Mom and Pop, Fishing Bait &Tackle Shops are on the decline!


Hillyer's Tackle Shop, Waterford, CT. since 1934 Dad carried me in to this shop when I was just a guppy

Fishin Factory 3 Middletown, CT

bait and tackle store

The Fish Connection Preston, CT

Rivers End Tackle Shop

Connecticut Outfitters Wethersfield< CT




I’m an advocate for the “mom and Pop” stores, the stores that started this great country and watching them drop out of business hurts, we need them but still we shop online and at large department stores that sell everything putting the little guy’s out of business.

My biggest concern, since I live breathe and think fishing are the “Mom and Pop” fishing tackle stores, I have also owned tackle shops and know first hand how  the Internet and the big chains stores can hurt their business, heck I shop on line and at the big stores for certain items but I buy everything I can from privately owned fishing tackle shops and I’m proud of it!

Listen up!  We need the bait and tackle shops, imagine what would happen to your hobby when they are all gone? You can’t go on the Internet to have your reel properly filled with the correct fishing line. Is the Internet going to personally help you pick a balanced fishing rod and reel that fits you and your fishing needs? Buy some lead ocean sinkers on the Internet  and see what that costs ya!

Where will you get fresh bait? I imagine it would be live bait machines and convenience stores, ask the live bait machine where the best fishing is right now and what to use for tackle, the best time and tide and see what happens.

So that leaves the guy in convenience store as your fishing mentor, today it’s rare to find a convenience store that  can even give you driving directions, some can’t  give you directions to their Tylenol, this is your new fishing mentor.

Of Course the Internet provides tons of fishing info but if it’s not tuned to your location, just general info, it’s nothing like what an expert fisherman from your area can provide you with.

The folks that run these tackle shops are there by choice, what fisherman hasn’t at least dreamed of owning a bait and tackle shop! It’s their passion and livelihood, we need them yet we make purchases from the big guy’s that could have been purchased at a local tackle shop, maybe it’s a few dollars more then the chain store, maybe not but look at the knowledge and service you get with that same purchase from your local bait and tackle store, that is an added value.

Lets look at an example of what the small bait and tackle store goes through to make a buck and what the big chains do to save one.

We will use Bill’s Bait and Tackle for the fishing tackle store name.

ChainMart will be the department store and MTM will stand for major fishing tackle box manufacturer

We will use a fishing tackle box as the example, Bills bait and tackle buys a case of fishing tackle boxes for resale from MTM , the fishing tackle boxes cost Bill 10 dollars each, Bill marks them up to 16.95 he makes a reasonable profit and offers his clients a great tackle box for the money.

Now MTM is coming out with new models of fishing tackle boxes and contacts  ChainMart stores and says, hey, we  have all these left over tackle boxes we need to unload and you can have them for 6 dollars each, ChainMart snatches up the deal along with their order of the new model tackle boxes, now ChainMart sells the same box that Bill’s bait and Tackle sells for 16.95  for only 9.95 at ChainMart, So you shell out 10 bucks at ChainMart to some “Scrod” behind the counter who would rather have a better job and knows absolutely nothing about fishing, while Bill with a wealth of fishing knowledge that he loves to share has a case of tackle boxes growing dust and becoming outdated on his shelf.

Now here’s what ChainMart does to  MTM. ChainMart puts in huge orders of tackle boxes and MTM scrambles to meet the new demands, now MTM is making more fishing tackle boxes then ever and ChainMart says, wait a minute these prices are to high, forcing MTM to lower their price to stay in business!

That is why I will not shop at ChainMart if I can help it!

I don’t just shop at one local fishing tackle store I like to spread my purchases around, usually stopping at bait and tackle shops that are on my way to where I intend to fish.

It’s understandable to make a purchase from the big guy’s  if your saving a pile of money  but try hard to buy as much as possible from your local tackle shops and keep them in business!


Thanks For Reading




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Categories : Fishing Facts


  1. gbOutdoors says:

    Many manufacturers require Mom&Pop, ChainMart, and MTM to sell many of their products at “Minimum Advertised Price” or MAP which evens the playing field a little. Many anglers do not realize that the price for many items is actually set by the manufacturers, not the retailer, and is consistant throughout the market. None of the retailers has the ability to undercut the other by way of lower than MAP pricing. So why NOT get your equipment from a local shop that could also drop some knowlege on ya!?!
    Also noteworthy is that most financial analysts agree that SMALL BUSINESSES will ultimately lead us out of the current economic challenges, so help out the nation, buy from a little guy!

  2. gary says:

    Where u been and are you alright? Haven’t seen you in a month and I hope you are alright.-gb

    • Al says:

      I’m fine! Thanks for the inquiry! Extremly busy with my restoration company also had a huge computer problem keeping me from my hobby ( BlackOpsFishing ) finaly got that resolved yesterday!!!!

  3. Greg Trial says:

    Well the sad fact is that the mom and pop bait shop is disappearing from the fishing world. Sad to say its a combination of things killing our business, fewer people fishing, pressure from the big guys. I’ve owned the store I have now twice the first was from 1998-2001 and I took it back over again in 2015. Sales are a tenth of where they were before. Sad that the mom and pops are disappearing alot of knowledge and history are going with it.Hopefully people realize it before its gone for good.

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