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24 Jun

The Local Tackle Shop….More Than Rods And Reels

I’ve been saltwater fishing for over 30 years. I did my time as a fishing guide, and once I was even a fishing tackle representative. No matter where I went or what I did, I didn’t get far from fishing on the coast. I quickly learned that buying your tackle at a place like Walmart was worse than throwing a rock through the stained-glass window of a church on Easter morning. And this is for good reason. However, in recent years many anglers have taken a good portion of their buying to online businesses like Amazon, just to name one. The gradual transition has summed up to have a sizable impact on the local tackle shop.

The local tackle shop is more than a place to pick up lures and bait. It’s a place where Mike can tell what’s biting and where. I called Amazon a few years ago to see if they could tell where the Kings were biting. I had trouble understanding the lady on the other end of the phone, but I think she asked me, “The king of what country and biting who?” I was kind of confused so I called my local shop, and a 19-year-old kid told me everything I needed to know and best of all, he spoke perfect English.

The fact is the local tackle shop is a fishing mainstay. It’s a place that not only sells tackle, but they do much more. They tell us how fishing is more of a science and help out with what we don’t know yet. Our time is far more precious, thanks to the daily demands we all face, than to take it up with someone who doesn’t have a clue. These are the guys and girls who give us fishing information and tackle recommendations by showing us the latest in lures as well as rods and reels. The tackle shop is the place we enjoy going to because more than likely the staff call us by name and even know what we fish for. Sometimes, they even have an outing that includes some type of event to thank their customers. These are the guys that keep our reels working, even if they come from companies like Amazon. These are all things you can’t get when you go online to companies with 100,000 foreign-speaking employees to buy the tackle you need.

Our neighborhood tackle shops have been serving our fishing needs for countless years. They bounced back from the impact of hurricanes, failing economies, and wars to continue to serve us. My tackle shop doesn’t sell computers, furniture, blenders or underwear. They sell fishing tackle for me, and people just like me. So, I may have to spend a little more to buy from a local tackle shop. But, what’s a few dollars? Those extra dollars probably wouldn’t buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks, but if it keeps the backbone of the sport of fishing thieving, it’s worth it. Like my grandfather said, “You gotta’ dance with the one that brung you.”

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