Carp Camo Clothing - from Wisconsin to the Lakes of EuropeOriginal Fishouflage finds new markets abroad
The central Wisconsin-based casual camouflage designer Fishouflage has entered the European market by licensing its new European Carp pattern – seeing strong 2018 Q1 results from its introduction in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
“American anglers might be thinking, ‘Seriously? Carp?’ said Mark Kaiser, executive vice president. “But Europeans are as passionate about their carp as we are about our Bass and Walleye.”
Bank fishing is a popular social, competitive, and recreational activity for European fishing enthusiasts, who generally don’t own boats, like many fishermen in the states. Instead, fishermen pack their camping and fishing gear and head down to their favorite lake --or “pool” -- to spend the weekend.
“In Europe, Carp is king— they’re treated with reverence,” Kaiser said. “When a carp is landed, they are placed on “unhooking mats” and the hook is gently removed to avoid injury. It’s a deep-rooted tradition in the carping community.”
Both Common Carp and Mirror Carp are popular among anglers -- with the Mirror Carp having a unique leathery appearance. Anglers that are familiar to certain areas can identify and even name individual fish – documenting weights and date of catch.
Fishouflage currently offers eight lifestyle fish patterns on dozens of items in men's, women's and youth casualwear, headwear, home and gift items, and vinyl vehicle graphics for trucks and boats (all available online at Fishouflage.com or at Amazon.com). The company also licenses to several premium brands that offer a variety of items such as seat covers, tackle bags and even ice fishing tip-ups featuring patented Fishouflage patterns.
The company’s European Carp pattern is licensed to the legendary Colorado-based company Exxel Outdoors for use on their Master Sportsman Brand – which is distributed throughout the UK and Europe by their retail partner from the Netherlands, Bemontex.
Fishouflage, headquartered in Hortonville, Wisconsin, was developed in the heart of the Midwest, embracing the regions long-standing fishing tradition. Founders Gary and Paul Bernegger understand the significance of a strong brand -- they are the son and grandson of Fritz Bernegger, founder of Hillshire Farm Company, an 80-year old legacy brand in the food industry. The Berneggers' passion for the Wisconsin fishing tradition led to a discussion about developing a new, unique camouflage - one that connected anglers in the same way that traditional camo connects hunters.
“All Fishouflage patterns are founded on the ‘camo-lifestyle’ that has become the signature look for outdoor enthusiasts,” said Paul Bernegger, co-founder and President. “We typically invest 18 months in the development of each gamefish pattern and hold a U.S. Patent for its unique style. Fishouflage is the original casual camo for the fishing world.”
New fish species patterns are always under consideration for development at Fishouflage. While the company tends to keep new patterns under wraps, Bernegger hinted that 2019 might be a good year for the fashion-forward trout fishermen.