This article was published by Fishing Tackle Retailer on 4/29/13. The original article can be found at http://www.fishingtackleretailer.com/index.php/554-tapping-into-the-kayak-fishing-market. Looks like the sport fishing industry is starting to catch on!
One of the fastest growing segments of sportfishing for both saltwater and freshwater fishing is kayak fishing. Kayak fishing has been around for quite a few years and has even spawned a worldwide tournament. Is your business cashing in on this new wrinkle in the sportfishing world?
Kayak anglers are a very innovative lot, and the industry has finally caught up with their needs. Kayak anglers have taken normal everyday kayaks, both sit-on-tops and conventional kayaks and outfitted them with parts that have had no right being on a kayak, and made them work. Fortunately, forward thinking industry members realized the need of the angler and addressed it with fishing-specific equipment. Your job as the retailer now is to offer these to your customers before they find them at your competition’s shop.
What should you have in stock?
First is kayaks, kayaks that are specific to fishing is even more accurate and will serve your customers better. Many manufacturers design their fishing kayaks pre-built with the ability to be customized by the angler.
The biggest problem many retailers may find with selling kayaks is not closing the sale, but rather stocking the kayaks themselves. Kayaks take up valuable retail space, though many retailers find unique ways to display them within their stores, including hanging them from the ceiling. One thing to keep in mind, kayaks are susceptible to damage from the sunlight and weather conditions if left outside for extended periods of time, especially during the summer months.
With kayaks you will also need to sell paddles. This is one more space-consuming item you will need to plan floor space for when you are designing your fishing kayak sales area.
No respectable retailer should enter into the sale of watercraft without also providing or offering personal water safety devices. Kayak lifejackets are cut differently than a true boating lifejacket due to the need for added upper-body movement needed to propel most kayaks. Many manufacturers are offering fishing-specific lifejackets with pockets for needed fishing gear.
From there you can add any number of kayak-specific equipment to your store, kayak-fishing specific anchors, fishing rod holders, dry bags, tackle boxes, the list is really endless. As stated earlier, kayak anglers have been known to be an innovative lot and will continue to be. If there are a group of kayak anglers that you know of, ask them what they would like to see you add to your store, along with what doesn’t work for your locale.
No matter if your state is a landlocked freshwater fishing only state, or a coastal state with saltwater access, kayak fishing is exploding across the country and this is your chance to market to a new customer base. If you have already started selling into the kayak fishing market, how has it gone? What challenges have you overcome and what suggestions can you share with your fellow retailers across the country? Share your thoughts and ideas with us all on our Facebook page. If we all work together we can accomplish anything.