Bass fishing in the west may not be as big as it is in the southern states but believe me, what they lack in numbers of lakes and anglers, they make up for with exceptional fishing and high-quality anglers. And, where ever you have bass anglers, you’re bound to have marine dealerships that sell bass boats. It’s not a very difficult concept to grasp.
In the early 70s through the 80s, there were numerous boat dealerships that dealt with bass boats in the southern California region. Here’s a short list and the boats they sold just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
- Camborac – Terry, Loweline
- Bellflower Boat Yard – Eldocraft, Duracraft
- Marine Associates – MonArk, Cajun
- North Hollywood Marine – Ranger
- Leach’s Sporting Goods – Ranger, Sea Nymph
- Barnacle Bills – Champion
- Castaic Marine – Skeeter
All of these companies could be found within roughly a 60-mile radius.
Then in 1981 Rick Grover and renown western angler Don Doty teamed up to start Anglers Marine. The shop was to be more than a boat dealership – also acting as a fully-stocked tackle shop. I believe the concept was to offer a one-stop shop for bass anglers that not only sold boats and gear but held seminars to teach anglers more about the sport. I went to a few of those seminars in the 82-83 time frame and although I felt guilty for going to a competitor’s shop, they were well worth it.
Now, 33 years later, Anglers Marine is one of the few dealerships that remain in the southland. None of the dealerships listed above exist anymore due to one thing or another.
From initially dealing only with Ranger and Champion (they were the #1 Champion dealership in the world for too many many years to count) they now sell Tracker and Triton. Years ago their seminars morphed into what is now California’s biggest bass fishing show – Bass-A-Thon – which draws not only nationally-ranked pros to give talks, but anglers from as far away as Arizona, Nevada and northern California.
The tackle shop hosts not only nationally recognized gear but, more importantly, the hard-to-find regional gear made by the many garage-based companies found in the region.
Doty has been out of the picture for more than 25 years but Rick took the company from infancy to where it is now – a boat and tackle powerhouse in the western U.S.