From flickertails and bangers to dancers and poppers, Minnesota has no shortage of homegrown businesses putting their spin on fishing lures. They all have one thing in common — they were fishers, first.
Sisters Erica and Shanna Stennes of Bemidji grew up on the water. After years of tinkering with tackle for personal use, they turned it into a business — S.S. Baits Co. — five years ago. The pair start with traditional woodworking and finish with inventive materials like feathers and beer caps that surprise both anglers and fish, but led to a unique problem: “We love that there are so many people collecting our lures, but we want people to get them wet,” says Erica.
When Joe Wilson of Rollingstone was fishing competitively, he would bring painting equipment to give himself an edge by matching his lures to the patterns of the water. “It did pay off more often than not,” he says. Now Joe’s Custom Baits offers that edge to all.
John Peterson started Northland Fishing Tackle in 1975. The Bemidji outfit tests what they produce, offering tips, tricks, videos and seminars for all skill levels.
Always innovating and never settling, Gary Snyder has been the creative force behind Snyders Lures of Dodge Center for more than 30 years, helping anglers reel in everything from trophy walleye to panfish.
And Maynard’s has been in the business since 1958, handcrafting its tackle from start to finish in Winsted. Its purchase of Northwest Metro Tackle brought with it a line of glowing lures.