For our first blog entry I thought I would tell you what we are all about here at Atko. It is best explained by a story and although I'm going to tell you mine, you probably have one of your own that relates.
Not long after my wife and I got married we went to visit my grandparents who lived on the Gulf coast of Florida. My grandfather had a 21ft saltwater fishing boat, though he rarely fished, he loved to explore the coastal waterways. He volunteered to take me fishing out into the open gulf waters. It was Autumn and the bait fish migration was in full swing along the coast. In fact the fish were feeding like crazy almost right up to the beach. We stopped at a bait place and bought some live grunts to use as bait. When we went to put them in the livewell we found out that it didn't work. Although his boat was in pristine condition, since he never used the livewell, it had seized up. We threw the grunts in a bucket of water and hoped for the best. As we exited the jetties into the open water you could see fish attacking the bait fish everywhere. I saw what I was sure was very large kingfish jumping airborne. It wasn't long before we were out what I deemed far enough and I started rigging up. I didn't have proper boat roads because I had just brought gear for beach and jetty fishing. I hooked the first live grunt up and chucked it out behind the boat on a 9' surf rod and let it drift behind the boat. I then went on to start rigging up other rods. In a fraction of a second I saw that rod bend flat toward the sea, drag screaming, then straighten up and flatten out toward the sea again. All the while the line is screaming off the spinning reel. My heart nearly beat out of my chest as I grabbed the rod. For a split second I felt the beast on the end of the rod, then just as fast it was gone. I reeled in the line to find the leader cut. In my haste to get fishing I had opted to leave the mono leader on and not replace it with wire. I rerigged with wire, went to the bucket of grunts to find them dead. There I was with no more bait, and my mind was lit on fire imagining the beast below the surface with my name on it that I let get away.
That feeling, that excitement, that passion and fire of knowing that somewhere out there is a monster lurking below the surface with your name on it...that is what we are about. We lay awake at night dreaming about that one moment when it happens, when preparation and perseverance finally bring us to cross paths with our monster. Here at Atko we want to help you get ready for that moment.