Shongaloo Outdoors began as brainchild birthed out of Bassin’ In The Boot. With the many contacts in the Louisiana bass fishing industry we had developed earlier last year, many of them had encouraged us to get into the manufacturing side and grow a brand for ourselves, just like we had helped do for a few of them. After a few different folks mentioned this to us we started throwing around the idea of a brand born from Louisiana with the main goal of putting quality outdoors products into the hands of everyday folks at a price point that was affordable. Being involved we knew it had to be something we would be proud to put our name on.
Where do you start with a new venture? Well we thought picking a name would be the tough part. Afterall we already knew what products we wanted to target, or so we thought, and what needs we wanted to meet. Wanting to pay homage to something purely Louisiana we began researching and came across the Indian word Shongaloo. Shongaloo was a word used in the Native American Choctaw languages that has a meaning similar to “cypress trees” and “running water” that is used to describe the shoreline transition from water to trees. Depending on which source you look at, the word was used in various tribes including the Caddo, Choctaw, and of course early settlers to the area that is now known as Shongaloo, Louisiana. Interestingly enough, we only learned of the Village of Shongaloo after we had chosen the name. Nonetheless, we envisioned a company named from something purely Louisianian with dedication to protecting our customers bank account, the way the cypress trees protect the banks of the rivers, lakes and streams across the bayou state.
January 2021, Volume 121
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Once the name was chosen, we ventured out to products based on input from fellow anglers, fellow tackle businesses, and our own interests. Quickly, and with a gentle nudge from circumstances, we quickly found ourselves in the soft plastics production industry. How you may ask? Well you ever have a spur of the moment idea jump out at you and blow up on you? We sure did. Much like the idea for Bassin’ In The Boot, the idea for Shongaloo Outdoors kind of hit us in an instant in time and rather than think it over, we ran with it and have been running ever since.
While visiting with one of tackle shops we covered early in 2020, you know the pre-covid days, if you can remember such a time, the tackle shop owner was talking about his desire to maybe get some in-house plastics, or if nothing else some custom plastics. He’s basically the last stop before a trophy lake of sorts and wanted some very specific soft jerkbaits that he couldn’t keep stocked. Fortunately for him we knew just the guy! Or so we thought. We immediately picked up the phone and reached out to one of our partners, Jayme Parker of Parker Bait Co. Jayme is a jamb-up custom soft plastics guy. He was thrilled to hear we had someone interested in a big order, but torn. He had decided to get out of the soft plastics business and focus on his first born child that would quickly be making an appearance. Undoubtedly a wonderful decision for him and his beautiful family, it opened up an opportunity we knew just wouldn’t last long.
If Jayme was getting out of the game that meant he was looking to sell his setup. For you guys that know custom soft plastics you know this is no small decision. In the moment we were feeling a little down that we were losing one of our favorite soft plastics bait makers, but wondered like the songs say, who’s gonna fill his shoes? In an off-handed discussion we decided why not see what it would take to get into an operation making soft plastics and figured this was the kind of opportunity that doesn’t come by often. A short phone call or two later and we had made a leap of faith into soft plastics.
The next few months were filled with experiments, uh-oh, oh yeahs, and finally settled product lines. Shongaloo Outdoors has had product in stores for several months now, and recently launched an expanded lineup across several locations in central Louisiana, and in talks to expand to more locations in the near future. Aside from our production lineup, which can be found online at www.Shongaloo.com, we also offer custom soft plastics work.
If you want to see our products at work on the water check out some of our team members online such as Central High School out of the Baton Rouge area or find our products in the boat with BASS Open members Connor Rushing and Brian Post, as well as Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series member Tony O'Neal, and several other anglers including team members Tim Morris and Cody Jones. If you want to pick up one of our products for yourself, our current in-store locations include UPAK in Ferriday, LA, Crickett's Hide-A-Way in Gilbert, LA, Lakeview Lodge on beautiful Lake Concordia, Ascension Outdoors in Baton Rouge, Pineville Marine and Holloway Outdoors in the Alexandria/Pineville area, and more locations coming soon!
So whether you need a common item like tungsten weights, underspins, or a fully custom color soft plastic bait, check out a product that is purely Louisiana bred and dedicated to bringing you a quality product at an affordable price to Preauxtect Your Bank!
Left (top), Watermelon Red and Junebug VooDoo Craws. Middle, products stocked in UPAK of Ferriday. Right (bottom), a couple new sac-a-lait colors coming to market soon.
Check out all that Shongaloo Outdoors has to offer by following them on social media at one of the links below or by visiting their website by clicking the link below.
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Left (top), freshly packaged bass baits hanging in the shop heading out to Crickett's Hide A Way in Gilbert. Right(bottom), fresh VooDoo Craws in Watermelon Red ready for packaging.