Welcome to The Land Show, our weekly podcast where we discuss anything and everything related to land and investing in land. From farming to hunting, fun seasonal events to wild game recipes, we have a little something for everyone.
The first segment of this week’s edition is transcribed below, or click here to listen to the entire show online or subscribe to the podcast.
Announcer: It’s time for a new edition of the Land Show, with Dave and Johnny. On the show today with the guys, Russell Hanson, the inventor of Bio Bait. Rick Born is in studio, Russ Walters with your farmland report. Chuck Sikes, the director of Wildlife and Fresh Water Fisheries, and of course the Wild Man himself, Tim Baker. So sit on back, relax and enjoy a new edition of The Land Show with Dave and Johnny.
Dave Milton: Hey everybody welcome to The Land Show with Dave and Johnny, it’s a beautiful Saturday morning, first weekend of spring, I’m here with my good friend Johnny B. Goode, Johnny B. how ya doin’?
Johnny Goode: I’m blessed man, hey, how wonderful has this pretty weather been this week?
Dave Milton: Man, I love it, it’s just, turkey seasons openin’ up, and we’re goin to have Chuck Sikes on here later on, I think he went turkey huntin’ this mornin’, might have a little surprise for us. Might bring him right into the studio here, have a little turkey, you ever had turkey sushi?
Johnny Goode: No, I haven’t. But I’m open.
Dave Milton: Me neither, but I want you to have the first bite.
Johnny Goode: I’m open to most anything. Well, man, it has been a blessing after all the winter gloom that we’ve had and all the rain that we’ve had to have a week of pretty weather, is just unbelievable.
Dave Milton: It’s nice man, and great fishin’ weather. I know the fisherman like me are gettin’ excited, the bass is startin’ to bite, the dogwoods are bloomin’. You know what that mean, that means it’s crappie time.
Russell Hanson, founder of Bio Bait
Johnny Goode: Well man, you are tee-in’ us up, our first guest is going to talk to us all about some fishing. We’re going to go over to a part of the state that’s near and dear to my heart, over to Livingston, Alabama. And we have got a great guest who knows a lot about fishing on the phone with us, Mr. Russell Hanson, he is the inventor of Bio Bait over there. Russell, how are you today?
Russell Hanson: I’m good, guys. How are y’all?
Johnny Goode: Aw, doin’ well. Always makes me happy to talk to somebody from the Livingston area, I spent four good years of my life over there really enjoyed that part of the world, and so it’s good to have you on. Mr. Hanson, tell us about yourself. I mean tell us, you know we’re going to talk about your baits in just a minute, but are you from the Livingston area originally?
Russell Hanson: Yeah, I’m born and raised in Livingston. I graduated from UWA actually, when it was Livingston University.
Johnny Goode: Old LU, I hear you. Well, I came a few years after you did, but my first year was the year they changed the name from LU to UWA over there. I came in the same time as one of your neighbors and good friends, Dr. Archie Hooper over there. Anybody that lives in Livingston or West Alabama knows that name for sure, and Archie’s a good friend of mine. But, Russell tell us about, I mean you’ve been a fisherman for a long time, but a few years ago I guess several years ago now you invented a bait. Tell us about Bio Bait and what that is.
Russell Hanson: I’ll give the short story, but in 2003 I went to a big fish tournament at Dream Lake and sponsored a boat. Frontlet Academy was havin’ a fundraiser and they caught some fish that were eight pound frames that were about five and half pound fish, so skinny. I got to talkin’ to Paul and I asked him, “Man, what’s the deal don’t you feed these fish?” And he said, “Man, they’ll pick up them baits off the bottom, can’t digest it and they’ll have a false sense of fullness and they’ll starve to death.” So anyways, that was kinda the initial outfit, and so what we set out to do was to make a magic…to make a bait that would go away in a fish’s gullet in two weeks and that’s not what we did we stumbled on to the best blessing. What we do have we got US patent, but it’s water soluble, and that depends on the conditions. I mean, UV has played a part of it, water plays a part of it, PH in the water plays a part of it. And these things, I’ve seen them go 80% away in 2 and a half years, and I’ve seen them to, in five years were 60% gone away, so it just depends on where it’s at.
Johnny Goode: Sure.
Russell Hanson: But what it is, it’s a natural based, it’s not a flat, it’s not standard class at all, we call it bio sauce. The bio sauce is infused with fish oil and so, as you’re getting this degradation, you’re releasing a fish oil scent from it. And we all know how fish react to scent. It just doesn’t dry out like some of the others do. I know you see of the other stuff, you lay around on decks with boats, in 30 minutes in the sun, it looks like a 3 day old fish died. There’s none of that, but really the thing that excites me most of all, I saw it posted this week. Somebody, well actually, the coach of the fishing team up here, UWH, made a post, he’s got 18 fish on one bait.
Johnny Goode: Wow.
Russell Hanson: And left with the same bait, when they had to leave. We’re catching 15 to 20 fish on a soft flat bait. Before we discard it.
