Bassin’ On Lures started at the end of 2017 with the hope of raising awareness on the therapeutic benefits of kayak fishing, and to raise money for the “Soldier On” program.
I am a reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces, and in the spring of 2015 I was injured in Petawawa, Ontario while training. After physiotherapy and other treatments for my injury we saw no improvement. I continued with all of the therapy options that were suggested to me until I found out that I required surgery to correct my injury. Almost 2 years after my initial injury I went ahead with the surgery. At this time, I was hopeful and excited. I figured I would have the surgery, undergo more therapy, heal, recuperate and move forward. Needless to say the surgery did not go as planned. My injury was worse off than before the operation. Now, I realized that I will not be able to transfer to Regular Force, missing out on my career with the forces, missing out on a pension, and not being able to continue my normal activities sent me into a downward spiral. One that I felt like I would never be able to escape.
After everything, I was left feeling as low as I thought possible. Not only was I trying to manage my injury, I was also experiencing chronic pain and trying to figure out how to deal with it. I also started to experience mental health issues due to the butterfly effect the injury has caused. I was feeling worthless as a father of six children, providing for my family is something I have always done and I took pride in.
Not being able to be active any longer was depressing. I was trying to find something I could do. Something that could occupy my time and make me feel useful again. After researching different sports and physical activities, I came across something that I really never heard of until the spring of 2017, Kayak fishing!!! I grew up fishing and have always loved it. So what better activity for me. I could help others, while incorporating something I love doing.
The financial aspect of kayak fishing concerned me. After researching the new found sport I realized that the prices of a decent fishing kayak was not cheap. I found a program within the military called “Soldier On”. They are a non-government funded program that receives money through donations only. The program helps active, retired, medically released military personnel who have been injured or wounded through service by helping fund some of or all of their needed equipment to get active again and stay healthy physically and mentally.
Once I purchased my kayak it was time to head out and do some fishing. What I discovered was, not only could I be active again and doing something I love, but how wonderfully therapeutic was it to be kayaking and fishing. Being one with nature with no distractions, no motor, just silence, gave me a sense of control and a feeling of peace. With all of the chaos I was experiencing in my life, I was able to be in control out on the water in my kayak.
I was pleased that my family began to show interest in what I was doing. I was equally surprised to find out that kayak fishing is quite a popular sport. There are kayak fishing clubs everywhere. It’s a huge sport in the US and is becoming big in Canada as well. I have met lots of great people in this new found sport, through a local fishing kayak club. I’ve also met a significant amount of military members who also partake in the sport.
Each day was different, some days the pain wasn’t horrible and I felt ok, other days I felt defeated and was not sure how I would ever be the man I remembered. Through all my struggles, I knew that there were others like me and I wanted to pay it forward and help other fellow soldiers get active again. I was trying to come up with ideas to raise money and keep busy at the same time. Having my love of fishing and my new passion of kayaking, I decided to start making my own fishing lures!
Now that I had my idea it was time to execute. I wanted to make lures that were handmade in Canada. I was also passionate about helping my fellow soldiers. I decided to make skirted weed less jigs.
Time to come up with a name for my business! I wanted something catchy and something that would work well with the soldier on program. This is the program that I want to help. After a few failures I came up with “BASSIN’ ON Lures”, a play on words with “Soldier On”. Soldier On assisted me in purchasing my kayak. This program helped when I didn’t think anything could. My determination to repay them will be at the forefront of what I love, while I am BASSIN’ On!
By the end of 2017 I was producing my skirted and weed-less jigs, but I wanted to do more. There stared to be quite a bit of interest in what I was doing but I wanted to do more. I decided I wanted to start making my own plastic baits. Not long after some research I purchased my needed equipment to produce soft plastic baits. Not knowing much about the business aspect of things, I turned to a workshop that is offered to military members who are retiring or releasing form the forces for personal or medical reasons and looking at starting a business.
After the workshop, I felt better equipped and more knowledgeable. I felt confident and ready. BASSIN’ ON Lures was officially launched December of 2017. I started to advertise on social media and post pictures and information about the product and the business. I also decided that I will be donating 5% of all sales to the “Soldier On” program to help raise funds and awareness.
Since I have always fished, I knew that bait and lures can be expensive. I wanted my prices to be fair yet competitive. After researching the market I found that most expensive lures and baits were made in china.
Well… jigs and plastics were not enough for me so I decided to start hand painting crank and jerk baits as well. Now that I produce many different baits and lures, I can offer a larger variety of fishing lures and baits for different types of fishing for all fishermen and women to hopefully raise more for “Soldier On”.
I recently met a fellow soldier who was also injured. He recently started a business, making revolutionary light weight anchors, “Tightline Anchor”. These anchors are made of light weight aircraft grade materials, perfect for kayaks and canoes. I am proud to bethe first Canadian retailer of this amazing product.
BASSIN’ On Lures is offering quality handmade products that are made in Canada at a good price!
Let’s help raise funds and awareness, for those who gave their all to protect us and our country!
Bass On and Tight lines everyone, and thank you for your support!
Bassin’ On Lures