Pro's Choice Marine
Whenever his state's Federation Nation needs someone for a leadership position, Jim Adams can be counted on to fill the void.
After the rift that split the Federation a couple of years ago, Adams took over as the vice president for the Pennsylvania B.A.S.S. Federation Nation. Before that, he served as a district chairman twice. "It's just something I like to do," said Adams. "I was chairman for District 5 for several years. Somebody has to step up to the plate and that's what it really amounts to. When nobody steps up [for Federation Nation offices], I step up."
Because all of his buddies were fishing in the Federation Nation, Adams decided to join the Monriver Bassmasters in 1979. A few years later, Adams and some of his buddies left the club to form the Mariner Bassmasters, and he later started the Road Warriors, his current club.
Before joining the Federation, Adams owned an engineering company, but his interest in boats and motors had him leaning toward a different profession. "I read in the paper that Mariner was looking for outboard motor dealers, and that's what we did," said Adams, who started his Boat/Fish/Fun Shop dealership 28 years ago.
His dealership originally sold pleasure boats, ProCraft bass boats and Mariner outboards. Today the business sells Triton, Ranger, Stroker and Monark bass boats, pontoon boats and Mercury motors. Adams' shop provides full service and replacement parts for boats and motors and sells fishing tackle as a Bass Pro Shop dealer.
Adams has two pro staff anglers from the Federation Nation: Kenny Baumgardner, who qualified for the 2008 Mid-Atlantic Divisional, and John Chaffo. His Federation Nation customers also get discounts from Adams.
When the Pennsylvania team won the 2007 Mid-Atlantic Divisional and the first-place prize of a Triton/Mercury package, the rig was delivered to Adams' dealership. He plans on helping his state Federation Nation raffle off the rig by displaying it at the boat shows his dealership participates in this year.
The boat dealer believes about one-eighth of his sales comes from Federation Nation members. He notices his sales are affected by how often anglers buy new tow vehicles: "Once they buy a new truck, they eventually have to buy a new boat to match the color of the truck," he chuckled.
Although his business has remained steady and he has little competition in his area, Adams believes it is getting tougher to find new customers. "It just seems like we don't have any new blood coming into the whole thing and I don't know what we need to do to stem that," he admitted. "I think that one of our biggest problems is trying to get younger blood back into the sport."