Admittedly, the words “catfish” and “celebrity” fit together about as well as boats and bananas; Snoopy rods and shark hooks; jet skies and honey holes. Not exactly the smoothest pairings on the planet.
So maybe “celebrity” is a bit of a stretch. As far as the catfishing coneissuers at Rippin Lips are concerned, however, anyone who lives and breathes the lifestyle is A-ok. Even better if those anglers are on the water every day, pioneering and perfecting new tackle and techniques, all while notching wins on catfish circuits nationwide. And while tournaments and competitive catfishing aren’t for everyone, there’s no better laboratory for developing and testing new bait and equipment.
Rippin Lips—progressive purveyors of dependable, cutting-edge catfish gear— has recognized this since day one. Along the way, the All-American catfish company has partnered with some of the better kitty chasers in the country. And if these folks happen to sign an autograph or kiss a few babies along the way, well, that’s ok with us.
One of the best known and respected catfish anglers in the U.S.A., John Jamison has been instrumental in developing and popularizing many leading edge tactics, including bait-walking, boat control and use of modern electronics. The friendly, down-to-earth angler hails from the small town of Spring Hill, Kansas, near his favorite river, the big muddy Missouri. Here, Jamison has boated literally tons of big cats, including a few blues over 90-pounds. Along with tournament partner Mark Thompson, he’s won many of catfishing’s biggest events, including the Cabela’s King Kat and Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest.
He’s also been featured in dozens of national catfish articles, and has appeared as a regular guest on shows such as In-Fisherman TV. To boot, he’s seemingly ever on the road and in front of the crowd, teaching the finer points of catching cats during seminars throughout the country.
A key player in the development of Rippin Lips bait and tackle, Jamison is currently on assignment, working on several new confidential catfish products, set for release in early 2014. Word has it he’s been boating some real whales, using an interesting new bait and technique. Stay tuned.
The husband and wife team of James and Janet Fox have been fishing national catfish tournaments, including the Cabela’s King Kat circuit, together since 2003. James and Janet have won multiple events, including the 2011 King Kat tournament on the Monongahela River near Morgantown, WV. James, known as “Bink” by his catfishing cronies, started the Ohio Hills Catfish Club in 1997—a local circuit in which the couple has won Angler of the Year honors three times—and has now teamed up with the local Mason, West Virginia, Wal-Mart to host a catfish tournament for the Children’s Miracle Network.
The Fox’s love traveling to other states and fishing for cats, pushing the limits of Rippin Lips rods, circle hooks and other equipment. So far, reports offer nothing but glowing praise for their favorite catfish brand. The Ohio based catfish couple has a son and twin granddaughters.
A rising star in catfishing circles, Justin Cook has won several major tournaments in and around his native Missouri. He consistently finishes in the top 5 on the Cabela’s King Kat Circuit. This past season, fishing with his pal John Jamison, Cook wrestled an 80-pound blue during a KC Catfish event on the Missouri River.
Another Missouri tournament pro, Marty Gerloff is a talented catman who competes in regional tournaments, as well as the Cabela’s King Kat and KC Catfish, which he’s won several times. Gerolff and Cook remain key Rippin Lips confidants, each instrumental in assuring the quality, durability and “fishability” of the company’s many products.
Image courtesy Rippin Lips