Legendary Baits Is Successfully Tackling the Fishing Equipment Industry
Writer & Photographer / Ali Schneider
In Shipshewana, you will find a unique and locally owned company specializing in providing fishermen with high-quality bait and tackle.
Legendary Baits was founded by Arron Hochstetler when he was only 20 years old. Not only does Hochstetler have a passion for fishing, but he also saw it as a great opportunity.
Hochstetler struggled with drug addiction and knew he needed to change the direction of his life. He decided to use his creative skills and entrepreneurial knowledge to begin creating unique tackles right from his home. Hochstetler believes this was a saving grace that helped him stay busy during his struggles to stay clean.
Although he began doing it as a hobby, he quickly realized there was a demand in the area for unique styles of tackle. As his skill set grew, so did his reputation in the area for providing one-of-a-kind tackles. This motivated Hochstetler to make his pastime more than just a leisure activity. Soon, Legendary Baits would become his full time job.
In his first year of official business, Hochstetler attended a trade show where he could show off his product, interact with other people in the fishing industry, spread his knowledge of fishing, as well as learn from customers and businesses in the industry. Once he saw the potential of creating his own poured tackle, he got right to work to further perfect his business model.
When it comes to actually making the tackle, Hochstetler describes it as a hands-on, detailed process. The product itself begins by looking similar to milk. From there, he pours the solution into a 340-degree aluminum mold where it turns over and begins to gel. The aluminum molds are sourced from LureCraft, which is one of the top providers of molds in the fishing industry.
The type of tackle that Hochstetler can create is nearly limitless and can be tailored to the type of fish a customer is trying to catch. He explains that the most popular fish his customers try to catch include pan fish, bass and walleye. Along with creating different shapes and sizes of tackle, he is able to customize and modify the colors. This is important, especially in Indiana where the weather is always changing. Hochstetler says different seasons and types of weather require different colors of tackle. Another factor that he considers is the body of water, whether it be a river, lake, pond or ocean. He also takes into account whether the water is shallow or deep.
Hochstetler begins his process by getting to know the customer first and answering any questions they may have. He explains that when the sun is out, the tackle reflects more underwater than on cloudy days. The sun makes it ideal to use brighter colors of tackle. On the flip side, cloudy days make it best to use darker colors such as green, black, blue and tan. He is able to add sparkles to the tackle as well if the customer desires.
Aside from creating custom tackles, Legendary Baits offers multiple additional services. One of the most popular services is creating fishing rods. Hochstetler is able to make, customize and repair rods for ice fishing, along with other types of regular rods. The general public is welcome to bring in their own rod for repair, or come in empty handed and he will gladly make a custom rod. He is able to add marbling mixed with epoxy to create a high-quality, beautiful rod. He also specializes in line spooling, which helps protect the line from getting tangled.
Although Hochstetler is talented in his craft, he still believes that his purpose is greater than his business. He is not afraid to share his story of struggling in his early 20s. He explains that if his story helps even one person, it is worth it to be open and honest. He credits his family, friends and loyal customers with supporting him along the way.
If you are in the northern Indiana area and looking for quality fishing products, consider stopping by Legendary Baits at 3992 North 675 West in Shipshewana. If you are out of town, they will ship your order directly to you. Simply give them a call at 260-336-8089.