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tbone1993

Local Bait Shops

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We all have at least one in our area if not we have a big box chain. What is your opinion on them and the people that work there? I worked at a local tackle shop and I want to know how some of the more experienced fishermen feel about the people that work at these shops. I feel like I could offer some interesting insight as well.

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Well, I have shopped on-line, at BPS, Dicks, and so forth; IMHO, the smaller the shop the more knowledgeable the staff. There is a home grown shop started in 1947 in the Richmond, VA area that is about an hours drive for me; I'll make that drive one or two times a year cause I don't get any BS from the staff, they know their products.

They have just moved their store by taking over a closed Gander Mountain store, I wish them well and hope they can retain the small shop knowledge their known for; and they are now within a mile of a BPS, I hope they can co-exist in the same area and BPS doesn't through in the towel like Gander Mountain did.

Last time I was down in the Richmond area for a gym competition I had the opportunity to stop in on one store (it's all I had time for) guess which one I stopped at? yep, Green Top. If your in the area check them out.

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I know Sam is a fan if green top as well.

There us one local shop here I like. The guy running it is young but seems knowledgeable, he let me help pick out some RAGE products so maybe he isn't all that smart after all.

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theres a local spot near me that I make a lot of purchases from. Not always the cheapest place to buy from but warranty is second to none. Break a rod, bring it in and he sends it out for the repair- no questions asked. I'll spend a few bucks more for that kind of customer service!

Plus its always nice to support the little guy!

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I prefer the little shops and there is a pretty good one here in mechcanicsville. I know everyone raves about greentop but when I first moved to VA I checked them out and had a negative experience. I chalked it up to someone having a bad day but when I went in and had the same experience 2 more times I figured I wasn't part of the good old boy network so I moved on to other places......

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I love me some green top too and am pumped to see the new store.

I grew up in a small town in NY with a local shop that also did hunting and feed for animals. The guy who ran the place, "Red" was the best. He let me just hang out and I had to pick up at look at every lure about 20 times. He eventually got videos so I started renting them and it got to the point he just stopped bothering having me fill out the slips and told me to just borrow em and return them when i was in next. He was the type of guy that when I bought things he would just round up or down or just make up a price he thought was fair for a teenager who loved fishing. Was a great guy, we could use a lot more guys like him in this world.

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theres a local spot near me that I make a lot of purchases from. Not always the cheapest place to buy from but warranty is second to none. Break a rod, bring it in and he sends it out for the repair- no questions asked. I'll spend a few bucks more for that kind of customer service!

Plus its always nice to support the little guy!

So true, get to know them and they will send in your stuff for warranty with their shipments.

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I prefer the little shops and there is a pretty good one here in mechcanicsville. I know everyone raves about greentop but when I first moved to VA I checked them out and had a negative experience. I chalked it up to someone having a bad day but when I went in and had the same experience 2 more times I figured I wasn't part of the good old boy network so I moved on to other places......

Don't give up so easily, maybe you hit them at their busy times; I've not had a problem and I'm not a "good Ole boy" by any means. Anyway, their not so little any more, I hope they don't go the way of the larger stores.

I also hit BPS just a mile up the road, and their people are good - so far - if I ask a question or I'm looking for something - and they don't know, they'll ask someone else to get a answer.

The Dick's and WM here in town are hopeless, if you find someone to help you most times they don't know where their products are or what they are. And they'll never order something for you cause the people at HQ do the ordering.

I forgot one place I have nearby down in southern MD, I've been going there since the early 80's; it's call the Tackle Box. This is your old time sports store where you have to squeeze down the isles, the shelves are loaded, and stuff is setting on the floor. It's a fun place to shop.

One thing about the small shops - if they don't have what your looking for they'll order it for you.

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The little stores are nice because it's often easier for them to get the more popular local baits in. When I worked at Cabela's in KC it took us 2 years before we finally convinced management that they needed to carry Wiggle Warts. I guess they either aren't very popular in areas around the other stores or they just didn't believe us. Once they finally got a few in we couldn't keep them on the shelves because of all the guys buying them to fish the Ozark lakes. Meanwhile the smaller tackle stores carry dozens of colors of warts because the guys that work in those stores only have to worry about ordering enough to stock their store.

