Fishhound.com is a relatively new, but fast-growing website that connects brands to individual anglers to educate them and influence buying decisions. Vice President of Operations Rick Patri said the concept began about two years ago, and since the 2012 BASS Classic, has exploded from 80,000 Facebook fans to more than 462,000 today.
National Professional Anglers Association Executive Director Pat Neu welcomed Fishhound.com as the newest supporting partner, and said, “Our organization originated in the heart of the walleye belt, but professional anglers live in every corner of the country. We want Fishhound.com fans to know about our mission and goals, and join our organization.” The NPAA is a non-profit organization focused on growing the sport of fishing and increasing the professionalism of its members.
Patri said, “We want to belong to a group that protects the resources and promotes professionalism among the fishing ranks. We will have a special offer for NPAA members. We also want to carry the message about NPAA to a much larger audience.”
Fishhound.com membership is now counted in the six-figures, he said. “More people are coming to us, because we’ve taken a social media approach by providing reports on 2,800 US waters.” Fishhound creates profiles for members, so that those with similar interests and favorite waters become friends with pro-staffers and guides who do the lake reporting. They also find others to fish with, learn up-to-date lake news, and also post their own stories and photos. “Members also comment on tackle that works and review products they may be testing for Fishhound,” Patri said.
Fishhound.com offers education via the largest field testing program in the country. Anglers may select a free standard membership for local fishing reports, forum participation and receive a monthly $10 gift card. At the $9.95 monthly membership rate, anglers receive $25 in tackle to test and $50 of gift cards per month. The $39 annual members receive $125 worth of product to test and $600 in gift cards per year. Members also earn credits for new product by submitting product reviews. “The benefit to manufacturers is that product testing creates earned media as consumers test, talk about gear and educate others,” Patri said.
The world’s largest market for sharing and influence on the web, ShareThis compiled a list of the web’s most social publishers and said, “Fishhound.com named # 2 in Outdoor & Travel website rankings that reveal the benefits of rich content and audience engagement over sheer scale, identify users with higher purchase intent and pinpoint users who are more inclined to disseminate content widely.”
More than 100 companies are affiliated with Fishhound.com, and Patri said continued growth plans include an expansion into cooking, camping and hunting. “They see us moving product, which is our goal, by targeting those who love fishing and are willing to share their passion. We can help companies from the social media perspective,” he said.
Logo courtesy National Professional Anglers Association