Nov 24, 2009

There is no money in minnows

I recently noticed we lost another tackle shop this year.  Victoria Tackle was the kind of store we're all familiar with.  It's proximity to water made it an ideal place to pick up some minnows but it's distance from big[ish] cities made it inconvenient for anything else.

Victoria is located in the middle of some serious strip pit ground and a stone's throw from a favorite state park, a quick googling drives this point home.  Another quick googling pegs the drive time from the only big city at about an hour.  Translation: these lakes are within driving distance for a day trip, but a special trip to the tackle shop isn't worth the gas.

I willfully admit contributing to the failure.  I've purchased much bait at Victoria Tackle over the years and that is about it (I once bought a bobber too).  Victoria is 45 minutes from the house, but within 15 minutes I could be at one of three major outdoors stores. Only one of those stores sells minnows and we'll all be in trouble if it goes under.

Maybe I'm on to something here....I just registered


  1. We've had a few go under up here closer to Chicago too.

    Luckily, I live not too far from one of those small shops that's still alive, and Bass Pro is only 15 more minutes further away. As much as I love going into Bass Pro, the guy who owns the smaller shop will match their prices if you ask. The Bass Pro I live near has a few guys who really know their stuff in the fishing dept, but you have to be lucky enough to be there when they have a moment to chat. If I know in advance I need something, I'll call the "little guy" and he can usually get whatever I need. He also knows what's biting and where, and that knowledge isn't usually available at too many of the big stores.

  2. Clif - just came over to your blog after seeing your "entry" in my first giveaway (remember - 2 more to come)

    i like the looks of your blog! And, it's fairly close to home - I'm up in the Fox Valley, western 'burbs of Chicago. I'm adding you to my blog roll - keep up th egood postss.


  3. Welcome Wolfy, it seems Illinois is well represented in the blogosphere

    I failed to mention that one of the three large stores is not a chain, it's a locally owned store. A few years ago the small shop called "Presley's South Side Worm Ranch" closed and reopened as Presley's Outdoors. Maybe the key to success is adaptation to the game at hand.

  4. I raise fatheads and shiners in forage ponds and also keep em in cages at the lake too, never run out of bait that way! Once we get set up with more of a retail store we will have em for sale as well.

  5. Nate, didn't you read the title of this post? :)


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