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Living in a coastal area of Florida, it's saltwater fishing. Many of the small tackle shops basically sell bait ,have a small selection of other equipment, and little if any for bass fishing exclusively and IMO are not knowledgeable at all on anything except to magpie what some of their steady customers are reporting. We do have a few shops that are excellent in stocked equipment, repairs and knowledge. Lott Bros (40 miles away), Tuppens (20 miles away) and Boynton Fisherman (on my way home), always have want I need and their staff are experienced saltwater fisherman. When I buy bass equipment it's usually Dicks, with no knowledge. I don't overlook BPS, they are a good drive away and I don't get there often, but they have about everything for both bass and saltwater fishing, I have found the staff in Dania to be very knowledgeable, especially for saltwater, with bend over backwards customer service.

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Retired, was in Green Top this Thursday and picked up some hooks I am going to try this winter and next year.

The store has an expanded fishing department. The hunting area is huge and you have room to walk among the clothing articles.

I was told that they still have fishing stock in their Route 1 location and they will bring it over as the current stock is depleted.

What makes Green Top a nice place to shop is that the fishing department guys bass fish. You can ask them for their suggestions about bodies of water and the techniques/baits to throw.

There are two guys at Bass Pro Shop that I trust to help me. One is Mike and the other is Michael. They tournament fish and are really nice guys. Otherwise, you may or may not find a clerk that knows the stock or how best to fish a specific body of water.

Castaways, Tackle Express, Hookers and Dance's are OK but you can learn a lot by talking to the Green Top guys.

If anyone is on I-95 north of Richmond take the Elmont exit (#83) and turn left at the first signal light.

BPS is at the Lewistown Road exit (#86) and you also take a left at the first signal.

You all come on down for Black Friday and bring a lot of money!!!

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I use the one small shop when I can. The nice thing about them is special orders. I can get a rod or a 300 yd spool of a particular line without any hassel. The last time I wanted to special order a rod from BPS the guy said I'd have to order 200 of them.

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I have a guy who has a small but very well stocked shop and he will give discounts if you order a certain amount of product. He is familiar with the local lakes and always has the new stuff on the shelves as soon as it comes out. He gave me a great deal on the new Revo S baitcasting reels since I purchased a few. Also he is able to order anything that I would want in any quantities if he doesn't carry the item. It is great to have a guy like that. And, we need to help the small businesses in this country anyway.

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Generally, I find the Big Box store employees have very little knowledge of the products or their use. In New Hampshire locally owned shops vary from a little to great bass knowledge. As the name indicates Northern Bass Supply is a pleasant exception. A trip to the NBS store has always been positive and their mail order service is as good as any and much better than most.

The Wally Worlds here often have no one in their sporting goods departments and when they are staffed any knowledge of the product is strickly by chance and usually with knowledge except what the item costs.

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If you have a small specialty tackle store near where you live, please support them. Today with online buying the mom and pop tackle stores are going out of business daily. Where I live we had J & T Tackle shut the doors a few months ago.

J &T was a mom and pop bass angler hang out that had all the top end state of the art bass tackle and local hand pours, swimbaits, rod and reel repair and warranty service. J & T supported and sponsored local bass tournaments and is the shop that Aaron Martins got his start. The online stores put these small shops out of business because bass anglers tend to be short sighted, using these stores to touch and feel products, then go online and purchase the products at 5 to 10% less. When the shop is closed, the same anglers wonder what happened and don't have a place to hang out or get their reels refilled with line, repaired and complain about shipping cost for rod warranties and lose contact to what ts going on at the local lakes or what is new.

The fallout impacts the local hand poured products because their primary source of retail outlet has dissapaered.

The larger chain sporting goods stores may have one person in the store who may have some bass fishing skills, usually a local tournament angler who works there, however these stores are there to turn a profit and must compete with Bass Pro or Cabelas and online stores, the tackle is purchased from large distributors, so they must rely on what is in distribution and rarely have current state of the art products. The big box stores have their own distribution and the sales people rarely have any fishing skills.

