11-year-old Grand Forks is expanding his outdoor horizons with a fishing tackle business


March 11—GRAND FORKS — When it comes to the outdoors, there’s no offseason for Jackson Olson.

Fall hunting. Ice fishing in winter. Open water fishing in spring and summer. A YouTube channel called

Share memories outdoors

for documenting some of these adventures.

As if that weren’t enough, now the 11-year-old from Grand Forks is expanding his outdoor horizons even further by getting into the fishing tackle business, launching a line of hand-tied spinners and flats. -forms of live bait under the “Jack’s Tackle”. Mark.

Spinners and live bait are of course essential accessories in any angler’s open water fishing arsenal.

“It was just like something that seemed like fun to do in my spare time,” said Jackson, a fifth grader at J. Nelson Kelley Elementary School in Grand Forks, on a recent Monday night while tying up spinners at the kitchen table with the occasional help from her father, Brad. “It was pretty much just my dad asking me (if I wanted to do spinners), and I said sure.”

Mastering the snell’s knot to tie the hooks was the trickiest part, Jackson says, but it gets easier with coaching from his dad.

“He taught me (how to tie spinners), and it was a quick learner, I thought,” Jackson said. “I watched a lot of fishing videos,” too.

The young entrepreneur’s tackle business is only a few weeks old, but Home of Economy stores in Grand Forks and Devils Lake and Gene’s Sport Shop in Perham, Minnesota, have already signed on to haul spinners and live bait. And on Thursday, the Grand Forks Scheels store agreed to sell the product, Brad Olson said.

Jack’s Tackle spinners consist of 5ft snells made with 10lb test Berkley XT monofilament line, VMC brand #2 hook and blades and beads in a variety of colors no walleye could resist. The goal, Jackson says, is to attach 10 to 12 spinners and live bait rigs per night to build up his inventory.

The first batch of Jack’s Tackle was delivered to Home of Economy on Tuesday, March 8. So far he has tied around 70 spinners with the help of his father and older brother, Carter.

“It’s fun to watch him learn and grow, and it’s been a rewarding experience to see that I taught him how to do it and then his passion that he wants to do it,” Brad Olson said of the his son’s fishing tackle business. “It’s not like I do it – he does it on his own.”

Jackson says he hopes to have his spinners and live bait rigs in more stores — “as many as possible,” to be exact. Brad Olson, who has worked in the sporting goods retail industry for more than 17 years and is a partner in Northern Lights Plastics, a small company that markets UV-infused soft plastic fishing bait, said helped Jackson get his foot in the door with his first commission.

“But you’re going to talk to stores in the future, aren’t you – so you can learn how to do it?” Brad Olson said to his son.

“Finally,” Jackson replies.

A whole process

Linking spinners and live bait rigs is only part of the process. The tackle should also be properly wrapped so that it comes out of the bag ready to go without getting tangled up like spinners and live bait tend to do. They bought the bags online; Jackson’s mother, Jaime, took the photo on the parcel’s header; and Jackson’s grandmother, Pauline Olson of Hallock, Minnesota, designed the logo.

“It’s like a picture and it says Jack’s Tackle and it’s like a dock and a boat,” Jackson said, explaining the wrap in the low-key manner of a fifth grader. “And then it says where you can order it.”

Because Jackson is a minor, Brad Olson says he registered the upstart company under his name with both the office of the North Dakota secretary of state and the office of the state tax commissioner.

He was able to do everything online.

“It’s actually pretty easy,” Olson said.

Being the budding entrepreneur that he is, Jackson says he also plans to start selling gold jigs. For starters, at least, they’ll stick to painting lead-head jigs that are already cast instead of dealing with hot lead, says Brad Olson.

Most weekends, of course, will still be spent hunting and fishing, activities that Olson and his two sons certainly participate in more than most.

“I’m the only one in my class who hunts and fishes more than once a year,” Jackson proclaimed.

When does he find time to do his homework?

“I don’t have homework,” he said with a hint of a smile.

For more information on Jack’s Tackle, email

[email protected]


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