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In the age of large corporate enterprises and e-commerce, the convenience of on-line shopping with the wide variety of products available on the ‘net, has drastically changed the way we shop. Unfortunately, it also changed the fabric of America, causing many small and local “Mom & Pop” businesses to struggle and even go under. However, it’s not just the closing of the shops and not being able to purchase products locally that changes the landscape for fishermen. It’s the lost wealth of knowledge and experience of these business owners and their loyal customers that gone as well. You can find that at a big box or on-line store. This threat to fishing knowledge is never more prevalent than it with the dwindling of our local tackle shops.

The local Tackle Shop provides most of the products you can find online and if you can’t find it-

the owners are usually more than happy to get it, and even stock it, for you. Yes, it is understood that the local tackle shop may cost you a little extra (although you could save on shipping), compared to on-line and big box stores. You might even have to pay sales tax- although most

states now require charging it- but the customer service, local knowledge and insights you get from these shop owners and their colleagues is priceless.

People that own and work in the local tackle shop are most often our neighbors and many are our friends. They are all a part of our greater family of brother and sister anglers. Shop employees are more than happy to assist you with your shopping needs as well as fill your bait buckets. They have a significant knowledge base that will point you in the right direction for what lures to use, the type of equipment to get,

how to target the species you are after, and all the tidal and structural aspects of the local waters. An online retailer can’t offer that kind of service, and the same can be said for the cashier at the big box store. Tackle shops are the proverbial bait ball of abundance when it comes to the latest accurate information about products you are looking to purchase, or might need, and the times and places to use them.

Yes, the quality information you will receive extends far beyond the products themselves. How’s the action been in the local waters? Has the bite been hot or cold? Local tackle shops take great pride in being able to put customers on fish. These shops have employees and owners who are dedicated fishermen themselves usually

spending their days off increasing their knowledge of local waters and new gear- information that is necessary for your best chance of success in finding fish and knowing what lures and

baits are most productive, at what times and tides, to insure your hooking, fighting and landing experience is second to none. The shops patrons are also coming through the doors often happy share their tales of their recent catches to any who would listen. Access to this information will give you some good starting points and may even be the key to success for your next outing.

So, the next time you find yourself pondering your next purchases, remember there is a vast

difference between saving a few bucks and getting the most value from your purchase. Before you hit the key and add to your e-cart, take a moment to think about “value”. Not buying from the local fountain of knowledge just could be your loss, loss of the one that got

away, loss of the one that was waiting for the right bait, loss of the one that was there at the right time but you weren’t.

Patronize your small tackle shops and take advantage of all the tips and knowledge they have to

share. Take advantage of the presence of a local shop that truly has a stake in the local community and your success as an angler. The fishing heritage of the local tackle shop and its preservation, is just as critical as preserving the species for which we fish- fishing knowledge and fish for generations to come. Live Local, Live Authentic, and Live the Passion! Tightlines!

iBass360 is pleased to feature a monthly sur fcasting blog from Bernie Hoyt , a NY State

Certified Fishing Guide with over 30 years of experience surf casting the legendary waters of Long Island. He is well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows in the Northeast. Bernie offers trips along the outer beaches and inlets of Long Island, as well as Cape Cod Canal, Cuttyhunk, and other Northeast Striped Bass fisheries. He is a pro-team member for S&S Buck-tails, ODM Rods, and KastKing, as well as a member of the Long Island Beach Buggy Association and the Montauk Surfcasters Association. You can contact Bernie on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services, on Instagram @Bernie_bass and through his website at


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