What attracts you to a bait & tackle shop

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by Jerry60k, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Jerry60k

    Jerry60k Member

    Chelyan, West V
    I am trying to get a business plan laid out to open a Bait and Tackle business in the very near future.I have the basics figured out such as location.Very near to my home since we all have to drive at least 8-10 miles to get good minnows and then you pay a premium $4 a dozen for shiners and not big ones.

    So what attracts you ?

    Bait selection ?
    Rod and Reel selection ?
    Terminal Tackle ? ( I am leaning toward the bulk sinker and hooks )
    Snacks and assorted items ( I am also thinking of serving breakfast food in a small section off the main baitshop.)
    Access to fuel for your boat ?

    Give me your opinions please.
  2. LiquidSteel

    LiquidSteel New Member

    La Vista N
    Bait selection would be my first priority. Being able to buy hooks and sinkers in bulk is a great option too. And not having a boat, access to fuel isnt on the top of my list.
    But serving breakfast....... I have never seen a bait shop that served breakfast. That too me would be a huge attraction within itself!

    I hope you are very successful!



    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Pretty much the bottom line with alot of folks is $$$$$$. You are gonna have to be real competative with the big boys on tackle. Beyond that my first priority would be as said. Bait selection and the availability of it on a steady basis. Best of luck to ya in your endeavor.
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    I'll tell you straight up. You'll make more money on beer.
    The live bait sales will pay the light bill, beer will make you a living.

    The business plan.
    Hire a good refrigeration man. If you have the coldest beer in town you'll stay busy. 1/2 of your customers probally wont even fish they just stop for beer.

    But if it were me a tackle shop is the last thing I want to own. I like to fish too much.
    If you trust anyone else to see to things while you are gone fishing , well, they'll see to things, rest assured.
    You'll be looking another business plan.

    Seriously, we sold on a nice pretty weekend on average a 1000 dollars in live bait sales. We marked live bait up 125%. Like I said, it pays the lightbill.

    Guns, you gotta sell guns. Thats what will carry you through the winter when it switches to hunting for most people.

    And the beer. Its no joke, thats where you'll make a living and what will make it that way is word of mouth. When it gets around that you have the coldest beer you are set.
  5. Jerry60k

    Jerry60k Member

    Chelyan, West V
    I am indeed going to sell beer.I dislike drunks but understand the business side of having the coldest beer.

    The gun thing may take a little time.

    I realy am torn between selling the "Zebco + Shakespeare walmart lineup" and a higher quality line of rod and reel.

    I am hoping the resturaunt thing will work out since I am in close area to alot of coalminers and bargeworkers.

    Thanks for your input so far guys.
  6. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Unless you live in an area that folk can't get the high dollar rods/reels, don't sell them. Serious fishermen are going to come with their own tackle, the tourists are going to want cheap. You can't compete with the big box sporting goods stores, Wal Mart, and mail/internet order on the good stuff. The spincast stuff, a few spinning rigs, and maybe a low to middle grade baitcast outfit or two should fill the bill. Even a serious fisherman may buy the Zebco rig as a back up or for a kid or wife.
  7. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Sarver, Pa
    Hi Jerry! Numerous things attract me to a bait & tackle store. Several things will keep me coming back! 1st ansd foremost is having a nice selection of quality bait available at alll time. I understand that at certain times of the year it will be difficult to have all baits available but if you can provide me with what I need on a regular basis, I'm happy! I perhaps should have put this next one as #1 but "BE FRIENDLY AND SMILE, MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL LIKE FAMILY! There are a couple bait shops in my area I will no longer give my business to due to their crap attitudes. Is it asking too much for a friendly hello, how's it going, having any luck when I walk in the door? After all the info I provide the owner is info he is passing on to other customers. I enjoy a bait shop that I walk into and they call me by name, we B.S. about fishing or any other thing that may be on our minds, I leave and get wished good luck and told see ya next time. NEXT on my list is don't be stingy with the bait. I know your profit depends on getting the most cash value for quantity of bait sold but if I come in and buy 1 doz. minnows and you give exactly 12 and the guy down the street gives me 16 each time, guess where I will buy my bait next time! Have a nice selection of terminal tackle available. Hooks of all types and sizes. Sinkers of all types and sizes. A nice selection of lines, nets, jigs, lures, etc. Food and snacks would be a nice bonus. A Ice machine is a must!!! I also like a big board where customers can post photos. A selection of marine supplies is a nice touch such as 2 cycle oil, anchors, rope, boat plugs, life jackets. Selling fishing licenses is a must. I've been in some large stores that didn't offer half the things on my list and I don't frequent those places. Be good to your customers and they will be good to you! Oh yeah, up hear in Pa. you can't sell beer in a bait store but I can see where that would be a good businees move in a state where its allowed! Good luck to you! I hope things work out!:cool2:
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    You'll have to carry the snoopy lineup.
    When I see people bankfishing in particular I am appalled at what people will fish with. Broken rods, reels in poor shape and missing parts.
    These people aren't going to buy squat new and there are alot of them.

