BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 26

Manufacturer Spotlight

STORY BY MATT PANGRAC* PHOTOS BY DAN O’SULLIVAN

“When we started NetBait, the dream was to hopefully get to where it sold well in Alabama and maybe some of the surrounding states. I just wanted to have a successful company, so when it started selling nationwide it was pretty amazing.” Kent McNaughton, NetBait Owner * © 2011

could say that Alabama’s Kent McNaughton was destined to make his mark on the lure industry. Born in 1972, the same year that his father, Braxton, started

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an OEM manufacturing business serving several tackle companies in the soft plastics market, Kent spent his summers during high school and college immersed in the family business. After graduating from Auburn Uni- versity at Montgomery with a degree in elementary education, McNaughton took a job teaching grade school but continued to be involved in the lure making industry, working for his father’s company in his spare time. Drawn to the retail side of the tackle industry, McNaughton started NetBait in 1998. “It was one of those things that I grew up being around all the time,” he

explained. “As I got older and started work- ing a full time job, I was still drawn to the tackle indus- try. I guess that it has just been one of the things that I’ve always wanted to do since I was young. I just didn’t realize it to begin with.” With his father’s company producing the baits, McNaughton’s initial foray into re- tail was met with less than spectacular re- sults. “We came out with lizards and ribbon- tail worms to start with but it wasn’t very successful,” he remembered. “Basically, for the rst few years I just struggled to get by.”

PACA TO THE RESCUE

That all changed in the early 2000s, when NetBait, which is based in Greenville,

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January/February 2011