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Alluring sound

Plainfield’s Jason Yocum, reels in business with one-of-a-kind fishing lures

By Mark Ambrogi

Jason Yocum’s love of fishing began with outings with his late grandfather Charles Yocum on Lukens Lake in Wabash County, Indiana. Yocum was about 8-yearsold sitting on the pier, bobber fishing for bluegill.

“Fishing has always been a passion,” Yocum said. “I love the outdoors.” The Plainfield resident purchased Boing Lures, an online business, five years ago.

“We feel we have the only fishing lure in the world that has the sound we have,” Yocum said. “If you go into a Bass Pro Shop, there are aisles and aisles of lures. There might be similar-looking lures but nobody has the sound these do. The Boing is a metallic sound you hold up to your ear and it reverberates.”

The lure company started 30 years ago. “It was a $30 lure 30 years ago, which in today’s money is astronomical because now there are not many $30 fishing lures,” Yocum said. “When we took over five years ago, we dropped the cost five dollars and put in additional nine dollars’ worth of hardware
components on it. We’ve added some of the best feathered treble (three-pronged) hooks to the lure. “

Touring pro Jimmy Reese, who is on ESPN, has endorsed the product. Tourney angler Brian Roberts said Boing Lures is his “go-to topwater bait for quality fish during certain parts of the fishing season due to acoustics the bait admits.” Roberts, from Mulberry, Ind., has more than 20 years experience of tournament fishing and his Facebook page is called Brian Roberts Outdoors.

The lures are produced by a tool and dye company in Indianapolis. “They made the capsule tighter and more rounded,” Yocum said. The lures are custom painted. The hook eyes are constructed of stainless steel. “Fred Book of Plainfield puts the lure together,” Yocum said. “Brian Roberts has
been an integral part of our success through fishing shows. He drives to the fishing shows as a pro staffer.”

The company’s previous owner sold 375 lures in his best year. “We’ve sold 375 lures or more in a weekend at $25 a lure,” Yocum said. “For a small operation in Plainfield, we feel like we’re doing very well.”

Yocum estimates his company sells between 300 and 500 lures per month. “Our marketing budget is zero dollars per year,” Yocum said. “We’re doing everything social media, Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth. We’re on a lot of jerseys, T-shirts, hats and decals.”

The merchandise is available online at boinglures.net and tacklewarehouse.com. Yocum said to have about 45 to 50 retail stores selling the lures as well as some other online stores. “The reason we don’t want to be in a big box store is that our lures are custom made, we make them one-by-one and take a lot of pride in our lures as opposed to a mass production scale,” he said. “The lures are 100 percent American-made.”

There are three styles of lure, walk-the-dog or cigar-style bait, which is the primary bait, a popper version and then a prop bait. “They’ve (lures) caught everything from peacock bass in the Amazon River to speckled sea trout in the Atlantic Ocean,” Yocum said. “It’s a multi-species lure throughout the United States and around the world.”

Yocum, 38, grew up in the small town of Macy in northern Indiana, graduating from North Miami High School. “My father (Charles) has been very
supportive along with the rest of my family,” he said. “My grandparents, Leonard and Nancy Evers, have been an inspiration to me as they’ve had a business with their farm.”

Yocum said the farm in Rochester, Ind., has been in the family for 85 years. “His (Leonard Evers) entrepreneurial spirit has always driven me to where I am today,” Yocum said. Yocum and his wife Melissa have two children, Madeline, 11, and Harrison, 6. “Primarily, I fish by myself,” he said. “I fish in a few small tournaments – nothing big. If you win you might get a hundred bucks. I’m a small tournament angler. I do a lot of bank fishing.”

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