Tom

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IMO small shops are the best if youre fishing your area. They have the most knowledge of the local waters and the best producing baits for those waters. If youre looking for a large selection obviously theyre not the place to go.

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I have been to some really really good saltwater baitshops and also some very very bad baitshops ( based on knowledge not supplies)... I think my favorite baitshops that I have been to are small shops in florida right on the ICW, thier knowledge seem to be great and definatley didn't do the classic " that lure is working real well" and its $40, I liked these baitshops especially because the guys who owned them fished basically every day after shop hours and sometimes before...

Just a few months ago I was at the Cape Cod Canal and we went into a baitshop... After looking around and what not we asked the man working how the fishing was and what they were hitting, he said "You gotta match the bait".... Thanks for the tip! LOL!

A week later we went to the same shop and a different man was working there, it appeared to be the father of the man from the week before. We asked the same thing and he said " Oh with the tide going towards the west end blah blah blah, the fish should be between 264 and 275" (The telephone poles that go alon the canal are numbered). So this guy pretty much gave us an exact spot at where these fish would be... After arriving there we hooked up with 3 keepers, this guy definatley knew what he was talking about....

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I'm afraid the Internet is going to kill the small shops, it's just a matter of time.

I will shop local first, end of story; but if I can't find what I'm looking for my options are, ask to have it ordered, or I'll revert to the Internet myself which is usually much faster.

The most recent example of this is when I was looking for Space Monkeys. No one in my area had them, I hit all the local stores - nothing. I asked if one shop could order them for me but they had just placed a restocking order and would not submit another one for a while, maybe a month. So I went home and fired up the computer and ordered from Tackle Warehouse in just a few minutes.

Then, sometimes the small shop is just not interested in carrying certain items like lure making supplies. In that case I go straight to the Internet and do my shopping.

I think the only saving grace the small shops will have is last minute - on the way to the lake - shoppers, but that will not in the long run meet the bills.

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Small bait shops are good for bait. That being said, the bait shop will always tell you the fish are biting. How else will they sell minnows and worms?

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Small bait shops are good for bait. That being said, the bait shop will always tell you the fish are biting. How else will they sell minnows and worms?

So true when we sold bait the fish were always biting. Though some people assumed we knew everything there was to know about fishing every single location. I do love when people come in for their first time or with kids for the first time. The best is when I would teach some guys about different bass lures and then I would run into them on my days off catching bass and having a great time at our local pond.

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I have been to some really really good saltwater baitshops and also some very very bad baitshops ( based on knowledge not supplies)... I think my favorite baitshops that I have been to are small shops in florida right on the ICW, thier knowledge seem to be great and definatley didn't do the classic " that lure is working real well" and its $40, I liked these baitshops especially because the guys who owned them fished basically every day after shop hours and sometimes before...

Just a few months ago I was at the Cape Cod Canal and we went into a baitshop... After looking around and what not we asked the man working how the fishing was and what they were hitting, he said "You gotta match the bait".... Thanks for the tip! LOL!

A week later we went to the same shop and a different man was working there, it appeared to be the father of the man from the week before. We asked the same thing and he said " Oh with the tide going towards the west end blah blah blah, the fish should be between 264 and 275" (The telephone poles that go alon the canal are numbered). So this guy pretty much gave us an exact spot at where these fish would be... After arriving there we hooked up with 3 keepers, this guy definatley knew what he was talking about....

Normally the match the bait line is used when fishing is tough or we really do not know what is hitting where. Matching the hatch normally works in most situations. This year we had a terrible perch season and people would constantly ask about perch and what they were hitting, we cannot say nothing because we need to sell bait so most of the time we would instruct them to target other fish or match them with a bait that is good for perch and other fish.

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I'm afraid the Internet is going to kill the small shops, it's just a matter of time.

I will shop local first, end of story; but if I can't find what I'm looking for my options are, ask to have it ordered, or I'll revert to the Internet myself which is usually much faster.

