Skeeter Warner, the founder and creator of Skeeter's Batter It Up!, has quite a story. His love for fishing, and the quest to perfect the finest fry mix has led him on a journey that has created a great product.
Growing up in the small town of Homer, Michigan is a pretty fun experience. During the Late 80's and through the 90's; It was nothing for a country kid to have a local sports celebrity wave at you as he drove by. If you passed Skeeter when towing his big bass boat, flashing his signature smile and giving a friendly wave, the guy next to you would ask if you knew Skeeter... Yes, it was the famous Fishing Champion, Skeeter Warner.
Although Skeeter will usually dismiss such descriptions, there is a local status symbol that comes with being asked to go fishing with Skeeter. His love of the outdoors, humble personality, and his signature smile seem to always impact the conversation, leaving the person at the other end feeling as if they have known him for years and can't wait to see him again.
During the mid 90's, not quite satisfied with the existing fishing tournament venues, Skeeter and his wife Karen Warner founded the National Bass Anglers Association and Competition Tournament Circuit.
With their Grassroots approach, they grew the relatively new and small NBAA organization, from one Division of local sport anglers.
The National Bass Anglers Association, (NBAA) now has individual members in 36 states with 86 division directors running divisions in 12 states. The NBAA was recently acquired by The Bass Federation Inc., making it the largest and oldest organization of its kind.
According to Skeeter, "Starting with one division, it was my intent to bring to the fisherman a better circuit to fish, with better paybacks, and a new scoring system that was fair for all the fisherman." This theme to provide a better product, that everyone can use, is a running theme to Skeeter's successes.
"After ten years we had 61 divisions, over one-thousand members, and the largest tournaments in the northern U.S." Says Skeeter about the NBAA History.
After retiring from professional fishing, Skeeter had more time to do what he loved before the NBAA; Fishing. Having more time to fish..."I started fishing more pan fish, and eating more fish" Skeeter said of his recovered pastime of bluegill angling. He soon realized that the more fish he was eating, meant the more batters and breading he would try. Although so many Fish Batter and Fish Breadings can be very good, there seemed to be something missing.
"After a while, I realized the different batters out there were too heavy, and held too much oil. So I decided to make a light batter, which I found easier said, than done."
Returning back to the principles that founded the NBAA. Skeeter, with fish to eat, and time on his hands, began his new project.
--How to make a better batter mix for his fishing meals.--
"After over two years, many pounds of product being thrown out, and hundreds of dollars spent, I finally got it." Skeeter recalls of getting it just perfect.
Skeeter Warner a perfectionist? "When I set out to accomplish something I don`t stop until its right." And when it comes to the batter, you can see Skeeter gets in mad scientist mode. "...everything is measured to the exact amount, then mixed thoroughly, I had to buy 3 mixers and it took several attempts to get it just right."
As for ingredients, Skeeter adds, "By using some of the finest ingredients that can be bought, we have created the lightest, best tasting batter mixes on the market."
Cooking with Skeeter's Batter it Up! makes it easy; "I don`t think any other batter can do, what Skeeter`s Batter it Up! can," Skeeter will point out. Once the eating begins there is little doubt. Skeeter explains about the finished product; "It holds little oil, and you can pan fry, deep fry, grill, bake, or broil anything there is, from all seafood, to all meats, to vegetables, and I mean anything;".
Skeeter's Batter It Up!, like the NBAA years ago has started as a grassroots project that just keeps growing and growing. We hope you enjoy our product with your friends and family. Skeeter's Batter It Up! is Made in Michigan, with all natural ingredients, and no preservatives.
Since the project creation, there has been an evolution with the product, interest, and the packaging. Skeeter's batter It Up! 10oz bags of Regular, Mild Cajun, and Gert's Blend come in handy reclosable zipper pouches. This makes it perfect for Sportsman travelling on fishing trips, and practical for multiple lake shore fish fry's.
The Grassroots approach has been good for Skeeter's Batter It Up!, just as with the NBAA. We started at local Outdoors Shows and Events before adding local Retailers and online Sales. Hopefully we can add more national Accounts soon.
Keeping it Local is always an important theme for Skeeter's practices. It is very common to see him feeding the local Homer schools championship teams time and time again each season. It makes some folks out there wonder what the secret good luck charm really is.