    You'll have to carry some of the good stuff for your diehards but I wouldnt go overboard on inventory. I would rather pride myself with how quick I can get what you want and be known for coming through.

    The crowd. Some shop owners dont like folks hanging out.
    I always thought it helped. They are essentially salesmen that aren't on your payroll. The ones I am talking about are the knowledgeable fishermen that hang out at the store on their lunch hour or the group of guys that hang out and drink coffee and swap war stories when the weather is bad.
    When a customer is faced with input from 2 or 3 knowledgeable people in that type setting they will become comfortable in purchasing. These guys will sell alot of stuff and of course they'll buy alot of their things from you.

    Your worst enemy is the internet. So many people shop on the internet and can save money as opposed to going to a brick and mortar store.

    A small line of boats is a good thing. We averaged selling one boat a month sometimes 2 and a real good month we might get the 3rd one out the door.
    We carried the Crowe Boat line (now defunct I think). They had an unflippable patented 2 man barge boat that pulled a 600 pound vacuum on the water utilizing a tunnel hull and they had one and 2 man boats of the same plastic material.
    We also carried 1 and 2 man wood boats made locally by a man that loved to build boats:lol: Kinda of like pirogue (pee-row).
    The boats were a drawing card. Folks stop to check the boats out and wind up buying a rod and reel and leaving with a fist full of brochures on the boats.
    There isnt a whole lot of room for mark up on a small boat. We were lucky to make 50 bucks on a boat and sometimes not even that but the boats were a sales tool.

    You just have to be every thing Walmart isnt and capitalize on it.
  9. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    So what attracts you ? Location and steady hours.

    Bait selection ? This is not one of my prerequisits for a tackle shop, I catch my own bait!

    Rod and Reel selection ? I mostly frequent tackle shops that handle the gear I need and like to shop for.

    Terminal Tackle ? ( I am leaning toward the bulk sinker and hooks ) This is nice to have(bulk tackle)! I mainly look for tackle shops that carry larger hooks, line and weights and are geared more for Catfishing.

    Snacks and assorted items ( I am also thinking of serving breakfast food in a small section off the main baitshop.) This would also be a plus in your favor, as sometimes in the rush to get to the water we tend to forget things, LOL!!!

    Access to fuel for your boat ? This would be a major plus to me!!!

    Sounds like a 1 Stop Tackle Shop to me!!!!
    Hey now you even have a name for it, LOL!!!
  10. oh no

    oh no New Member

    A good selection of lively bait is the most important. Breakfasts can be ok.

    The main thing with the early risers is COFFEE and more COFFEE. Get a big percolator type resterant 50 cup pot and put a sign up for a free cup of coffee. Any fool with a thermos needing filled you can charge a couple bucks.

    Even after fishing all morning and getting off the water about 1 or so, my body wants COFFEE as I'm getting a headache with out it.

    The Coldest Beer in Town works too. When I was a youngun their was only one tavern in LaPorte that had the coldest to go beer. That was real important then. Now I just keep a cooler iced down with Miller in bottles. The best tasting beer is in bottles.

    If you are going to have cold beer, don't forget to stock beer in quarts. As someone like myself would want a cold drink, but not a whole sixpack as it would get warm without a cooler. A quart of COLD Beer will kill a thirst on a good hot day.

    A good selection of bobbers, sinkers, and hooks are real important. A section with guns and archery equipment is important. Later on you can build an indoor archery range, hey they have them up here and even have tournaments.

    Years ago one of the bait shops here had a Bass fishing tournament every Wednesday night from 6 to 9PM. 15 dollar entrey fee per boat, and they would split the entery fees as the prize money. As I recall they paid, three places and 1 for the largest Bass.

    Hey some folks go bowling every week, and those tournaments were no worse. I went every week I could, They had about 15 to 20 boats show up every week. They just ran it every Wed. at the free boat launch on Clear Lake. IT WAS FUN.
  11. catter5000

