GRETNA, Va. (WFXR) — In an era when the fishing tackle industry is dominated by the Goliaths of the business, Joey Thompson is scoring a victory for the Davids of the world.
Thompson is the owner and operator of Thompson’s Custom Lures in Gretna.
“It’s a pretty good business,” said Thompson as he guided a boat on a small lake near his home. “I’ve been doing this for about seven years, pretty much going on eight. It’s a good business to be in. I met a lot of good people in the fishing industry.”
Thompson is an avid outdoorsman who loves to fish. He decided to put that passion to work and start his own lure-making business. Unlike the large tackle makers, Thompson’s business model is different. While he does have some lures in stock, instead of mass-produced products, he makes or paints lures to custom order for individual customers.
Thompson caters primarily to bass anglers, and he knows they are very specific about the colors and patterns they want.
” I don’t really make premade lures because everybody wants different stuff,” Thompson said. “I make a lot of lures that people can customize like all the blade colors, different color heads, different color skirts, even down to the color hooks that are on them.”
Thompson makes or paints a variety of lures including jig heads, spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, buzz baits, topwater baits, and crankbaits.
He takes orders online and builds them in his workshop. He says it is a living and a passion.
“When you’re doing something you enjoy, and you are getting paid for it, it’s really nice to be able to do something like that,” Thompson said as he took another cast. “Just to be outside on the water is great, and to get to be paid to do it is awesome.”