Fishing Lures A Hit For Small-Town Teen Entrepreneurs

By Michael Pearce
The Wichita Eagle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the young Kansas entrepreneurs who launched fishing lure company “Double B Baits.” According to the teacher who is helping them expand their business, the company is living up to its company slogan of “Kickin’ Bass & Takin’ Names.”


Three 16-year-olds from this Kansas town just beat about 90 percent of the competition at a national high school business class convention in California.

The business model they designed for their fishing-lure company was up against those of many older students, some from private schools in major U.S. cities, at the Future Business Leaders of America conference in Anaheim.

Now, the teens are back in Kansas with the goal of growing the company by improving the product, packaging, promotions and sales in retail stores and online.

Even beyond the next school year, Gabe Backhus, McKenzie Shippy and Emilie Roe are talking about ways this business experience will help them through college and into adult careers.

The business, Double B Baits, is living up to its company slogan of “Kickin’ Bass & Takin’ Names,” according to the teacher who is helping them.

“This is really very impressive, what they’re accomplishing,” said Lisa Beye, a business teacher at Herington High School. “These kids are gaining so much great experience from this project.”

Starting small
Backhus began fishing with his dad when he was 2. By the time he was 10 he was entering youth bass tournaments around central Kansas. It wasn’t long until he started thinking about making his own fishing lures.

“I just wanted to be fishing something better than what everybody else had,” said Backhus, a tall, lanky kid who loses his shyness when the talk turns to bass fishing and bass lures. “My mom gave me a lure-making kit for Christmas one year and I started making plastics. Things just grew from there.”

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