History


It’s not just our incredible inventory of rods, reels, and baits, or our angler-friendly staff that make Fish’N Stuff special. The down-home tackle store culture at Fish’N Stuff has grown out of its long history, born of hard-working people with big dreams. It’s a story of passion, family, community, and a love for Natural State fishermen. That’s what started it, and that’s what keeps it alive and growing today.

It all started in 1987 with outdoors enthusiasts Judy and Gary Gould. Gary was doing advertising and marketing for companies like Bass Cat and Bagley Baits, and he was tasked with naming, packaging, and promoting new baits among other things. Both of them loved fishing and being around other anglers. When Judy and Gary got the opportunity to open their first location for the store, it was a dream come true. Judy recalls coming up with the name “Fish’N Stuff” with the whole family gathered round, and they immediately knew it was right.

“When we first opened, we didn’t have anything compared to what we have now,” Judy said, “But we thought we had the world.” In those days, everything was on a smaller scale. “We didn’t go to market back then,” Judy said, “We just ordered whenever we felt like we needed something, and we’ve always listened to the customer about what they needed and wanted.”

“In the earlier days, Gary would occasionally run the cash register and we would holler at
 him because he couldn’t run it without making a mess!” Judy said. “One time he rang up a sale for $27,000 when it should have been $27. He wasn’t allowed to run the cash register after that!” Judy chuckled as she recalled customers that would tease Gary about that whenever they saw him.

The store’s selection is bigger now and more organized, but the customer -oriented aspect of the business remains the same. Throughout the years, Fish’N Stuff moved from that first location to a second, and then a third. The store picked up regular customers along the way and even “adopted” a few very special family members.

If you’ve been into Fish’N Stuff much in the last 25 years, you probably met Vince Miller. . . and he probably knows your name. Vince started working with Judy and Gary around 1990 and never left, even when they did. “Vince and I learned the business together,” Judy said. Now that Judy has retired, she still considers Vince part of the family. “He even takes me fishing sometimes,” she said. When Vince first started working with the store, he was already running a tournament called Angler’s Choice. From there, he started putting on multiple tournaments in the state of Arkansas including the Tuesday Night Tournament (TNT), which remains one of the most popular tournament series on the Arkansas River.

Chase Myers began working at Fish’N Stuff in 2014 while he was still in high school. “Chase is just an awesome employee,” Judy said. “He and Vince both are. They both really know what they’re talking about and are true outdoorsman. Everybody likes them.” When the Perkins family bought Fish’N Stuff in the summer of 2016, we immediately knew how special Vince and Chase were and will continue to be to the Fish’N Stuff family.

Alan and Kim Perkins bought the store with their son, Jacob, who trained to be a manager under Judy. “Jacob was just like a sponge, soaking up every aspect of it,” Judy said. “We had fun, and I could tell that this family was a perfect fit to pass along our family business.” Now that the business has entered a new chapter, the two families remain friends. Even the old shop dog, Bandit, got to pass on his post to the new shop dog, Chevy.

The Perkins family is excited to carry on the Gould family legacy and continue to provide the kind of service and atmosphere that our customers deserve. We just want to help you catch fish, and have a lot of fun in the process. So come on in, y’all. The water’s fine.