If planning and scheduling a guided fishing trip, charter or lodge is in your future, check Amberjack.com. Its co-founder tells us why.
What is it about a fishing trip that is so satisfying? Why do people seem to be searching to find memorable fishing opportunities more than ever?
“My guess is there’s a sort of movement now that people are talking about, of spending more on experiences rather than just material objects,” said Amberjack.com‘s co-founder Jerome Tufte, someone who has a little more insight on the question than most. “I think that that kind of thinking is really catching on, and so I think regardless of whether the exact trends of booked, guided trips are going up right now, I think it makes a lot of sense that it will go up.”
If booking fishing trips, especially online in a useful, easy, and legitimately enjoyable way, does grow, then Tufte and his partner Joseph Predham are on to something.
Amberjack.com is using the digital guide shop concept and giving people a curated collection of reputable services that will help them find a fishing trip they’ll love. Initial contact, on-going Q&A with a guide, booking, and paying for a trip are all done in one place. They really have founded the core of Amberjack.com on the common belief that folks should spend more time fishing than they do in front of their computers.
Tufte spoke about he and Predham’s joint interest in fishing, then zoomed in on the hatching of Amberjack.com. “We both had the shared experience of going on a couple guided trips, and having that kind of pain-point of feeling like [booking the trip] was a very ’90s process that was very slow. There was a lot of guesswork in finding the right outfitter. The results of that can be kind of hit or miss. But at the same time, we both thought this was one of the coolest things you can do with a day. Any day that you happen to have free, going out on a new body of water with someone who really knows it… it’s just one of the absolute coolest things you can do.”
From there the excitement built, especially when early investor news led to a TechCrunch.com story and produced the sort of buzz not often seen in the outdoor industry. An April launch has turned into about 1,000 outfitters and even more users on Amberjack.com, which Tufte said continues to increase by the week.
A feature that really sets them apart, and helps set the scene for more interactive, user engagement, is the ability for anglers to “borrow” a GoPro camera and full set up, so they can record their trip and share the footage with friends, family, and other Amberjack.com users. Other interesting ideas, like the ones highlighted on their blog (7 Bachelor Party Fishing Trips is a good example), are keeping them on the edge of what’s relevant to today’s traveling fishermen and women.
At least that’s what Tufte is counting on. “First and foremost, a little bit of competition in a space like ours is nothing but a good thing. It’s a welcome thing for us.”
He says what sets Amberjack.com apart, like their technology chops (the user experience is a delight), commitment to design and aesthetics, and their high standards when it comes to outfitters, will help people better understand and appreciate the booking process as something they can trust. Social media is used heavily by Amberjack.com, as a way to reach users and find new ones.
The positive early feedback indicates Amberjack.com is worth checking out, but Tufte urges anyone looking for a fun fishing experience to try it regardless. He hinted at big improvements already coming to the booking process, and an endorsement feature that will further progress the online, social media version of “word-of-mouth.”
“One thing that’s super cool about having a business in this space is that fishing is definitely one of those things that people share with friends and family,” he said. “There’s always a story behind it, which is so cool.”
Amberjack.com might just be the place to write your own.