    catter5000 New Member

    Seems like everyone is leaving out the one thing that will keep me coming back to any store....CUSTOMER SERVICE....That means having some one or others,either behind the counter or on the sales floor that knows what they are talking about.You had better be able to answer the questions when asked.I don't mean like Wally World,where most don't know the difference between casting and spinning.When you can give someone a good answer without feeding them a bunch of BS. People appreciatet an honest answer,and will soon figure out if you know what your talking about.If you make each customer feel like they are someone special they will come back.People will even pay a little more for something if they get treated right.
    Like the others have said you don't need a million dollars worth of inventory.You should know what type of R&R,line,terminal tackle,etc are popular in your area and carry them.Also same on live bait carry what you need.It may take you some time to get your store set the way you want but you will get there.
    Unless you have plenty of cash I would just stick with fishing,then work in guns and maybe archery.But I'm not familar with your area so you should go with what feels right in your gut.JMO
  12. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    You have hadso much great response there isnt much i could add except there are several bait/tackle shops in OK.that i frequently shop there bait selection to me sucks .but i dont buy bait unless i dont catch any ,they both cook fresh ,hot food that is a plus, they both sell beer ,they both have a good selection of tackle also one sells gas and hunting eq,the other one doesnt but both sell liscences and both have the friendliest cashiers that is what keeps me coming back
  13. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Blacklick, Ohio
    Ok besides the bait selection (I try to get my own but so far I stink at cast net), Coffee (a must I agree) some selection of good R/R, friendly attitude, Beer, Guns, Cheap R/R (incase on of my sons is broken by that biggun (hey it could happen :big_smile: )), I have 2 more sugestions
    1. Not that I would need it but a Certified Scale (if you near river lake its less distance to take fish to and release)
    2. The ability to repair some of the better Reels out there or just know how to take them apart and clean. Ive done it with my Abu's but if I can get someone else to do it I probably would.
  14. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    what attracts me is the sight of tons of tackle, from rows of hooks to every kind of lure, and all other tackle. And one thing that will draw me to the store from the outside - if there is a minnow or cricket tank right outside the door then I know it is the place to get my bait.

    now those are things I notice at first sight and the reasons I would go there.
  15. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how the wholesale side of it works but if you go into the Wal-marts, Dick's or Gander Mountains around here you would think the shelves had been stocked by someone who had never fished in their lives. Maybe they have to buy/stock what someone at corporate tells them to.
    There are shelves packed with soft plastics and lures by the 1000's but can you find an 8/0 Gamakatsu circle hook?... Not a chance.
    There are two decent places here in Indy and they sell primarily what the local guys want/need and they are always full of customers. Sure they sell wax worms, red worms and a little bit of "regular" gear but they stock lots of heavy weights, large hooks, high test line and sturdy rods and reels. Plenty of decent bait, big shiners and suckers, frozen shad and soft craws.
    Sell what the locals want and you will become their local bait store...W
  16. shania

    shania New Member

    San Leandro, Ca
    Hey Jerry,

    The three main things for me in a Good Bait Shop are "A Good Bait Selection", "The Prices" & "The Location". I Think that you are doing a good thing & good luck in doing so Buddy. :cross:

    Take it easy,
    Bert:cool2: & Shaina:0010:

    :worship: :0a23:
    Bert & Phil

    P.S.: :0a25: to the BOC. :wink:
  17. Jerry60k

    Jerry60k Member

    Chelyan, West V
    Judging from the responses I think I may be on track with my plans.

    I do hope and plan for the "local" crowd to hangout and loaf if they want.As said this is a major plus.

    The location I am looking at is a out of business convenient store/resturaunt lots of parking.Very close to the interstate and river.

    I realy like the idea of a certified scale something I hadnt thought of but have had to drive miles to find myself.

    Also I had planned on doing some mantainance/cleaning of reels etc but only on a small scale at first.Since I am going to be the main employee.

    Hopefully if I can get this funded it will be a family affair I plan on putting my brother to work and letting my son hangout ( should be a learning exp ;) )

    Also the hardest part of this planning is the one thing that I think can put a tackle shop over the top (besides freindly surroundings) . I have been trying to decide if its worth it to sell mostly American made products this is the hardest decision but for some reason it just sticks in my head.

    Would people realy pay a little extra for American made vs made in china ?
  18. LiquidSteel

    LiquidSteel New Member

    La Vista N

    I do, and I would!
  19. r ward

    r ward New Member

    Kathleen G
    Location good selection of bait that works in your area are both good also what a catfisher needs in the way of weights and other tackle for the area good coffee and customer service are a big plus don't let the customers just be a dollar sign make them your friends I like friends where I shop
  20. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Warsaw, Mo.
    I use to have a small bait shop that we ran out of the garage. It was at the entrance to the lake in No. Missouri and we were the only ones in the area that sold minnows. The lake was full of crappie and walleyes so we had the perfect location. Some of the others in the area than started to handle minnows but what kept them coming back was a dozen to us ment you got a couple of dozen and the others counted theres out. I still shop at a local shop here that when I order 3 dozen they fill my bucket.
    Having the right location is #1
    Provide what the customers are wanting at a fair price with a smile and a hand shake and they will come back.

    Oh' the kids named our bait shop 'I've Got Worms'
    For some reason I just dont think having a reasturant would appeal to most folks....:tounge_out:

    Best of luck to you and I hope your new business will be a big sucess.