the company, and found that like many lures we've used, we have our own favorites. Lighter colors in darker waters, darker colors in lighter waters. But the company's cool packaging of colors and jig head combinations is a great place to start using their effective products. Spending the time looking around the selection they offer made me think about two things. One, that my own tackle collection could use a little re-organization, and building a box of lures – heads, tails, and scent – from one team of lure experts could offer consistency of approach that a random box – which I've had all my life – cannot offer. So I am going to spend about $50 or $60 to build an entire "Bass Assassin" collection. I will tell you about it once I spend the time to find what I want, put together the order, and place it. I will talk to Teresa about the possibility of their offering our readers special pricing on the collection once we design it.
Bass Assassin: The people and company behind the lures.
The first question I had when I talked to Teresa at Bass Assassin was pretty simple: "How the heck did you become known as a saltwater lure builder when the name of the company is Bass Assassin?" The question seems to make sense, because the people I hear talking about how great their lures are are mostly people I fish with and around: coastal anglers that fish mostly saltwater. The company's lures are bragged on whether the target fish were redfish or tarpon. I even know people who swear by the company's 'crab' lures, which would seem to me to be absolutely perfect to pull largemouth bass off of their spawning beds. The best lure for those breeding females are crawfish; they do not just pick them up and move them from their beds. They crush them. Why? Crawfish are natural predators that see the eggs laid in those bass beds as their best possible protein source – which it is in the springtime. Since the crawdaddies eat bass eggs, the bass kill them on sight. But my friends tell me that if you put one of those red crabs in front of a red fish, the redfish cannot stop from eating them.
The company started before the current owners ran it. In 1988, Teresa's husband Robin, his mom and his dad bought the company together. That alone is a cool thing; I've bought companies and know the excitement, hard work, cost in blood and sweat, and incredible rewards associated with one that makes it. It was already called Bass Assassin Lures. They brought what many owners of lure manufacturers brought with them. And that's as much passion for being on the water and feeling the pull as they did for running the business.
"Robin was heavily involved in bass tournament fishing, Gary." said Teresa about her husband. "I came along later. Robin's business mind combined with his real love for fishing quickly turned it into a real company. At this point, during season (springtime), we can have 45 employees working for us. And in a small town like this, that makes us the biggest employer – next to the prison."
It was a pleasure talking to Teresa and it's a pleasure dealing with the company now. You'll be hearing a lot about them, and a sample package just might wind up in somebody's mailbox that enters one of our many weekly drawings.
The town of Mayo Florida is home to a prison and a lure manufacturer. We don't know a lot about the prison, but next to them Bass Assassin is the biggest employer for miles. It's very nice to be working with companies like this one. Bottom fishing and the best lures for certain fish is important, of course. Picking a single company like Bass Assassin to provide a range of lures within an important category like that might not be such a bad idea. For more than one reason.
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