Hard times lie ahead

For the past 4 years, our gas prices dropped dramatically and stayed around the $2.00 mark. But with the Democrats taking charge of the White House and Covid-19 making its presence felt, gas is once again soaring. At the time of writing this article, gas was at $2.99 and rising. This has a huge impact on tournament anglers, especially the weekend warriors and those who compete in local and area wide tournaments for the love of the sport. Today, we’ll talk about what 2022 might be like in terms of bass tournaments and how anglers will be affected.

Let’s first start with boats and the demand for parts. It has been, and could continue to be, a problem for boat owners to get parts needed to keep their boat engines running. If you own a bass boat, it’s just a matter of time before you’ll need engine repairs. Getting the parts, like powerheads, filters, or water pumps, has been a real issue ever since Covid hit a year ago last February. Since many parts come from overseas, the back log of the supply chain has also had a ripple effect into boat manufacturing facilities. Without parts, some boat factories have had to cut production in half or even completely shut down. When parts do arrive on American shores, getting the parts off-loaded is a whole other issue. Then to top it off,  there are not enough truckers to get the parts to the marine dealers.

The next issue is the increase in pricing for both new and used boats. It’s all about supply and demand. When the demand is higher than the supply chain, boat dealers can and will increase their prices as well. The other side of the coin is that, if anglers continue to buy these high-priced boats, dealers will continue to raise the prices.  As for the boat manufacturers, they have had to increase prices because the cost of materials continues to skyrocket. Furthermore, after a boat has been built, there is a major challenge to get a new outboard motor to put on the boat. Dealers will tell you that you’re probably looking at 6 months before they will see a new motor. The brand of engine does not matter at this stage of the game. Some guys who have always run a certain brand like Mercury or Yamaha, are now taking whatever, they can get.

Last, but not least, tackle! Companies like Strike King, V&M and Berkley are having a hard time keeping up with the demand for products like spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or jigs. This is mainly due to the lack of hardware needed to produce these types of baits. Hooks, swivels, wire, and plastic are just a few of the thing’s manufacturers are having trouble getting their hands on. For months, retailers have been out of stock and are doing their best to keep up with the demand. But as fast as manufacturers can get it to the dealer, customers are grabbing them up, and in some cases, one customer will buy every bait on the peg just because he does not know if or when they’ll be restocked. It’s created a type of panic mode similar to the ammunition demand.

So, if you’re an angler, try and exercise a little patience as manufacturers push to get caught up. But don’t expect to see any relief anytime soon as this could go all the way into 2023. Nothing will change until the supply chain gets back to a normal mode. Tune into the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show on AM 1130 The Tiger KWKH, every Wednesday at 11:00 and Saturday mornings at 6:00 for the latest outdoor news.  Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook.

Steve Graf


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