BASS Members in Business: Luke Payne


Pro's Choice Bassmasters

Warsaw, Mo.

Pro's Choice Marine

Payne is around fishermen all the time, at work and at play. Although he owns boat dealer Pro's Choice Marine, he still makes time to fish in Federation Nation tournaments.

In fact, Payne has been successful at the Federation Nation level, having qualified for two Federation Nation Championships. He even won the 2005 Central Divisional. A year later, he competed at the 2006 Central Divisional, where he shared a boat with customer (and Elite Series pro) James Kennedy of Louisiana and pro staff member Shawn Holly of Iowa.

Payne's relationship with the Federation Nation has been filled with plenty of camaraderie and sales opportunities. "The Federation Nation is where everybody starts. It is a great group of guys," he said. "Federation Nation members are the grass-roots anglers and the most important guys out there because they are the guys buying the boats. They get one size of boat one year and then get the next size boat the next year."

The Triton Boats dealer joined the Federation Nation when he was 16 years old and fished in a Kansas City club for 10 years. He now has his own club, Pro's Choice Bassmasters, which meets every two months at Payne's dealership. "About 20 of us use other circuits as our club events, and at the end of the year we form a state team," said Payne.

Payne's passion for fishing led him to open Pro's Choice Marine in October 2000. "I loved the fishing industry and I grew up around a car lot since my dad had a couple of car dealerships," he said. "I didn't like the car business, so I decided to get in the boat business instead."

The dealership sells a full line of Triton boats ranging from fiberglass and aluminum bass boats to pontoon boats. "We do everything from outboards to inboards and Mercury warranty work and service for every make and model," said Payne. "We sell boats pretty much everywhere. I've always said I want to be known as the place to come buy a bass boat whether you live in California, Missouri or New Hampshire."

The business has supported the Federation Nation by donating gifts and draw prizes to clubs and offering $1,000 rebates on the purchase of a new boat for active Federation Nation members. "We also give a $1,000 rebate to all the guys who make the state team and a $2,000 rebate for the purchase of a new boat to the guy who wins the state team [at the divisional]," disclosed Payne.

The Triton dealer hopes to develop a closer relationship with the Missouri B.A.S.S. Federation Nation (MOBASS) now that the state chapter has changed sponsors.

"I'm excited about that," he said. "I am looking forward to doing something with my state since this will be the first year MOBASS is signed up with the Alliance Program."

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