The most recent example of this is when I was looking for Space Monkeys. No one in my area had them, I hit all the local stores - nothing. I asked if one shop could order them for me but they had just placed a restocking order and would not submit another one for a while, maybe a month. So I went home and fired up the computer and ordered from Tackle Warehouse in just a few minutes.

Then, sometimes the small shop is just not interested in carrying certain items like lure making supplies. In that case I go straight to the Internet and do my shopping.

I think the only saving grace the small shops will have is last minute - on the way to the lake - shoppers, but that will not in the long run meet the bills.

In my shop bass lures were not the main focus. We can sell them but it is tough to sell lucky craft lures to the casual fishermen. Also soft plastics barely sold except for the well known plastics like senkos. My boss was not going to stock plastics that just wont sell. Most of the guys at work would put lures on the list to stock for our personal use. For instance some yum dingers and colors of senkos would be stocked that sold the most and we used the most as well.

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Our city of about 100K use to have several small bait shops. Over the past ten years they have all disappeared. We are now stuck with Gander and Wallyworld which both suck when it comes to having anything you might actually need. At least Wallyworld sometimes carries crickets and nightcrawlers if you want to do some bream fishing. Minnows? Forget it! Nearest shop is 40 miles away :cry3: The best part of havng small local bait shops for me was knowledgable folks ran these stores, did reel repairs, carried live baits, knew what was biting where, etc.

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I have been to some really really good saltwater baitshops and also some very very bad baitshops ( based on knowledge not supplies)... I think my favorite baitshops that I have been to are small shops in florida right on the ICW, thier knowledge seem to be great and definatley didn't do the classic " that lure is working real well" and its $40, I liked these baitshops especially because the guys who owned them fished basically every day after shop hours and sometimes before...

Just a few months ago I was at the Cape Cod Canal and we went into a baitshop... After looking around and what not we asked the man working how the fishing was and what they were hitting, he said "You gotta match the bait".... Thanks for the tip! LOL!

A week later we went to the same shop and a different man was working there, it appeared to be the father of the man from the week before. We asked the same thing and he said " Oh with the tide going towards the west end blah blah blah, the fish should be between 264 and 275" (The telephone poles that go alon the canal are numbered). So this guy pretty much gave us an exact spot at where these fish would be... After arriving there we hooked up with 3 keepers, this guy definatley knew what he was talking about....

Normally the match the bait line is used when fishing is tough or we really do not know what is hitting where. Matching the hatch normally works in most situations. This year we had a terrible perch season and people would constantly ask about perch and what they were hitting, we cannot say nothing because we need to sell bait so most of the time we would instruct them to target other fish or match them with a bait that is good for perch and other fish.

First of all it was saltwater, but that doesn't really matter... Anyway I know it's your job to sell bait and what not but don't you think that when someone asks what they are hitting you can say something besides saying exctly---> "Gotta match the bait" plus the fishing was doing really well we were just asking the simple question. Im not mad about the situation, I thought it was funny. I still go to the same place and purchase my bait, tackle, etc.

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We have a mom & pop sporting goods store Denny Dennis, about 4 miles away. They have a nice selection of lures and a pretty good selection of tackle. Their pricing is pretty competitive & when you consider it cost me about $8 to drive to BPS or Cabela's their prices aren't bad. They have a Wally world right up the hill and in some cases they are cheaper. I would rather give them my money. Dunn's is about 20 miles or so from me and also has a nice selection and their pricing is pretty competitive also.

Normally I have good experiences with salespeople at BPS or Cabelia's but today when I was in BPS and was looking for Yo-Zuri Ultra Soft, I couldn't find the weight I was looking for so I ask a salesperson if they had any #6 Yo-Zuri Ultrasoft, he tells me that only carry what's hanging on the wall. I tell him they have it in other weights and he doesn't believe me and says show me. He looks and says nope don't have any. Well duh I knew there wasn't any on the shelf, he ticked me off so bad I just laid down the stuff I had and walked out. I will order it online as they are the only ones around here that sells Yo-Zuri but I won't order it from BPS.

I think we need to support the local shops as much as we can, think how it will be if we only have BPS & Wally World, you sure can't ask questions at WW some of them people don't even know they work there they have to look at their name tag to see if they do.

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