Spotlight on the Carolina Tackle Shop….Tex’s Tackle
While saltwater fishing is big along the coast of the Carolina’s, finding a good tackle shop is many times a challenge. As a former tackle sales rep in the early 90’s I can tell you that for every good tackle shop there’s 20 bad ones. I judge a good tackle shop on the basis of product and area fishing knowledge as well as being able to communicate that knowledge to the customer. It’s also a tackle shop that maintains an inventory knowledge of the latest and great tackle options out there today. Seldom, if ever will you find any of these elements in the big box stores, mass retailers or hardware stores that only carry a few hooks, sinkers and a rod or two. I prefer to walk into a tackle shop that know me and can help me with my questions rather than a shop where someone is sitting behind the counter waiting on me to finally find what I’m looking for and come to the counter and pay for it.
For the next few months, I’ll be spotlighting these kinds of tackle shops and more importantly, I’ll be talking about the people that built them and manage them today. It’s about the people and their staff that have a true love for fishing and for fishermen. It’s about the people that know where the fish are biting and what they’re biting on. They appreciate your business if you buy an expensive rod and reel or just a bag of ice. It’s about the people that make our fishing fun and have created an atmosphere just like a candy store is to a young child.
My first stop was at Wilmington, North Carolina’s Tex’s Tackle. The store is owned by Tex Grissom and he’s not from Texas (we’ll get back to that a little later on). Tex was raise in Greensboro, NC and moved to the Wilmington area in 1978 to attend Cape Fear Community College, taking Marine Technology. After fishing for local charter icon’s like Ed Wolfe on the “Whipsaw” he opened Tex’s Tackle in 1992 on Eastwood Rd, t
he main route to Wrightsville Beach. The store was only 1400 square feet and actually seem smaller due to the large amount of inventory. Even in the early years, Tex’s Tackle projected a high level of customer service and quickly became a focal point of saltwater fishing along the Cape Fear coast. In May of 2000, the tackle shop moved to its current location just around the corner from the original shop. This shop enjoys 6000 square feet i
n floor space and now employees up to 9, depending on the time of year. Each one of those employees carries the same passion for fishing that Tex Grissom has been known for. It’s best shown in the friendly way they help each customer no matter their angling skill level.
Tex’s Tackle provides brand names like Penn, Berkley baits, Shakespeare and other well recognized brands. His market is a mixture of inshore and offshore fisherman with a wide assortment of needs. He provides line spooling and other services for the angler. The store also provides 2 large promotion weekends each Spring that includes line spooling, seminars and other promotions.
During our recent conversation, I asked Tex what was one of the single biggest changes he had seen in the fishing tackle industry since he began his business. He commented that technology has enabled tackle manufactures to make the equipment stronger and lighter. He also said that the development of braid fishing line had a large impact on today’s way of fishing.
For nearly 25 years Tex’s Tackle has played a key role in Cape Fear coast fishing. It’s a role he has taken seriously as he continues to fill the fishing needs of local fishermen as well as being their friend.
Story by: Tim Wilson