Johnny Goode: Right. That’s unheard of in any kind of fishing, really, I mean, you know, a lot of these guys are changing baits after one or two fish, aren’t they?
Russell Hanson: That’s right. Well, I got a bait company, I don’t have to fish with wore out bait. And, you know, I’ll usually, my standard MO when I fish my whole life, Imma bank walker. I throw a half dozen worms in my pocket and walk around the bank and after two fish, I’m changing it. Or bite off an inch of the worm, there’s no more, none of that anymore.
Johnny Goode: Okay, well, good deal.
Russell Hanson: What has happened right here, we got bio bait original and we got bio bait DNA. And I have a thousand people asking me what DNA stand for, I guess we’re gonna say, Do Not Ask. But, we really need to have a contest and let somebody, but this is off the same DNA as original…
Johnny Goode: Okay.
Russell Hanson: But what they are, they are painted bait. We robotically paint ’em. And it’s the match the hat deal. It’s species specific. If you’re fishing at a place that has threadfin shad, you got a bait that looks exactly like a threadfin shad. If you’re fishing in a place where two months after the bass spawn and you’ve got 3 inch bass dangling, you can fish with a bass dangling that looks like a bass dangling.
Johnny Goode: Yeah, it does. And I was gonna tell Dave, you and I did a FaceTime call, earlier and you showed me some of these and Dave, they look just like the fry. Whatever the fingering was, whatever it is, that you’re fishing with, it is so realistic, Mr. Hanson.
Russell Hanson: Well, I appreciate it. And the way, a gentleman named Paul, and Paul found it, he had mastered this process and we just got lucky on it. He came to us, it was a god send, and before he walked out of the room, Eric Piker, which is the CEO of Fishing Innovation, that’s who licensed it. But Eric bought 50% or 49% or something of his business the first time he met, before he let him out the room.
Johnny Goode: Wow.
Russell Hanson: You know, so it’s all, I’m really, it’s been a long time coming.
Johnny Goode: Yeah, for sure.
Russell Hanson: A long time, and I got to the point with this thing, I just need some closure on it, you know?
Johnny Goode: Sure.
Russell Hanson: It’s kinda consuming me, but I got hooked up with someone good guys, some good people, and we are, we got ’em, I’ve got a 7,000 foot office about 200 yards from my house, I can see it from where I’m sitting if I’m sitting. And they’re down there painting these baits in Livingston, Alabama as we speak.
Johnny Goode: Yeah.
Russell Hanson: And the intention is, by the 4th of July, having an injection molding and all of that.
Johnny Goode: Yeah, I mean, and your plans…
Russell Hanson: That’s a big deal for this small…
Johnny Goode: Yeah, for sure, any of the small towns where you get any new manufacturer moving in, but especially in that part of the state, with this kind of manufacturing. You told me, how many baits are y’all thinking that you’ll be able to produce a day over there?
Russell Hanson: Right now, they can do about, they got the capacity, and all they’re doing here right now is the paint. But they had the capacity to do 25, 30,000 baits a day, now, out here. This thing, this thing, it doesn’t take very much to scale it up to 800,000, to a million a day.
Dave Milton: Wow.
Johnny Goode: That’s a lot of fishing lures.
Russell Hanson: And that’s when we all go fishing. You know, it’s, we’ve had, I think I told you on the phone earlier that we went up there and we met with Dr. Ken Tucker which is the president of the UWA. And his thing and him and the mayor and the state and got everybody all at one table, gave him the business plan and talked to him and we’re working out a little deal with UWA, where, it’s kind of a co-op type deal. But we’re gonna work with UWA or they’re gonna work with us, they’re being very gracious. And right now, 5 members of the UWA bass club got their practice in the morning, and uh, they’re down here helping us with the bait in the evening. And, well, you know, if you’re 18, 20 year old kid, who likes to fish, and you get to be part of working that bait shop, I just can’t think of life being any better for me when I was 18.
Johnny Goode: Yeah.
Dave Milton: Russell, hey, Russell, just let me ask you a quick question, I’m a bass fisherman, for our listeners that may be interested in the product, tell us about the product lines that you offer, sounds like you make some grubs and you make worms and you make some for embedded, you make some for an embedded hook, you make some for an exposed hook, is that correct?
Russell Hanson: Yeah, these things got a lot of shrimp base, got a flap on it for embedded hooks, but they’ve got an S worm, a little bow on it, it’s an S worm, 3.75 shrimp bait, got the mold made now for a 6 and a half inch shrimp bait. Crawfish line, they call a Bama craw, got the entire route of where they’ve been. The biggest thing out there are tube big. I don’t know many west Alabama rednecks fish tube.
Johnny Goode: No.
Russell Hanson: No, man, really, but out there, they ice fish. But we’re expanding that line all the time, but I told Johnson earlier, his molds are being close to 10 grand a piece, so you gotta spend your money wisely.
Johnny Goode: Yeah, it’s expensive. Well, hey, listen, we can talk about all that, we need to know, do they work? Now tell us, can you catch some fish on these things Russell?
