Ryan Habenicht and Oregon club bass fishing prepares for Clear Lake tournament
At 21, most individuals are either preparing to graduate college, getting started in the workforce or taking some time to travel.
Ryan Habenicht had already started and sold his fishing lure business. By 21, he was looking for his next venture. By the time he sold it, Habenicht had 37 stores and $45,000 in sales over two years, specializing in lures with skirted heads and seven prong lures.
“So, I kind of started this little niche,” Habenicht said. “I just put my spin on it.”
Today, the 24 year-old business major is preparing to graduate while he and and the rest of the Oregon bass fishing team ready for the Clear Lake tournament at the end of April, a contest he won back in 2014.
Habenicht is taking a note from his days creating lures for his former company Frenzy Baits by crafting a customized lure for the tournament.
Making his own lures is what gives Habenicht a “competitive advantage” in tournaments.
The go-to is the seven prong head lure. The difference is that the fisherman can “put a different lure on each wire, and it looks like a school of fish.”
Habenicht doesn’t just promote this lure to boost sale, though. He used it in the tournament that he won on Clear Lake in 2014.
This year, the four-person team has already seen success. Habenicht and teammate Jacob Wall both placed in the top 10 in the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) tournament series.
The tournament is the biggest on west coast, and with 76 boats in the competition, the Ducks hauled. They presented their biggest five fish per day over the three day event.
To prepare for the tournament at the end of the month, the team fishes as much as possible. Habnicht personally has been fishing 300 days a year since he was 10 years old and even has a sponsor.
His favorite places to practice are the Columbia River and the Coastal Lakes — at those lakes, the fish are “typically bigger than the fish around here.”
Though the fish he catches in tournaments get turned back at the end of the day, Habenicht keeps his fridge stocked with salmon and halibut.
After Clear Lake, the team will head to the California Delta at the end of May.
Follow Madison Layton on Twitter @MadisonLayton01
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