Keep Tackle Stores and Shops Alive!


As fishermen, we have an obligation. Now could be the perfect time to keep the businesses we have depended on such as tackle stores and shops “alive”.

I am writing this column at the peak of the coronavirus threat, praying that by June, the country will be returning to normal. When restrictions are lifted and the green light flashes, there is something that the country’s 50,000,000 fishermen must do.

Yes, I strongly urge each angler to take one of those $10 or $20 dollar bills and march into your favorite sporting goods store, your local bait shop or your fly shop. From the big box stores to the mom-and-pop tackle stores, pick up a few lures. Buy a couple new spools of line; even some bobbers or jigs. Now is the perfect time to take that crankbait you’ve dreamed about off the peg. You get the idea.

These are the people who have supported us for years. They carry the tackle that we love using at the sport we enjoy so much. Each of us owes them a “Thank You” by laying cash on the counter.

If this seems like it may pinch a little, think ahead. You want that bait shop to be there this fall when you need ‘crawlers, minnows or leeches. Or, a giant pike swipes your favorite walleye crankbait. Or, the rocks finally relieve you of that favorite Northland jig. Some bait shops have opened for years at 5 a.m., waiting for you to stop. Repay their customer loyalty with your own.

One small tackle shop owner is always available via phone with accurate area fishing reports. When the good news arrives in a terse statement, “Get up here now!” I go. I also swing in to thank him, pick up a few items and head to the lake. 

You can be among the first to get the latest info on where to go, what to use and how to use it!

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There is another small shop where a friend makes and sells tackle. He is also in the know, and a stop there with a few bucks changing hands for the hottest lures is also a time when he shares his knowledge of the “bite.”

There’s a big box store not far away. They have some really good fishermen working there, and when talking fishing, they are anxious to go fishing, but rely on the job. They hear from many regulars and are willing to pass this info along. The store that employees them deserves the same treatment as the small shops.

Personally, I want all these stores to remain open for business. I intend to do my part. Please consider doing the same where you live and fish. 


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