Elite Meat

When we’re talking about “impressions” and “return on investment,” many pro anglers’ non-endemic sponsorship deals leave me cold. For example, unless 500 unlikely scenarios all converge, I’m never going to buy oilfield equipment. Nor will I likely shop for a Polaris in Oklahoma or shop for haircare products in Michigan. That doesn’t mean that those sponsors aren’t getting bang for their buck, but they’re not getting it with me, regardless of how many times I view their logos on the stage.

When it comes to fishing tackle, I’m a little bit different – with pros whose opinions I trust, I’m at least likely to give them a fair shake. If they say they caught their winning limit on a new and improved Shimmy Grub using a rod made of cantaloupe fibers, I may laugh but I’ll do my due diligence before dismissing it totally.

But if you really want to sucker me in to buying something, your best bet is packaged salty snack foods. I don’t know why more of them haven’t gotten into the fishing market, since we are prime consumers of their goods – of course Pringle’s and Cheez-Its have participated, but other than that the pickings have been slim.

I’m a fool for beef jerky (and various other kinds of jerky) whenever I fish. At every sport show or Classic Expo, it’s invariably one booth where I spend some money. I’ve bought thousands of dollars worth at gas stations and convenience stores across the country (hint: check the sell-by date or be disappointed, as some things don’t get better with age). And don’t get me started on Texas chain Buc-ee’s, the greatest shopping experience on earth.

All of this is a long way of saying that when I saw that Tennessee pro Ott DeFoe (a) was leading the AOY race after two events; and (b) had recently picked up Joe’s Jerky of Indiana (www.eatjoesjerky.com) as a sponsor, I saw my two interests merging. Now that I’ve acquired some, I can see where Ott’s getting his mojo from.