Fishing Industry Shakeups


This past week, we’ve seen some seismic shakeups in the fishing/marine game––the acquisition of the Bagley Bait Company by Northland Fishing Tackle, as well as the bombshell announcement of BRP’s signed agreement with Mercury Marine, resulting in the discontinuation Evinrude Outboards. Don’t be surprised if you see more in the months ahead.

In recent years, mergers, consolidations and even closures of long-standing companies have been a familiar theme in the outdoors industry. Some are the result of bold, creative vision seizing opportunities; others are forced adaptations to changing markets and times. In the current climate of uncertainty due to Covid-19, those lines are often blurred, at least to those on the outside looking in.

But one thing’s for sure: change is nature’s constant. Most of us don’t like change, preferring the familiar comfort of tradition. Yet as we all know, time marches on, especially when change is in the wind.

The good news is, fishing is permanently  ingrained into the American psyche, and isn’t going anywhere, even during uncertain times. Anglers remain ever on the lookout for new ways to catch more and bigger fish, quicker and more efficiently. That’s not about to change anytime soon—or ever!

In the meantime, we’ll keep bringing you news of our industry as it tiptoes forward into a new normal. Baby steps for now, envisioning firm footing and a bold run into the future.

In case you missed it, below is the 411 on Bagley-Northland and Mercury-Evinrude.


Northland Tackle Acquires Bagley Bait

Originating in 1954, Bagley Bait Company’s focus has always been to be an industry leader in balsa wood lures. Fishermen all over the country know the name Bagley and many tour-level pros have used them throughout their fishing careers. Here is what Northland Tackle Company had to say about the acquisition.


Press Release

Northland Fishing Tackle CEO Gregg Wollner announces the acquisition of Bagley Bait Company. The acquisition will grow Northland’s line of product offerings into new markets and product lines. Bagley Bait Company will transition operations to Northland’s headquarters in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Along with Bagley Bait Company, legendary lure designer Jarmo Rapala now joins the team at Northland. He brings decades of lure design and manufacturing knowledge to Northland.  “Working with Jarmo will allow us to extend the Northland brand with innovative and exciting new lures” said Wollner.

Jarmo commented, “I am excited to join the team at Northland. Combining the skills of both teams at Bagley and Northland to bring new lures to market is exciting.”

In 2015 Bagley introduced the proprietary HCM Process––Heat Compression Molding––that results in a superior product in consistency and function with wooden lures.   Each bait is precisely weighted and balanced to produce the legendary subtle action anglers rely on cast after cast.

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For more information about Northland Fishing Tackle, go to northlandtackle.comTo learn more about Bagley Bait Company, go to


BRP Signs Agreement with Mercury Marine

This announcement shocked the marine industry. Evinrude Outboards has been in existence for well over a century and has been a staple in marine propulsion. Whether this was a result of lack of sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic or, as many speculate, was due to the lack of innovation there is one less player in the outboard industry.

Evinrude competitors such as Yamaha and Mercury have seen a massive success in their latest 4-stroke outboard engines. The fuel efficiency, torque and power, along with the reliability of a 4-stroke is something Evinrude never fully embraced. Below is the press release issued by Brunswick Corporation.


Press Release

Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation and a world leader in marine propulsion systems, has entered into a strategic supply agreement with BRP to be the supplier of choice for BRP owned boat brands Alumacraft, Manitou, Quintrex and Stacer. BRP has made the decision to discontinue the production of E-TEC and E-TEC G2 engines effective immediately.

“This agreement brings us an incredible opportunity to further grow our brand in the marketplace and introduce our award-winning portfolio of outboard engines to new customers around the world,” said Chris Drees, Mercury Marine president.  “We have enjoyed long standing relationships with Alumacraft, Manitou and Telwater and we look forward to continuing to work with them while providing class-leading outboard engines and exceptional service to all of their global customers.”

“We stay true and committed to our marine strategy, and we strongly believe that having two of the most innovative global marine companies to join forces, will not only be mutually beneficial to Mercury Marine and BRP, but also to the whole industry and to customers, ” said Karim Donnez, Senior Vice President, Marine Group, IS&T and Global Transformation. “While COVID-19 has precipitated the discontinuation of the production of our outboard engines. We will proudly offer packaged Manitou, Alumacraft, Quintrex and Stacer boats with Mercury Marine going forward.”

Mercury Marine will be the outboard supplier of choice for the Alumacraft and Manitou brands as well as Quintrex and Stacer in Australia.

“We are excited for the BRP dealers and consumers to experience our new engines – and with our recent capacity related investments we are well positioned for continued growth,” said Drees.

Boat packages for Alumacraft, Manitou, Quintrex and Stacer with Mercury outboards will be available in early June.


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