BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 27

Alabama, made a big splash in the soft plas- tics market with the introduction of the Paca Craw. Most small lure compa- nies have a primary prod- uct that breaks onto the scene and serves as the foundation for growth and expansion of other lures branded under the company name. For NetBait, that agship product came with the Paca Craw. Available in sizes from three to ve inches, the Paca Craw was one of the rst soft plastic craw sh baits to feature When Kent McNaughton started high-action pinchers. “At the NetBait in 1998, he never envisioned time it was released, all of the that his products would fi nd their other baits on the market had way onto the shelves of retail solid bodies and big craw sh arms,” explained McNaugh- stores across the country. Working ton. “The thing that dif- a full-time job outside the industry ferentiated the Paca and raising a family, McNaughton Craw was that it planned on creating a virtual store displaced a lot of where his products were only water and gave available for purchase on the internet anglers a compact – thus the name “NetBait.” However, bait with awesome ac- tion that was perfect for McNaughton had a diffi cult time ipping heavy cover.” fi nding someone to develop a quality Kent’s father, Braxton, de- website that met his standards. signed the rst prototype of the Paca Craw while tinker- Having already invested in ing with new baits late packaging and been granted one night at the facto- ry. “My dad is al- approval on the NetBait name, he ways messing decided to change his game plan with different designs, and approach local retailers about sketching them out, carrying NetBait products in addition and testing them,” to offering them online. “I had all said Mc- these bags that said ‘NetBait’ and Naughton. everything was already in place, “He called me the next morn- so I just decided to keep the name ing to show me the instead of changing everything up,” bait.” explained McNaughton. Immediately after put- ting the new bait in the When NetBait started gaining water, the McNaughton’s recognition with the introduction knew that with a few modi cations, they of the Paca Craw, McNaughton had a winner on redesigned the NetBait packaging their hands. and committed to permanently McNaughton admitted branding the NetBait name. that prior to the intro- duction of the Paca


Craw, the NetBait brand had limited prod- uct placement in a half-dozen local retail- ers and very little brand recognition out- side of Central Alabama. “Once my dad designed the bait and allowed me to patent it under the NetBait name, the popularity of the brand started to grow,” recounted McNaughton. “Things really started to click, and we went from supplying local retailers to supplying big- box retailers like Bass Pro Shops, Acad- emy, and Bass Tackle Depot.” McNaughton said that without the rise of the Paca Craw, it’s hard to say if the NetBait name would even exist today. “The Paca Craw is de nitely still our signature bait,” he explained. “That single bait got us into a retail market that we would have never been in otherwise. Once anglers shed the bait and saw how successful it was, it opened the door and gave them the con dence to try other products that we had on the market.” The success of the Paca Craw isn’t the only reason why McNaughton has a soft spot for his best selling product. There’s also a special signi cance behind the

January/February 2011