Hartwell tackle store has college fishing connections

Randy Childers, general manager, feels he is able to build a strong connection with students through fishing, while gaining the benefits of dedicated work ethic, combined with their fishing knowledge and youthful enthusiasm within the store. 

“I like hiring Clemson students from the fishing team because it benefits them, and it benefits us,” Childers said. “They have the fishing knowledge, which helps me a lot, and it gives them a place to work, and we also give them a discount. I try to hire as many as I can, and if they want, I’ll let them work here the whole time they’re in college.”

During his 15 years at the store, Childers has hired around 20 Clemson students, most notably Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brandon Cobb, also a Classic qualifier, and Derek Freeman, who is fishing the pro side of the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series. 

Cobb worked at the store throughout his enrollment at Clemson while a member of the bass fishing team. Childers claimed he was a huge help and very knowledgeable. A long-lasting relationship grew between them, and Cobb visits the store when in the area. 

More recently, a Clemson bass fishing team hire is graduate student Hunter Bond. Bond is aiming for an advanced degree in computer engineering and computer science. Bond has fished for Clemson for five years, having finished fifth place at the 2021 Bassmaster College Series National Championship with his partner, GL Compton. 

Bond learned about the Lake Hartwell Fishing and Marine and Clemson connection through Freeman, a longtime friend, who worked in the store for six years while enrolled at Clemson. Bond considered the benefits of the job and made his decision to reach out to Childers and apply. 

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to explore my knowledge of fishing, and I also love our community and getting to talk to people about fishing,” Bond said. 

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