How Your Customers Can Match the Hatch Like Never Before

[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he year is 1977. A young boy is plying the waters of Ontario when he has an idea: he folds a coat hanger around an old treble hook and a spoon from his parent’s kitchen, dabs some paint on it and wraps the hook with a frayed piece of rope. Suddenly, a future is born.

That boy was Grant Koppers, 38 years ago.

You could have sat down beside the young Koppers then and told him about the future. You could have put your arm around his shoulder and told him that over a decade of guiding fishing trips on Lake Ontario was in store for him, or that in 2007 he would found his very own lure company—one that makes something a little more advanced than a speckled kitchen spoon—and if you had, he would have smiled.

Grant Koppers has always loved fishing; he’s always loved to fish.

“It is my life-long passion and obsession,” he says. “When I was 11 years old, I was a novice angler.” But, the novice angler grew. And in his late twenties, Koppers did indeed become a professional sportfishing guide and a few years later he founded LIVETARGET lures. The journey, he says, offered insight and enabled him to grow and evolve as an angler.

The more Koppers guided—the more fish he landed and helped others land—the more his passion grew. 200-plus days on the water a year will do that to a man. And when you put in 20,000 hours on the water, you begin to intimately follow the feeding habits of game fish. You begin to not just think further down the food chain, you begin to read the food chain like a book. With that amount of time on the water, you’re not just chasing the hatch—you’re matching the hatch right on the money.

Because of this, on most of those days, success followed Koppers swiftly in tow—but maybe not success as some would define it.

[divider]The Secret to Success[/divider]

When Grant Koppers talks about success on the water he’s not just preaching about limits hauled in and hogs hauled up. He defines success by how much he helps other people.

“After all,” he says, “I’ve spent more than 25 years catching fish on product that is not LIVETARGET, and I’ve had many successful days on both.”

When I think about success and LIVETARGET, I think about all the comments we receive at our home office. We receive letters, e-mails, phones calls, and shout-outs from the many anglers who are becoming loyal LIVETARGET fans. I love that! I started this company for that reason alone, to touch angler’s lives in a positive way.  One positive comment beats any banner day on the water.” 

In other words, the happiness of his customers and his clients is what Koppers calls success. And it’s that success which has defined his company since it first rocked the lure scene eight years ago. On the way to their latest product, LIVETARGET has accumulated four consecutive ICAST Best of Show awards (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014) and an untold number of fish landed for their customers.

Behind all of the awards lies LIVETARGET’s core philosophy: match the hatch.

LIVETARGET has been prolific in the development of lures that match the hatch not only in their founder’s home on the Great Lakes, but all across North America as well. From the salty shores of Florida to the bayous of Louisiana and the mountain lakes of the West Coast, LIVETARGET has developed an enormous line of baits designed to match the hatch of every specific area of the continent.

Color patterns shift as you sweep across the continent; but so too do the sizes and shapes of these lures. Rather than painting a new pattern on a lure’s fuselage and shipping it to store shelves, LIVETARGET also changes the physical dimensions of each bait down to the eyeball and fin locations.

All told, LIVETARGET now offers more than 750 lures to help customers land gamefish from redfish to bass and walleye.

The LIVETARGET Yearling Baitball is the latest creation from their design team. It debuted at ICAST last year, and started landing on retailer’s shelves in December. That means it will be in high demand this spring. But more than that, it’s the epitome of the core value LIVETARGET is built on: match the hatch.

The Yearling Baitball series was years in development, but the result—as you can see in the video above—is out of this world. Show a Yearling Baitball to a fishermen who hasn’t seen one and the reaction you almost always get is, “Wow. That’s a great idea. I can see how that would work.”

And work it does. Across North America, the Yearling Baitball has started to take off, but the secrets to its’ sales don’t rest on design alone. After all, a lure that looks like a threadfin shad might land a lunker in South Carolina, but won’t draw a bite in Utah. That’s why LIVETARGET has made the Yearling Baitball available in 11 models with four to six color patterns each.

If number seems daunting, LIVETARGET has you covered.

Remember, it’s all about matching the hatch. Launching in just a few weeks, LIVETARGET’s new website is designed specifically to help retailers and consumers select the best lures for local conditions and species. There, you can log on and quickly sort their product catalog by the forage type you’re trying to micmic for your local waters, or by the lure technique you seek to utilize.

And it all goes back to an 11 year old boy in his mother’s kitchen in 1977.

One look at LIVETARGET’s 750-plus lure lineup will tell you just how far that little boy has come from a a speckled spoon and a dream.

Koppers’ first lure

As for LIVETARGET? They’ve come almost as far in just seven years on the market, and you’ll be able to check out the full range of lures in person at most of the Channel Distributor show events this Spring, and at this year’s Bassmaster Classic in Greenville, South Carolina.