Fishing; The Second Most Popular Outdoor Past Time

Whether solo, with family, or with friends, fishing is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors. According to, fishing was ranked as the second most popular outdoor activity in 2016. Fishing only fell second to jogging, which is quite understandable since fishing may not be for everyone. For example, I took my mother fishing the other day and despite absolutely loving the feeling of hooking up with a fish, she can’t stand removing the hooks and touching the fish. She would hand over the line to me so I could remove the hook and throw the fish back (releasing the fish if you aren’t going to eat it is important). One of my friends from high school hated fishing because he found it boring when the fish weren’t readily biting.

Mom Fishing
“she can’t stand removing the hooks and touching the fish”

It is important to explain to a new angler that there are many different types of fishing and there really is no wrong way to do it. Fishing can be competitive and thrilling, relaxing and soothing, or for some people, it can even be a combination of both. There are also different techniques for fishing many different types of fish. Bluegills and other panfish will generally bite moving and still targets. On the other hand, Catfish and Carp tend to eat still targets that sit on the bottom. For catfish and carp alike, it is important to use smelly foods for bait as they scavenge more by smell than by sight. Saltwater fishing also offers different styles of fishing than freshwater. There are many options when considering becoming involved in fishing, which may be one reason that the past time is so popular. This also means that there are many market opportunities for outdoor companies.

Kissing Bass
Kiss the Bass

According to Sport Fishing Magazine, in 2017, recreational fishing had an impact of over $115 billion in the United States. With the amount of money in the industry, it’s no surprise that there is an abundance of fishing tackle companies. With such a highly saturated market, I was curious how certain brands managed to differentiate themselves from others. I started my research at one of the most well know freshwater fishing lure companies; Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. The Gary Yamamoto brand is well known for their custom soft plastic baits such as their imitation worms known as Senkos, although they offer many other shapes and sizes. So what makes Gary Yamamoto baits so desirable? The brand itself has developed a following of loyal customers since it was created in 1983 ( One reason this may be is the quality that goes into the production of the baits. Each bait is hand inspected by an expert to ensure that only the baits that meet the Gary Yamamoto standards are sold under their brand.

Garry Yamamoto baits often have the prime real estate on retail shelves due to their premium quality and large consumer following. The Gary Yamamoto baits are slightly more expensive than other brands, but the number of pro fishermen that vouch for the quality make this brand tempting to even the novice angler. The prime shelf locations help entice new customers that have no brand allegiance to try the premium lures. Another benefit and cost saver of Yamamoto lures are that if they are rejected during the inspection phase of production, they are melted back down and recycled to be made into new lures. This helps cut the cost of production and limits waste.

So how do other brands compete? Other brands such as Big Bite Baits gain attention by out-pricing the competition. Big Bite Baits are significantly cheaper than Yamamoto baits and are seen as a cost conscious alternative. For an angler that fishes multiple times a week, it helps save angler money as he is likely loosing many of the lures. For a novice or beginner angler, the difference in lure quality is likely unnoticeable and will save the consumer from spending unnecessary money. Big Bite Baits knows that they are not considered premium quality, but since their pricing is so low, the consumer doesn’t expect the best and is often more satisfied with the perceived value of the baits. Big Bite Baits also has a website ( where consumers are able to obtain more information such as the types of products they offer as well as retail outlets that carry their brand.

A small sample of the different baits and brands offered on the market.

Overall, the recreational fishing industry has proven to be a lucrative industry. There are niche markets that allow companies to target well defined audiences in the second most popular outdoor past time in the United States. No matter who you are or what your background is, there are all sorts of opportunities in the fishing community.