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Featured Article: Manufacturer Introduction

Introducing Black Dog Bait Company...

Date: 2/25/07
Manufacturer: Black Dog Bait Company
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: Earlier this year, during our coverage of the Northern California International Sportsman Expositions, we found, in the Quantum booth, a fantastic promotion - with any purchase of a Quantum swimbait rod and reel combination, receive a free, hand crafted swimbait valued at $60. The bait being offered? the Shellcracker - a brand new bait by a brand new company. Grant Olguin, co-founder of this new company was on hand to introduce us to his products, but when we realized all of us were relatively local to one another, he quickly invited us out to join them on a field testing trip so we could experience, first hand, some of the trials and tribulations they went through bringing this bait to market. It is now our distinct pleasure to introduce you to Black Dog Bait Company.


Introducing... Black Dog Bait Company

The Founders: Both Grant Olguin and his partner Jeremy Andersen are passionate in their pursuit of black bass. The California Delta is their home water and where they target and test their new concepts. Jeremy is very well known locally, for his painting and crafting talents, and several short years ago the groundswell for his baits was becoming overwhelming. It was at that point his friend for over a decade, Grant suggested going mainstream with his talents to take advantage of the demand. Grant was also a tournament fisherman and knew, first hand, the need for something different to shake things up in both the marketplace and on the tournament trail. From there, everything quickly fell into place and early in 2005, they founded Black Dog Bait Company.


Jeremy Andersen, co-founder of Black Dog Bait Company

Grant Olguin, Jeremy's partner in crime

The Baits:
"Everyone has a trout bait and we wanted to do something different, so we started with the bluegill" Grant told us as we pulled up to our first spot on the Delta. "We were working on a trout patterned surface plug at the same time, but we felt the timing was right for a bluegill bait. Now that the Shellcracker is out, we're working quickly to bring the trout bait to market and expect to have it out and available in the next few weeks."


The bait that started it all, the Shellcracker, is available in both sinking and floating models and sells for $59.99. This is one of their early prototypes and is still in new condition.

From the outset, their goal has been to offer something a little different and judging by the popularity of their baits locally, they're on to something. The trout plug mentioned above is called the Lunker Punker. It will be available in two sizes, a nine-inch version and a six-inch version (called the Punker Jr.), and they will retail for $54.99 and $49.99 respectively. The bait hasn't even hit the market nor has it really been announced, but there's already a waiting list for it. If you think it's just folks in Northern California clamoring for their baits, think again. Mike Bucca (a.k.a. Triton Mike) is among those on the waiting list for Black Dog Bait's new surface plug and he thinks it will be ideal for those aggressive Georgian spotted bass he pursues on a daily basis.

Next to market will be the Lunker Punker - a bait that behaves like your prototypical cigar bait only with A LOT more surface commotion!

But wait, that's not all! Jeremy and Grant have yet another bait in the works that promises to create quite a stir. It is the Go-To minnow, a side to side slashing bait that if cranked down, swims at about three to four feet under the surface in a lazy s-pattern. Twitch it or bing it back slowly and it's a very effective wake bait. The Go-To Minnow will be available in three colors (Delta Shiner, Chartreuse Shad, and Rainbow Trout) and will retail for around $30.

Another bait quickly making its way through their testing and production regiment is this jointed bait called the Go-To Minnow


Production: Each of the baits mentioned here are hand carved out of Malaysian Balsawood. The baits are produced in China but to Black Dog Bait Company's exact specifications and are based off of samples Jeremy and Grant built and painted themselves. It took nearly a full year to get the Shellcracker from concept to full blown production. Early on, they were carving and painting all the baits in-house but when it took well over five hours at peak efficiency to finish just one bait, they knew something had to give. That just was not going to work. They did not want to have to price their baits over one-hundred dollars, nor did they want to go down the road of not having enough supply for what they hoped to be very high demand.


Making and testing new baits is a tough gig, but somebody's got to do it


So they tried a manufacturer back east who could produce resin bodies for them to paint, but still this was too slow. When the president of another bait company, Cliff Liddy of Persuader American Baits, pointed them to a very good factory in China, Grant and Jeremy were a bit skeptical at first, but decided to give it a trial run. The results exceeded their expectations and they have been in full swing ever since.


The Lunker Punker at rest in the water

Next Section: Out in the field with Black Dog









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