As a teenager, college kid, young adult and now a middle aged man pretending to be a young adult, I have always opened new records with the same procedure. Pop the record on the turntable and head straight for the liner notes. Scan the lyrics for the ones that hit home the hardest and move the needle straight for it. Then its time to study the "thank you" list. All sorts of good stuff could be found in the thank you list. Whether it be people or bands that I already knew of, or some that I would later go check out. I was rarely disappointed.
I was never cool enough to put out a record, so in the Thanksgiving holiday spirit, I am going to compile my Choopy thank you list for 2012.
Thanks! (in no particular order) My apologies in advance if I am forgetting anyone. Please don't feel slighted. I am just a dumb lure builder.
RM Tackle: Ryan runs a really nice shop and I get caught on the phone with him, not often enough, but always far too late in the night talking about all the intricacies, hardships and wonderfulness of being a plug builder. He is always open to new products and gives me lots of freedom on painting whatever I think people want, or lures that just look cool.
The Saltwater Edge: They probably have the most comprehensive selection of colors of any online store stocking Choopy. They ship orders very quickly and their customer service is second to none.
Jersey Hooker Outfitters: Captain Rich is one of the easiest people to deal with. He has a shop with all the essentials and I am excited to work with him next spring on a wooden trolling swimmer.
The Reel Seat: A new dealer for this year, but I informally have known Eric for a while. When I started to sell at flea markets, he would but just about every 2 oz Needlefish I had in midnight eel. So every year I made sure to have them in case he was there. He clearly has great taste in colors and he ordered some great colors this fall, including the tan sandeel color.
The New Coastside Bait and Tackle: Choopy finally made it past the continental divide! Lots of cool mackerel patterns went out west this summer. I am grateful I was given the opportunity to send lures out there.
Harborview Bait and Tackle: Chris is great to work with, so its no surprise that I always hear great things about his shop. He stocks the basics and he is always interested in the new Choopy products I am working on.
Larry's Tackle Shop: I met Steve a few years ago at the MSBA Expo and then got a chance to see the shop this fall on the Vineyard. Even as their season was dwindling, he has a well stocked shop and he had a bunch of exclusive mackerel painted lures at the spring shows. Always great to work with and after seeing some of the mounts in his shop, clearly a very good fisherman.
Oceanside Bait and Tackle: Val runs a nice shop down on LBI. After speaking with her for a few minutes, you can see how passionate she is about stocking lots of custom wood plugs. Definitely a shop to check out when you are on LBI.
Sportsmen's Center: They are always sure to be well stocked in all the essential colors for the fall run. If you are traveling down 195 on the way to the surf, this is a shop to stop in.
I don't have a pro staff, or anything like that, but I do have some people that test lures out for me, fish with me or are super loyal supporters. I am really grateful for them and I don't want to embarrass them, but please know how much I appreciate your help and support. I assume you guys all know who you are.
Fisherman and Fisherwomen:
Yes...you guys. I can make all the lures in the world, but if you aren't out there fishing, catching and buying more, I am just a dude in the shop. Thanks for spending your hard earned cash on my lures. In its most simplistic terms, its hard to believe. I always look forward to hearing your great color suggestions, new lure ideas and reports. Choopy will only be as successful as you guys want it to be. A very humble thanks to you fine anglers out there.
I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving with your friends and family, and have a wonderfull holiday season!