Grae Bucks Lithium Battery Trend On Pro Tour

by Steve Chaconas


For bass fishing professionals, family support is essential, but corporate financial support allows pros to stay on the road and focus on fishing. Believing business is local, Pennsylvania pro Grae Buck is capitalizing on fishing success. 

   Since 2017, family-owned Nyce Crete and Landis Block and Concrete have sponsored Grae. Bass fans are homeowners, and many manage construction and landscaping companies. Like Grae, this company has Pennsylvania roots and serves their community and supports Philadelphia-based mid-Atlantic youth anglers. 

   Grae’s career took off in 2019 in just his third season as a traveling pro. He took second at an FLW tour event, won a BFL a month later, and then won a B.A.S.S. Open, which qualified him for the Bassmaster Classic. These successes kick-started his fishing career. In 2020 he finished third overall for the FLW angler of the year, securing enough sponsors where he didn’t need to work another job and could focus on fishing. 

  Grae’s YouTube videos demonstrate a variety of gear especially his go-to Z-Man Chatterbaits and soft lures. The company noticed Grae’s confidence in Z-Man and signed him after his Classic qualification and second place FLW finish. Grae introduces new products and techniques, directing people to Z-Man’s website and, also a Pennsylvania company. 

  For boat batteries, Grae bucks the trend. Instead of lithium, Grae relies on Pennsylvania-based East Penn’s DEKA 31 Series AGM Marine Master batteries. He used to run lithium in his BassCat but noticed handling issues attributed to the lack of weight in the back of the boat. High performance bass boats are engineered for that weight to allow them to sit in the water to maintain contact with running surfaces. 

   And AGMs deliver long-lasting power for his Lowrance Ghost trolling motor, five Lowrance graphs, and two Power Pole Blades, handling rough boat rides. East Penn, the biggest battery maker in the country, supports his kids events. Additionally, Grae, with a degree in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State, is proud to represent a company that recycles nearly 100% of every battery, contrasting sharply with the environmental impact of lithium mining and disposal. 

  “Who would have thought that batteries were my most exciting sponsorship.” 

  Sponsors want social media. “I can’t count on winning and fishing well, I have to put it all together.” He says it’s more important to respect yourself on social media and know who you are instead of focusing on pure entertainment. Grae is responsive to fans, maintaining his presence, and answering questions. 

  Grae delivers 10,000 Facebook followers, 40,000 Instagram followers, and 4,000 YouTube subscribers. Cross promoting these platforms, he makes photo and video posts with sponsor products to improve reach. “Likes” are beyond his control so he sets realistic posting goals and forwards posts to sponsors in quarterly reports. 

   Companies compete for the best pro staff. Sponsor budgets are being cut, but Grae believes outworking other anglers will win him sponsor support. The bottom line: old fashioned relationship building and believing in sponsors has led to his promotional success.

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