About Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits
Welcome! Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits is a flourishing international company. We are proud to offer you what we believe are the finest and most productive fishing lures in the world, made in the USA, especially for bass, but also for all other freshwater gamefish and saltwater species that will hit a lure, there's a Yamamoto bait that can catch it. Every aspect of our products, from the professional designs, secret plastic formulation, patented production process, to our rigorous inspection procedures, helps assure your fishing satisfaction and success. We have built our reputation as the "secret" of bass fishing professionals, with over 15 years of tournament wins. Since our beginning, we are committed to
great customer satisfaction.
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits is the stuff of the American Dream. Yamamoto Custom Baits is determination, guts, hard times, success. That's what we Americans call the Dream. Few of us live it like Gary has.
After his tour of duty in the U.S. Military, Gary returned to southern California and classes at Cal Poly Pomona. After graduating with a degree in business administration, he was quickly snapped up by a nationally-prominent computer company as a salesman.
But he spent his leisure time searching for a way to escape the constrictions of southern California, the hustle, the bustle, the rat race.
He found his chance buried in the want ads of the Los Angeles Times: a campground for sale in Page, Arizona.
Page is a true frontier town of the West. Until 1957, when the grandiose dam-builders of the day arrived to erect Glen Canyon Dam, which impounded Lake Powell, the mesa upon which Page perches was a dusty, sandy grazing allotment on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Pavement was over 40 miles away in one direction, over 70 in another.
Today, Page is a resort town playing host to nearly four million visitors a year, 40 percent of them foreign, who come to marvel at Lake Powell's 96 major canyons and explore the nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, more than that of the western coast of the United States.
Powell is a prized bass fishery, especially those of the striped species. But large and smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, and even pike call the lake home-–until snagged out of the water by a Yamamoto bait.
Gary bought the campground in Page and recaptured his interest in fishing when he entered a bass tournament on Powell shortly after his arrival and won.
The prize was an outboard motor. "Which meant I had to buy a boat," he smiles. "Which meant I had to generate some income in addition to the campground."
Quickly, though, Gary found himself frustrated as an aspiring tournament fisherman. Or just a Lake Powell fisherman. Conventional lures and baits didn't cut it. Earthworms were useless, and frozen anchovies were what you gave the kid experimenting with his first rod and reel.
He and a friend experimented for hundreds of hours. Gary realized his career depended upon the ability to customize and later design his own line of grubs.
"Our bait has always been a secret," he says with a slight grin. "We're still a secret."
But the essence of the secret bait is two-fold: color and salt. Gary began with color, sure that if he could duplicate the color of the forage fish the bass preyed upon, he would have a lure far superior to what he calls the "dozen for a nickel" bait and lure philosophy of the powerhouse fishing companies.
Gary was slightly taken aback when a Missouri company informed him the minimum order for his first five custom colors was 25,000 lures. But he made the leap and continued the customization when they arrived. He added Garland and Twin T-skirts. He opened a tackle shop, and people started buying–-and more importantly, started reporting success.
Then his skirt source in Los Angeles declared bankruptcy. Gary decided he was the man to make the buy-out. Soon after, he relocated the manufacturing plant to Page, not exactly regarded as the industrial capital of the world but soon to cut out its own little niche in that world.
Then came the salt. Gary was 100 percent in charge of quality control and of the manufacturing standards of production; the original five colors soon eclipsed the rainbow and headed for the spectrum of light.
The market (not to mention the fish) gobbled up everything Gary sent its way, and he was next forced to take up tool and mold invention. He designed a machine that tripled his output and refined the production to guarantee an absence of flaws.
About 60 percent of Yamamoto Products are shipped to Japan, where bass fishing–-no small thanks to Gary–-is the hottest growing sport in the country.
Gary is a successful full-time tournament participant in the United States and a competitor all over the world. His company also sponsors a number of teams, American, European and Japanese, and the Japanese teams are increasingly being entered in United States tournaments under the sponsorship of Yamamoto Custom Baits.