Deep South Tackle
Custom Painted Crankbaits
July 2020, Volume 115
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On a recent trip to Baton Rouge I met up with a guy named Don Jones. With a name like Don Jones, you would almost think country music star. Well I didn’t hear any country music but I sure got entertained learning about Deep South Tackle.
Don has been operating his Facebook page for a few months now painting crankbaits and other hard bass baits. An instrumentation electrician by trade, he sometimes works 4, 5, 6 days a week for 40, 50,60 hours but like many of us Don has a dream.
Don told me that while growing up in Mississippi, “I always dreamed of fishing for a living.” Although that didn’t work out, because “we just have to simply give up on dreams or put them on hold and go to work.” Don has been in the electrical business for a while now but during the COVID-19 pandemic he found himself laid off from work. This unfortunate turn of events created the time and opportunity to rekindle a passion for fishing.
Fishing was definitely something he was interested in getting into as a hobby and business and from this his passion for painting crankbaits was born; Don had the idea to launch Deep South Tackle. There's some talent in our state in the bass bait business and no doubt that’s what we've come across right here in Baton Rouge.
Just a small sample of some of the incredible works by Deep South Tackle's Don Jones.
I was chatting on the phone with Don and told him I'd come by and take a look at the shop and we could do an article. I was met with a big chuckle, he said, “I don't have a shop, just my table out in my garage.” I told him that was no problem but I'd love to come by and see the operation. We love to support guys just like this with great quality work competing with the chain retailers.
Once I pulled in the neighborhood, parked out front and took the walk around back sure enough there in the garage was the painting station table. I thought surely the crankbaits I had seen online didn't come from a small table in the corner of a garage but I was wrong. It turned out they actually did!
I picked up several crankbaits pulling from selections of what he called rejects. These were some just not up to the Deep South standard and had been pushed aside because of small blemishes. Well I tell you what his rejects were amazing and I left there with 15 or 20 in tow and I promise you I'll be putting them to work catching fish.
Don is a perfectionist and everything he turns out has to pretty much be perfect, so a little smudge or a little overlay that didn't meet his eye's approval gets rejected. At the Bassin’ in the Boot Thursday night tournament I shared the baits I had brought back with a few friends. I wanted them to take a look at it and see what they thought. I like to get other people's opinion and one of our anglers told me, “I'd be scared to tie that on sitting in the boat because if I dropped it overboard it might just swim off!” Don Jones paints crankbaits that are that realistic.
Don Jones is a great tackle resource in Baton Rouge and if you want to support great talent click on over to Deep South Tackle, especially if you’re in the custom crankbait market. The price range varies but it's like anything else you get what you pay for. I'm sure you can run down to Walmart and get you a $5.99, $6.99 or $7.99 crankbait, you can even get one with some famous people’s face on it but if you want one that looks lifelike then you want a Deep South Tackle Custom Crankbait. As always get out and Geaux Bassin' and support your local businesses!
Another handpainted crank from Deep South Tackle.
A smart guy once attributed his success to standing on the shoulders of giants; here we see over the shoulder of a giantly talented artisan.
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