Hooked on Adventure: Exploring the Tri-Cities' Ultimate Playground with Faith Akopov

Pictured: Faith Akopov, Owner/Operator of Tri Cities Tackle

Faith Akopov and her husband, along with a friend, seized the opportunity to venture out for a day of sturgeon fishing—a first for them. Guided by Mike Posey, of Ache ’n Arms Guide Service, they were promised a successful catch. However, Posey hadn't prepared them for the sheer size of their catch. "What he didn't tell us was that we'd need a bigger boat! Our first bite felt like the Moby Dick of sturgeons—a 10-footer weighing 900 pounds! This fish was so powerful it turned our boat into a merry-go-round," recalled Akopov. They frantically passed the rod around, battling the giant fish with flailing arms and cramping biceps for an intense 30 minutes, which felt like 60 in Akopov's exhilarated retelling. "At one point, I half-expected to reel in Poseidon himself! Not only was it our first sturgeon, but it also set a new personal best for Mike!”

Third generation Colorado native found herself drawn to the Tri-Cities

Akopov's affinity for the outdoors began in her childhood in Denver, Colorado, further nurtured by frequent trips to a family-owned ranch in Wyoming with seven lakes, where she engaged in fishing, hunting, and hiking. These experiences instilled a deep love for nature and outdoor activities.

Having moved to the scenic landscapes of Pasco in 2004 due to her mother's job at Hanford, Faith quickly found herself drawn to the local sports and outdoor lifestyle. Activities such as fly tying, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, snowboarding, and four-wheeling were ingrained in her family's culture. She soon discovered the rich outdoor culture the region offered, which completely captivated her and kept her from leaving.

During her formative years, Akopov developed a passion for soccer, competing in tournaments across the United States and internationally in seven countries, and later played for the Denver Mustangs in collegiate and semi-professional leagues.

Faith’s entrepreneurial journey

Faith has always embraced the entrepreneurial spirit seen in her family lineage—from her grandfather to her father and her husband, Michael. Her foundational business skills were honed over 13 years while assisting her father in managing Master Tech Automotive in Richland. Faith's entrepreneurial journey wasn’t straightforward, taking three attempts before she finally discovered the right formula: passion. After early ventures in a fitness studio and a life coaching business, she found her calling with Tri Cities Tackle, a labor of love that she nurtured from the ground up.

Starting modestly from her garage with just four pegboards and a mini fridge for bait, Tri Cities Tackle quickly gained popularity, necessitating a transition to a mobile setup and eventually a permanent brick-and-mortar location on the river next to the Richland Dugout. At Tri Cities Tackle, Akopov offers not only fishing gear but also expertise, passion, and personal touches, including custom airbrushed lures and her own patented products like Vortex Blades and the Scent Bullet.

Beyond her business success, Faith's greatest joy lies in giving back to the community. Through initiatives like Rods and Reels in Need, she ensures that everyone can experience the thrill of fishing, reflecting her commitment to service and community connection.

But why the focus on fishing and outdoor adventures?

Akopov cherishes the local environment, from the abundant sunshine to the expansive rivers and outdoor activities available. Whether it’s enjoying a sunset boat ride, BBQing at the park, or engaging in water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking, the Tri-Cities area offers a plethora of adventures.

“One of my personal favorites is anchoring our boat in the Columbia River in the middle of summer to watch the hydroplane races,” Akopov shares.

Faith is deeply committed to her family, which includes her husband of 12 years and their three children. Together, they enjoy a range of activities from kayaking to woodworking, making the most of their time together. Faith's overarching aim is to serve her community and instill in her daughters the belief that dedication, vision, and passion can turn dreams into reality.

What does the future hold for Faith?

As she looks to the future, Akopov is excited about expanding her product line and continuing to grow Tri Cities Tackle, staying true to her core values of passion, integrity, and community.

For both seasoned anglers and novices eager to cast their first line, a visit to Tri Cities Tackle offers a chance to experience the passion and expertise that Faith Akopov brings to every aspect of her business—and perhaps even catch the fish of a lifetime.

Visit Tri-Cities is celebrating the impact that tourism has on the local economy, business owners, and lifestyle in our region.

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