BWU: Who are the key persons in the man- ufacturing and assembly operation? How and where is packaging, warehousing, order dispatch ful lled?
MIKE: I and my friend Kohl are the two key people in the company. I do the manufacturing and Kohl does the assembly and we both do the ship- ping aspect of the business. We ship out of Natures Tackle Box in Hiram, GA as well as at my home shop where the manufacturing takes place.
BWU: Word on the water is there’s a major new design upgrade coming for the Bull Shad for 2011. What can you tell us about that, Mike?
MIKE: At the end of the 2010 season, we really had no alternative but to shut down in order to retool as there were some enhancements (the next genera- tion you can say) that I desired to implement and there was just no way we could continue to make legacy baits to ll orders and get the retooling done at the same time. I guess that is a good problem to have. Besides, I wanted time to do some Float and Fly shing over the winter, which is my other passion besides swimbaits.
For 2011, I have totally redesigned the Bull Shad, and we are reintroducing the new 5 and 6 inch baits rst. In the process, I made the baits a little fatter which lets me be more versatile to incorporate different “Rates of Fall” in the baits. Thicker baits are more buoyant and allow me more exibility to offer oating along with sinking versions. I also prettied up the cosmetic look of the baits. I redid the scales for added
realism as well as redoing all of my molds in order to make the production process go faster and smoother on the manufac- turing end of things. Those changes will go online in 2011, starting with the 5 and 6 inchers in both Sinking and Floating ver- sions. Then I am going to phase in and reintroduce the 7 incher, 8 incher and my personal favorite the NEW 9” inch Shadil- lac which is in the production process now.
Another exciting new development for 2011 is our new “custom shop” capa- bility. I am bringing on board Dwain Batey of Bait Werks fame (www.baitwerks.com) to offer custom paint schemes for Bull Shad swimbaits. Dwain is highly talented and since I receive a ton of request for custom paint jobs, I am trying to ll that demand through Dwain at Bait Werks. I will still offer my “Original” baits in addi- tion to the custom baits. The custom baits will be $15 to $20 higher than the “Origi- nal” series.
BWU: You refer to the Bull Shad as the “Trout of the South.” Why is that?
MIKE: In California the most com- mon, most proli c or popular swimbait forage imitation is the trout. Most of the swimbait companies out West revolve around trout style swimbaits. Here in the South we don’t have many trout lakes (although we have some) and our main forage here in the south is shad, herring/ alewives and thread n. So that is why I jokingly call my Bull