Russell Hanson: My opinion doesn’t count, you know that. But what I am, I’m a serious guy, I love to fish. I love, I fish every day of my life. And, I’ve got a little trophy bass pond, out here in Livingston, and I’ve got some friends of mine to pass on. My whole life, biggest bass I ever caught for a long time was 7, 3/4s. In the last ten years, I have caught, course, I’m in some lakes that got big fish.
Johnny Goode: Yeah, you are.
Russell Hanson: The best I did, I caught 266 between 5 and 3/4, ten and a half, in a season.
Johnny Goode: That’s pretty strong.
Russell Hanson: Best I done in my lake, I caught 24 fish that weighed 125 pounds in one morning.
Johnny Goode: Wow.
Russell Hanson: But, last year, I caught 3 twelve 8s in three different impoundments, last year, on these baits.
Johnny Goode: Yeah, those are fish of a lifetime, so you’re catching big bass.
Dave Milton: Russell, if you will, I’ll make a deal with you, I got a ten acre bass lake behind my house and I got one behind my office and we’re on the show and we do a bunch of stuff on the internet. You send me some of your best baits, I’ll catch some big bass and I’ll put it out, I’ll endorse your product, you send me some baits.
Russell Hanson: We can do that, I’ll do you better than that, y’all two load up, and come to Livingston.
Johnny Goode: Yes, sir.
Russell Hanson: I’ll take you to a place where I saw 14 and half fishing I have caught.
Johnny Goode: Dave likes to fish now, but now he has to ride in the back of the boat, Russell. He has to be in the back.
Russell Hanson: My job at this point, I’m what you a strong in it’s really not up to me at this point, but what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna promote this bait, and nothing can promote this bait better than a picture of a kid, especially, with a big fish. I’m all about taking the kids fishing. You guys are welcome, and I will send you some bait.
Johnny Goode: Well, Russell, I’m excited about your bait. I’m excited for you. You’ve put – like anybody that invents something or starts a business. I mean, it is a long, uphill push until you get traction. And I’m excited that it looks like it’s all gonna happen for you here In Livingston. Y’all already building baits, it looks like by July 4th, y’all will be up and running. And if somebody wants to get more information about your product, and if they want to try this out for themselves, how do they do that?
Russell Hanson: They can go to biobait.com, and you can get all the bio bait you want to, with these products online, there’s actually, my hardware store here in Livingston, Simple Supply, Mike Powell, carries that bait. We’ve hooked up with a bunch of distributors this spring, at the dealer show, we’re fixing to have this product out there where you can get it. Is thing moving as fast I want it to move, absolutely not, is it moving at light speed? Compared to where I’ve been in the past, absolutely.
Johnny Goode: Right.
Russell Hanson: We got a good product, if I was gonna tell anybody listening, all of this story, is this idea was 2003. Now, I’m a contractor, I’m not a chemist, I’m a contractor. The moral of this story is this is still the United States of America and you can still do anything that you put your mind to, and the moral of this story is don’t quit.
Johnny Goode: Yeah.
Russell Hanson: Don’t quit.
Johnny Goode: Well, I think that’s great advice, ’cause this has been a decade and a half pursuit for you, and I really hope everything works out for you in the next 3 or 4 months, and it really gets legs and takes off. I appreciate you being on the show today, one more time, give us that website.
Russell Hanson: Biobait.com.
Johnny Goode: Alright.
Russell Hanson: And if you go to biobait.com, you can find out more information and if this thing goes as we hope it is, we’re gonna expand this thing pretty quick, where we’re working a lot of people who need us in Alabama and come see us.
Johnny Goode: Well, you please keep us in mind when you’re rich and famous, that The Land show still wants to go fishin’ with you, Dave and I.
Russell Hanson: Look, I drive a 20 year old truck, I told my buddies, y’all gonna tell when I get rich, with the house. You gonna buy a truck? No, I’m gonna wrap this one in Bio Bait.
Johnny Goode: I like it, I like it a lot. Well, y’all, it’s been a real pleasure for us to have Russell Hanson on, he is the inventor and founder of Bio Bait, there in Livingston, Alabama. Mr. Hanson, we appreciate you being on the show with us today.
Russell Hanson: Thank you guys.
Johnny Goode: Dave, that sounds exciting, man, I love to hear good things happening to the town of Livingston, and you and I are gonna have to take Russell up on going fishing.
Dave Milton: Well, we gonna take it up and Russell will send me a goodie bag and I will try them all, and I’ll catch big bass, and if it works the way I think, especially, I always stock crawfish. In my pound here, pretty soon, have a little boil at my house, so that’s a great time to run a little crawfish plastic through there. So, hopefully he’ll send me some of those crawfish and we can load up.
Johnny Goode: Ah man, Whitney and I went to one this last weekend, first crawfish boil of the year, it’s hard to beat that. Our good friend, Cooper Holmes, hosted one at his house, so it is that time man.
Dave Milton: It is.
Johnny Goode: It is crawfish time. Hey, y’all, stay with us, we’re gonna take a quick break, we’ll be back for more of The Land Show with Dave and Johnny.