Mitch Baker (left) and Mike Baker (right) are the father-son duo behind Catfish Pro of Springdale, Ark. Through the hard-working, entrepreneurial spirit common to small-town America and with the help of their family, they have turned their small business into a highly successful enterprise with a revolutionary bait that has become a disruptive force in the catfishing industry.
After a series of surgeries in 2013 left Mike Baker in the hospital for almost a month, all he really wanted to do was camp down at the Arkansas River and enjoy something he’s enjoyed his whole life – a relaxing weekend fishing for big cats. His wife, Sharon, joined him and together they set out one weekend to do just that.
But instead, he experienced the same frustration that many catfishermen have continued to face: as he cast his line, his bait would go one way and the hook another. Sharon volunteered to leave camp and bring back every type of bait she could find - chicken livers, stink bait, punch bait or any other concoction. If it wasn’t the cast that threw it off the hook it was the current that swept it away or the weak formula which dissolved too quickly.
And that’s when the idea for a bait that will “stay on your hook when nothing else will” and Catfish Pro came to life.
What followed that weekend of frustration was a lot of R&D in Sharon’s kitchen. Mike grew up fishing his whole life so he had a pretty good idea of what catfish wanted. Together with their son, Mitch, they developed the bait using real bait (e.g. real chicken livers, real blood, real shad, etc.) that would stay on your hook, but yet soft enough that it would dissolve slowly to leave a scent trail. The bait is also cube shaped which enables better drag than other rounded baits ensuring a steady release of the scent trail.
As Mike and Mitch began fishing with their new bait, they were easily catching their daily limits and they were also catching the interest of others on the river wanting to know what they were using. In the following months, they perfected the formula with the help of local partner Tyson Foods.
Fast forward six years and Mike now owns and operates Catfish Pro, LLC along with Mitch, who serves as Vice President and brings a solid background in retail experience to the business. And Mitch successfully used that experience to start getting their bait in retail stores and bait shops across America. Today, you can find Catfish Pro bait in over 1,000 retail locations.
Delivering a quality product is ingrained in everything they do and every decision they make. The bait is handcrafted and hand inspected to ensure that every piece that goes into the bag makes the cut. They also demand that same focus on quality as they have expanded their product line to include the best in catfishing rods, hooks and apparel.
The catfishing community is a special group of folks. Catfish Pro wants to help everyone to be successful and have FUN catfishing – whether you’re a seasoned catfisherman looking for a new tip or maybe just a parent that wants their young one’s first fishing experience to be a good one. To support that, we’re launching Catfish Pro Nation, where we can all share our knowledge and our experiences with other catfisherman. Our tips, your tips, our stories, your stories - it won’t get built out overnight, but we hope you’ll join us and join the fun as we begin this next adventure together. Catfish Pro – We bring the FUN.