People Profiles and Passings

Castaneda Shares Livingston Lures Background

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“I’m living my dream,” said Robert Castaneda, inventor of Livingston Lures. Robert learned how to fish at an early age with his father and uncles growing up on the banks of Livingston Bay.

One of the lessons that his father taught him was how to catch bait fish, hook them, and cast them out to catch big bass. He would tell Robert, “fishing is like playing chess, only you have to outsmart the fish.” They would sit in silence for hours to hear the sounds the baitfish would make before casting them out. That sound would follow Castaneda many years later.

Castaneda was in first grade when he caught his first bass and that was the moment that changed the rest of his life. Instead of collecting baseball cards like the other kids, he would be collecting lures. Different shapes, textures, colors, and brands filled up his collection. By the end of his grade school years, Castaneda was the go-to guy for advice on what to use and where. This is when he knew he wanted to make his own lures and began creating, playing with colors, glitters and even feathers.

His love for fishing and creating lures was taken to the next level many years ago during Christmas time. He had received a card from his sister. When he opened the card, it started playing Jingle Bells. It wasn’t the song that caught his attention, but the speaker the song was playing out of. He realized right then that if he could record an injured bait sound inside of a plastic lure he could have, “live bait” all year ’round. It was that moment he decided to take action and follow his dreams.

Robert implemented his idea and technology into his lures and started working. From tournament trails, meetings and other places to converse with anglers, he was dedicated. He and his wife would attend 50 trade shows within a year. Living on cheap coffee and fast food, the two hit the road with their truck overflowing with lures. Finally, after putting the last dimes into his new venture, Livingston Lures got its first lucky break. The hard work was finally paying off when 20 Walmart stores agreed to carry his baits.

He wanted, however, to become a bigger player, achieving nothing less than a national brand and household name for Livingston Lures. His goal was to make the company a global success. Eight months later he met Fred Battah, CEO of SPFM L.P., a global leader and distributor of consumer products who was positioned to take Livingston Lures to that next level. Fred is a true visionary leader who empowers those with an idea.

“I was on a road and then Fred put me on the highway,” Castaneda said.

Castaneda recognizes where the company’s success lies in continuous innovation and bringing the latest technology to the fishing lure industry. The current technology that Livingston Lures has on the market is just scratching the surface to what their future plans hold. Castaneda believes innovations like his Electronic Baitfish Sound (EBS) and Vibration Technology their lures offer will continue to change the future of fishing for anglers of all species. Their new lineup has the pros in their camp buzzing. Randy Howell was jacked about the new baits they are about to release. Look for more coverage of their baits in the next week at ICAST 2013 in Las Vegas.

-Tom Leogrande