Scottsboro Tackle Company – A family business
Written by: Kevin Hawk
As a former bass fishing tournament angler who’s traveled across the United States for the past five years, I’ve seen big-box outdoor retailers, like Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas, continue to open new locations. As a result, smaller, independently owned tackle store have become more scarce.
There are, however, a number of stores who have figured out how to prosper in such a competitive market. Like an artist who changes their look and sound every few years (Gwen Stefani from the band No Doubt comes to mind), independent tackle stores are changing and adapting to the market, so they can continue being profitable.
Scottsboro Tackle Company, located in Scottsboro, AL (on the north end of Lake Guntersville) is one such store. STC makes and brands their own lures and terminal tackle, so they can offer their customers niche products they can’t find elsewhere. They also use social media to reach customers they would have difficulty reaching using conventional advertising.
After getting to know husband and wife owners, Tim and Andrea Evans, it’s obvious they have a passion for their business, and understand in order to succeed in such a competitive market they must focus on their customer needs.
Tim, a former Coke employee, fell in love with Lake Guntersville and North Alabama while visiting the area in the late 2000’s. In early 2011, he was able to arrange a job transfer allowing he and his family to move from California to North Alabama.
Tim started fishing local tournaments and saw a need to supply local anglers with the fishing tackle needed to fish Lake Guntersville. Andrea saw her husband’s passion for bass fishing and while attending college she decided to create a mock business plan to open a fishing tackle store for a class project. The project gave her several ideas, including designing a website to sell fishing tackle online.
Andrea also took a physical approach by setting up a small table (flea market style) at local Guntersville tournaments. At first, she had trouble getting tackle manufacturers to sell her product at wholesale, because she didn’t have a physical store. A few companies though, like Strike King, Buckeye Lures, and Netbait, gave her an opportunity.
As the online business and local sales at tournaments grew, Tim and Andrea discussed opening a physical store, but Andrea had reservations. She felt it would be too risky. Tim, however, convinced her to start looking at buildings to lease in the area. Shortly into their search they found a 2400 square-foot building with a monthly lease they couldn’t ignore. Once they opened their doors for business, Jonathan Henry with Basswhacker Guide Service, introduced them to their first distributor, Big Rock, who they still use today.
Social Media Advertising
Tim and Andrea wanted to use the most effective advertising possible without spending a lot of money, so they concentrated on using Facebook to reach potential customers who would be traveling from all over the country to visit Lake Guntersville.
Tim and Andrea create Facebook posts asking their fans and customers questions. Engaging their audience has helped grow their number of followers and brand awareness.
They also targeted specific audiences by focusing on age and interest groups by region, like anglers 18-54 years old from northern states who flock to Guntersville in the spring with bass fishing fever.
STC also uses Instagram and Twitter to promote their business and branded products. Andrea pointed out that social media changes just as fast as trends in the fishing industry, so she is always working on staying current with the changes.
STC started pouring their own swimbaits because they saw a niche to be filled, especially on Guntersville. They started with 5-inch and 7-inch models, then added 4-inch and 6-inch models based on demand. Their latest addition is a magnum 8-inch swimbait that weighs over two ounces. Word has spread how effective STC swimbits are and now other tackle stores are contacting STC to carry their swimbaits.
There’s been two major tournaments won on Guntersville where the STC swimbait played a major role. Jay Kendrick won the Rayovac FLW Series event in 2015 using the 7-inch model, and Jonathan Henry won the Rayovac FLW Series in 2014 on the 5-inch model.
In addition to swimbaits, STC also makes and brands their own tungsten products, terminal tackle, like the Recon swimbait head, and apparel.
It’s obvious Tim and Andrea have a passion for their business and are focused on providing their customers with outstanding service. They’re both humbled and overjoyed at the success they’ve achieved so far and look forward to continue having.
They understand the bass fishing market is an industry that changes quickly, so they’re constantly keeping up with the newest trends in order to supply their customers with the latest tackle and gear.
I have no doubt Tim and Andrea will continue building the STC brand and thriving in such a competitive market.