Catching More Crappie with Limits Tackle
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At Premier Angler, we try to cover a wide variety of stories covering numerous species. In our College Fishing Talk series, we regularly speak with anglers from some of the top collegiate bass fishing teams in the nation. We also keep our fingers on the pulse of state fishing records from across the nation.
It’s no secret, however, that we also have a particular affinity for crappie fishing.
When we interviewed Robert Loar about his impressive pair of 3+ pound crappie caught in Oklahoma, the story quickly drew thousands of readers to the site.
During the interview, Loar shouted out his sponsors, including the increasingly popular Limits Tackle, which is owned and operated by Steve Goncalves.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Steve about his company. Here is Steve’s story, in his own words.
Talking with Steve Goncalves, owner of Limits Tackle
Premier Angler: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Steve.
Before we discuss the origins of Limits Tackle, let’s talk about your own journey with fishing and, in general, crappie fishing. How did you get started? What makes you want to hit the water every day?
Goncalves: I’ve always loved to fish since I was little kid and the passion has only grown over the years. In 2008, my family and I moved to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and I didn’t even know what a crappie was.
In 2009, I met a friend on the Texas fishing forum who took me crappie fishing for the first time. We caught fourteen crappie and he gave me them to fillet and deep fry. That evening, we had some friends visiting from Houston. Once the fish were fried, I placed them on the counter and went to take a shower.
When I returned, most of the fish was gone and everyone was asking what kind of fish that it was. From that day forward, I have been obsessed with crappie fishing.
Premier Angler: At what point does a passion for crappie fishing (and crappie eating) lead to the formation of a bait company? Was this a decision you had been considering for a while?
Goncalves: I tried a variety of plastic crappie baits and found most were not durable enough. I asked one bait maker why he didn’t make a more durable plastic and his reply was, “so people would return to purchase more baits.”
After that comment, I knew I could do better. I decided to form my own bait company. After many tests, I found the perfect durable plastic I could approve of.
I started catching a limit of fish on just one bait, hence the name Limits Tackle: “Why settle for a few when you can catch a limit?”
Premier Angler: When we talked last week, you mentioned that the company has only been around for about two years. As an upstart company, what do you think has differentiated Limits Tackle from the seemingly countless bait and tackle companies that pop up overnight?
Goncalves: My number one priority is always my customers. My name and reputation is behind my product. I want a good customer base, and yes, I want them to come back but because of quality, not quantity — not just because they run out of baits, but because they love the product they are using.
Most companies advertise that they have the “toughest baits,” but what I do is hand (potential customers) some of my sample baits and let them decide.
Premier Angler: As a follow-up to that, let’s talk about the growth of Limits Tackle. In a short period of time, Limits has established a significant profile online and has developed a loyal fan base. What has this growth looked like, and where do you see the company heading?
Goncalves: I have seen this company go from just a few loyal friends and customers to thousands of satisfied patrons. The use of social media has played a big part in the expansion of Limits Tackle. My goal is to have my products in every fisherman’s tackle box.
Premier Angler: How are most anglers finding out about Limits Tackle? Do you find most customers who receive a sample return to your products after trying them?
Goncalves: Social media has played the biggest part in spreading the word about Limits Tackle. I also have fished quite a few crappie tournaments and have done a lot of networking that way.
When people find a great product, they want to spread the word. The most satisfying part of my job is hearing about the customers who really appreciate the products I produce.
Premier Angler: What else should we know about Limits Tackle?
Goncalves: Limits Tackle is Veteran-owned business. I served in the United States Air Force 25 years. I support several Veteran fishing organizations. One way in particular is that I send our jig heads to troops stationed abroad and in war zones. This allows for a small distraction during their downtime where they can make hand-tied jigs that they can use when they return home.