Kyle MeyerNumber 22, June 2, 2015
For Kyle Meyer ’18, the Atlantic Ocean and the Marshes of Glynn are two of his classrooms and you are as likely to find him at the St. Simons Island fishing pier in the village as you are on campus. The avid angler and biology major is also a business owner and entrepreneur. He started his company, Big Boy Baits, five years ago – when he was in middle school.
Meyer’s passion for fishing and his quest for the perfect lure can be traced to micropterus salmoides – the largemouth bass, a freshwater North American gamefish noted for its fight. Making effective lures to catch fish is both a science and an art. Meyer simply turned his hobby into a business as fishing buddies and other anglers began asking where they could buy lures like his.
The Roswell, Georgia native moved to St. Simons Island two years ago, when his family decided to make their favorite vacation destination their home. Meyer finished his senior year at Glynn Academy, graduating in 2014.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” he says. “I love the Golden Isles. The College offers a degree that matches my interests in marine biology and coastal ecology and is close to the ocean as well as home. Works for me.”
Meyer makes his colorful, custom plastic lures for freshwater and saltwater fishing himself: “They are American made - by me! They are hand pored, custom molded and colored, and offer amazing action.”
His lures can be found at St. Simons Bait and Tackle in the village and Kennedy Outfitters on Airport Road, St. Simons Island. Interest in his lures is spreading across the southeast and mid-south. “But 98% of my sales are online, through my website.”
While his personal interest has shifted more towards saltwater, he’s excited about the thriving bass fishery in the nearby Okefenokee Swamp. He also plans to expand his own skills and experience as a fishing guide.
One of his projects is tracking sharks for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – one reason he regularly frequents the St. Simons Island village fishing pier that reaches out towards the ship channel between St. Simons and Jekyll islands.
“We fish with giant reels for eight-to-nine-foot tiger sharks, bull sharks, and hammerheads. It is a tag and release program providing scientific data such as sharks’ migration patterns, size and relative health, and population density,” he explains. He enjoys the ocean-oriented research and conservancy efforts as well as the thrill of the catch – one reason he plans to major in biology with perhaps a minor in business.
Another project is the founding of a CCGA Angling Club. “We have 18 students interested so far. We’ll be a different kind of campus Mariner. If you want to catch a fish, come talk to me,” he concludes. “Not just about lures, but the best places to go fishing!”
To learn more about Big Boy Baits, including how to purchase lures, visit www.bigboybaitco.com or find them on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.