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Bait Shops Not Returning

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by TIGHTLINER, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Bait Shops Not Returning

    Fisherman in Northeast Ohio, primarily those who fish West Branch and Lake Milton will have to travel further and pay more for their baits of choice this spring. Two local bait shops will not be returning for this season of fishing. West Branch Bait -&- Tackle located on State Route 14 will not be opening this spring nor will North Coast Bait -&- Tackle located on County Road 18.

    Bait Shops have consistently struggled over the last 5 to 10 years. West Branch Bait -&- Tackle has been through a slew of owners over the past couple of years. North Coast Bait -&- Tackle used to have a strangle hold on the bait dealings in the Lake Milton area. At one time they had two shops open on Lake Milton, with everything from bait, food, snacks, lures, public restrooms, and gas pumps located right on the water. Lake Milton anglers will still have the option of purchasing minnows from Miller Marine also located on County Road 18 and buying night crawlers from Craig Beach Market located on Grandview Drive. That is just not the same as stopping into good old North Coast and picking up a copy of Fish -&- Field a stick of beef jerky, some bait, glancing over the fish pictures and grilling the shop keepers about the fishing hot spots. If an angler happens to drop by Carson’s Landing they might get lucky and spot old Carson towing his boat down to the lake with his tractor and he’ll be happy to sell some night-crawlers and talk to you for hours about the good old days of fishing. If you haven’t had the opportunity to look through Carson’s old fishing albums and enjoy the conversation from a time long past, I highly recommend that your drop down to Ellsworth Road and pay this Lake Milton Muskie Legend a visit.

    Other area bait shops have also shared the same hardships. Breyer’s Bait -&- Tackle located on State Route 225 has had its fair share of owners over the past few years. They are open now, but the gun shop within the bait shop is now a thing of the past. This area somewhat makes for a bait ship mini mall as Breyer’s is located right next door to Tall Tails. Between these two larger bait shops and angler should have access to pretty much anything he/she would need.

    There are only remnants left of For Hookers Only the bait shop located in the Center of Edinburg on State Route 14 near the corner store and the dairy queen. Hookers as many referred to it offered everything from line spooling, live bait, lures and also included a gun shop. It’s a shame that this establishment is no longer operational.

    Local anglers will still be able to access Double K’s located on State Route 5, the Army Navy Surplus store at cotton corners will continue to offer a dismal selection of fishing amenities for those anglers wishing to fish West Branch. The marina at Dale Walborn Reservoir will still probably be able to offer anglers wax-worms. The Bait Barn out on Berlin has been closed for quite a few seasons now and doesn’t appear to be reopening. Les’s Bait offers a nice clean environment with lots of walleye lures and live bait however they have very limited hours.

    Why are the bait shops disappearing? Are less people fishing? Is it because of corporate giants like Wal-Mart, Gander Mountain, and Cabelas?
  2. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    Well, it's not a complete wash! OGF member Bassmastermjb is opening a bait shop this spring, right next to West Branch (ravenna). Look for a formal announcement in the upcoming weeks!

  3. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

    Bassmastermjb is a ways from West Branch. Darn close to Rockwell for those into commando fishing which I'm sure he would HIGHLY recommend against doing:D .
    I'm looking forward to his opening though.
    A few questions for you tightliner. What happened to West Branch Bait and Tackle? Are all these closing due to money problems?
    Where on 225 is Breyer’s Bait -&- Tackle? Near Berlin, Tallmadge Ave or Cable Line Rd?
    Thanks for the info.
  4. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun Relaxing.

    Tightliner I would have to think there is some truth to your quote:

    Why are the bait shops disappearing? Are less people fishing? Is it because of corporate giants like Wal-Mart, Gander Mountain, and Cabelas

    I looked into starting an online tackle store and some things i found was its very hard to compete with the giants pricing. Alot of people aren't going to pay $6 for a rapala at a mom and pops tackle store unless they have no choice. When they can buy it at a giant store for $3.50 just an example. They buy in such large quantities that they get better rates and can sell cheaper. But there is alot of knowdledge and good discussions at those mom and pop stores that you won't get at the giants.
  5. Corey

    Corey OGF Team-Charter Member

    9 out of 10 bait shops close after their first season of operation. I'm sure the competition of the large chain stores has something to do with it but those figuires were true long before the chains came in. Many anglers dream of having a bait & tackle shop but need to generate income to live off of and , without sufficient start-up capital, that just isn't going to happen for a few seasons. Bait shops are like womens' beauty parlors and old time barber shops. Although you go there for their products, that is secondary to going there as a social function, to hear and tell stories, trade gossip, meet with your cronies, etc.. Of the numbers of small bait shops that have tried to make a success out of it in my area, most were doomed from the start by insufficient capital, basic lack of fishing/tackle/business knowledge, or lack of committment as far as being open when they were needed. The problems for the bigger shops are most often a combination of very high overhead, employee theft, or just plain poor business planning. It's a business that is constantly at the mercy of fads, tempting investment in anything and everything that the gurus hype on television. A shop owner can invest heavily in the latest hot fish catching lure, only to have sales evaporate when the next "magic" lure hits the market. In Ohio, without the long, dependable ice fishing season that is enjoyed by more Northern locations, many shops have added guns and ammo to try to extend their retail seasons. For those that don't or can't cater to the hunters, the season is surprisingly short. Our busy season begins around the first of April, with May and June being the top months, and drops off sharply after the 4th of July. It is also extremely weather dependent and the flooding of the past season or two hurt many shops. It's hard to make a living in a business where you have a few good months out of the year and may have little or no business during adverse weather, poor ice in Winter, or extreme heat of Summer, while still having to pay the bills.
  6. Breyers is on 225, I think??? Or is it 183? Call Falls Outdoor Sports and they'll give you the address and phone number.

