If you fish regularly here in the valley the name Arizona Custom Baits is something you have definitely heard, especially this past year. We spoke with the owner Jonathan Shook for a quick Q&A to give everyone some insight to the man behind those amazing soft plastics.
Q: How long have you been fishing and what got you into it?
A: I have been fishing since I was about 3 years old. My grandparents got me started.
Q: How do you end up acquiring AZ custom baits and when was it?
A: Arizona Custom Baits kind of fell into our laps. Our good friends started it but did not have the time to keep up and grow it. We took it over late 2016.
Q: What has been the biggest obstacle since ?
A: Our biggest obstacle is the hours it takes and trying to stay afloat throughout. There is not a ton of markup in this business so it takes a great deal of detail to pull it off. It has been a lot of stress and worry but would not change anything.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of it ?
A: The most rewarding part has been watching all the successes and helping anglers catch fish! We love to see pictures or get stories about how well fishing trips has been with our product.
Q: Is there anyone that helps you out that contributes to the success of AZ custom baits?
A: My wife and entire family have been huge in our growth. My wife runs all the books and with the family also packages and tags all the bags for shipping. Without them it wouldn’t be possible.
Q: How much time do you still get to fish now that you’re slammed pouring these baits ?
A: I very rarely get to fish anymore spending so much time getting orders done. I just went to Roosevelt, that’s first time on water since Nov of last year.
Q: what’s next for AZ custom baits?
A: Hopefully the next thing for us will be getting into more stores then going nation wide.
Q: Have you noticed a big jump in exposure with your pro staff?
A: We have a great group of guys for Pro staff and it’s been great!
Q: What would you say for anyone out there wanting to be part of your Pro staff team?
A: We keep our staff small, to make it more of a team atmosphere. We change guys every now and then but will always stay small. Best advice is to keep good company in your circle and have a great attitude. If you or your circle are involved in any drama you wont even be considered. We want people with high standards.
Q: If you could only throw one AZ custom bait year round which would it be?
A: If I could throw one bait year around it would have to be our 6in worm in bluegill. I have success on every body of water with that bait.
Q: Any advice for for any entrepreneurs out there wanting to get into the fishing industry?
A: You want to get into fishing industry? Be prepared for a struggle it’s not a rich quick game. It takes a lot of work and dedication.
Q: 5 years from now where do you see AZ custom baits?
A: 5 years from now I want to see Arizona Custom Baits be one of the biggest names in the game. That is the goal and we will work hard to get there.