Owning a company and designing fishing lures was the farthest thing from Scott Garrison’s mind when he started fishing competitively – 10 years ago. Since that time, Garrison fished many local and regional tournaments through out New England and has become a successful tournament angler; Tournament fishing became a learning experience for Garrison. He had fished recreationally for years, but was quick to learn that tournament fishing was a whole other world. Fishing for five bass in an eight hour window of time, showed Garrison that he had to adjust his way of fishing. This adjustment included the types of baits that he was using.
It was necessary for Garrison to purchase different lures and baits than he was used, in to become more successful, in his tournament fishing. The cost of these baits did not match the quality of the bait that he was looking for. This caused Garrison to wonder if he could build some of the baits that he would need. He looked online and in catalogs to see what he would need to do to create baits that he could use. Garrison bought molds, hooks, blades, thread and paint to begin what he thought would be a hobby; Garrison started building his baits and found out that it was a time consuming project. Being a contractor by trade, the building of his baits, was and still is, predominantly done at night after work.
Success, by Garrison, in many club and regional tournaments, let him know that he was on to something. As he continued to fish in these tournaments, his tournament partners, friends and even competitors began to ask if he would sell him some of his homemade creations. He shared with his tournament partners and a few trusted friends. Garrison was, at first, reluctant to share his baits and let the “cat out of the bag”.
He started selling his hand-tied hair jigs and his blade baits to the public last year. Garrison began selling his baits to those who approached him at local tournaments. At that time, Garrison had some colors that were not for sale to the public, so that he could still have a bit of an upper hand on the competition. Now all of his “secrets” are for sale to the public. When fishing a tournament this spring, I watched him be approached by no less than 10 anglers, interested in purchasing his baits.
Garrison started to push his product a little more aggressively this past winter. He teamed up with friends and a local pro to come up with some products that he could sell and market to the local anglers in New England. Having a friend that was a web designer, helped Garrison create a website (www.castlebaits.com).
Although his baits were intended to be more of a regional product, some of his baits have found there way into the hands of many bass fishing professionals throughout the country. Quite a few of these professionals have been in contact with Garrison to acquire more of his baits.
Castle Baits’ creations go through extensive field testing by Garrison, his tournament partners and his trusted friends. He takes some of the baits back from them, to see how they have withstood the rigors of competitive bass fishing. Once Garrison looks at these baits, he may make revisions to the baits. The revision process can take several times to perfect the bait, so that it does exactly what Garrison wants it to do.