    West Branch B&T's closing had very little to do with corporate giants. I don't know about the other shop.

    Lewzer, I'll PM you.
  7. corey even though bassman23 and i have bait and gear each time we go to the river we still try to stop and give you our business small as it may be for two reasons.1 to do my part in keeping you from being on that list below,and2 your just great guy to talk to not to mention you know a little about fishing too. keep up the good work and we'll see you in april.
  8. When I was a kid my dad tried to run a bait shop and he was one of the 9 that didnt make it. He found out pretty much what Cory said.
  9. What cory said,poor planing before and after opening.Most small bus are the same!
  10. Corey hit it on the head gang...
  11. well cory hit it on the head!! most people open up tackle shops with very little capital to work with and that is thier biggest mistake. the low capital causes them to stock up with cheaper lower quality tackle and thats a big mistake. it either dont sell or when a customer buys it he isnt happy with it and then he or she donty go back to buy any thing else. they need to have the capital to stock quality products and be able to go some what with the fads.the next biggest mistake is people open up bait and tackle shops that may only know one or 2 aspects of fishing so they cant give knowledgable answers to anglers that have questions about other types of fishing. corey and darlen have it right they stock good quality products and have a wealth of knowledge about the sport and take the time to be friendly and help anglers with questions.when you walk in thier shop you have little excuse for not leaving smiling and smarter. if you wasnt any smarter its because you didnt ask questions or you just plain didnt listen. i have no proublem getting in my truck and driving 80 miles to do business there because i know i am getting quality fishing equipment tackle and will leave smarter than the last time i was there!! thats why they outlast the 1 and 2 year shops. it takes money to make money and profit is not a dirty word thats why i have no proublem spending money in thier well run shop.
  12. jim is right,working for him in the summer taught me a lot of things as far as running a bait shop.first you need to be friendly,give a deal once in a while and and try to have some knowledge as whats going on around the lakes. so talk is the answer. jim and darlene are about the nicest people to have a bait shop and people come back.and a real secret is to stock what the guys and gals are using to fish with,just not a bunch of junk that nobody cares about.this is a fine business and its gonna be here for a great while.again its my pleasure to deal there too,.......
  13. It is sad how many people do go to wal mart instead of a local tackle shop. I visited bassmastermjb a few times last year. No one has deals on Manns crankbaits like him. I also got some large quantities of flukes off him. On a side note I have never seen a lake in Ohio that looks as prime as Rockwell does. If you are looking to support a small time local angler click my link below. A buddy of mine and I are selling these stickbaits cheap we have 4" and 5" in 10 different colors.
  14. I saw on the marguee sign that West B Bait Tackle was under new ownership and was having a grand opening last weekend or something ?...did i read that wrong or is that no longer true ?..

  15. Corey

    Corey OGF Team-Charter Member

    Thanks for the positive comments. It makes me feel that Darlene & I have done something right. Even though I own a Bait Shop I always make a point of stopping in at local shops when I'm out and around, and I always buy something. I'll be sure to stop in at bassmastermjb's if I'm in his area.
  16. Bad news for some bait shops, but for those who want a pleasant experience visiting a newer, going enterprise, stop in at Nov. Gun and Tackle located at the NW corner of the intersection of 43 and 224 in Suffield. If your fishing Mogadore, WB, or Berlin, this is a good place to get your essentials. I have no vested interest in this place but they have always handled my needs-with the exception of NO STEELHEAD terminal tackle-but everything else including the elusive, hard to find ROSIE REDS(minnows).
  17. does anyone from the portage lakes know whats happening to manda's bait?
  18. johnboy111711

    johnboy111711 SOLID MEAT

    don't forget mogadore bait...they give a tone of minnows compared to some shops. plus they are cheaper.
  19. bassmastermjb

    bassmastermjb The Lucky One

    I would like to thank those of you who have stopped by and had a pleasant experience.I put in many hours talking to people around the country and making those important contacts that help me pass along those good deals to everyone that stops by.What started out as a once a month sale will now be an everyday job.I should be ready to open the beginning of April.I know I'm a little off the main roads, but am only 1 mile from RT 14 and 2 miles from Rt 43.I feel great pricing and working fisherman hours will enable me to establish myself this coming year.I agree wholeheartedly with those who understand the time and costs it takes in operating a sucessful bait shop.This is something I've wanted to do since I was a youngster and look forward to servicing everyone that takes their time to stop in.......Mark
  20. raines, all i heard was that she sold it.(Manda's). i heard a rumor of who bought it but i won't say.