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10 Great Bait and Tackle Shops of the South

A great bait and tackle shop is more than a place to buy lures and bait; it's a self-contained playground for the fishing afflicted that's part discount store, part restaurant, part school and part museum

10 Great Bait and Tackle Shops of the South
10 Great Bait and Tackle Shops of the South

These 10 are worth a visit.

Aransas Bay BaitCompany

350 DeForest Loop
Fulton, TX 78358
(361) 790-7800

No matter what you’re fishing for—redfish, speckled trout,snappers and more— in the nearby waters of Aransas Bay, Copano Bay and the Gulfof Mexico, you can get your bait here 24/7. Aransas Bay Bait Company, next tothe Fulton Fishing Pier, never closes and offers all sorts of popular saltwaterenticements, including croakers, piggies, mullet, minnows, crabs, squid andmore.

Pawleys Island Outdoors

9790 Ocean Highway
Pawleys Island, SC 29585
(843) 979-4666
www.pawleysislandoutdoors.com

It’s hard to beat aplace where you can buy darn near everything you might need for fishing (andhunting) under one roof. Pawleys Island Outdoors is such a place. Their freshand saltwater fishing gear includes a wide variety of rods, reels, baits andlures for everything from bream to marlin. Get a license here, have your reelspooled with new line, pick up weather and tide information, or just drop infor some good conversation with employees who are also sportsmen. They offerindividual and group instructional classes for surf fishing, inshore fishing,offshore fishing and even how to throw a cast net. Need a boat and motor? Theyrent those, too. If you want it, they got it.

Hatchet Jack’s

5827B Crystal Hill Rd.
North Little Rock, AR 72118
(501) 758-4958

For more than 35 years, Hatchet Jack’s has provided one-stopshopping for central Arkansas anglers and hunters. Check out the tackle and youknow immediately this place caters to fish-hunters dead-set on catchingmonsters. Bins and racks are loaded with gigantic sinkers, enormous hooks,12-foot-plus snagging and surf rods, and fishing lures big enough to fry. Onewall is plastered with photos of fishermen straining to lift giant catfish,paddlefish and other leviathans from the nearby Arkansas River. Huntingequipment is available as well. Drop in to chew the fat or to fill your baitbucket with shiners, sunfish or other specialties. Take the Crystal Hill exiton Interstate 40 in North Little Rock.


Kingston’s RedneckRiviera

1007 Lake Rd.
Tunica, MS 38676
(662) 363-3376

It’s hard to pass up a honky-tonk that calls itself the“Redneck Riviera,” especially when it’s situated on the bank of one of theSouth’s best-loved fishing lakes—in this case, Tunica Cutoff just outsideTunica, Mississippi. Whether you come for gambling at the nearby casinos or towet a line in this huge Mississippi River oxbow, drop in Kingston’s for someshuffleboard and darts, good country music, a cold brew and especially thegreat food (Monday night is steak night, and Thursday night is fish fry night).There’s a big “Welcome Fishermen” sign out front, and everything you need isinside, including bait, tackle, licenses, ice, beer, cold drinks, groceries andfree maps.


Pittstop

4390 Main St.
Gaylesville, AL 35973
(256) 422-3787

You’ll feel like Jonah as you walk through the mouth of thebig bass painted around the entryway of the Pittstop. Inside you’ll findfishing tackle and bait of every stripe, delicious hot food, groceries, and, onour last visit, a 30-pound flathead catfish in a kid’s pool. Bass pro Lee Pittsowns the shop and offers guided fishing on nearby Weiss Lake, “The CrappieCapital of the World.” Drop by to gas up or for fishing chat with the friendlystaff.

Self Creek Marina

4192 Highway 70 West
Kirby, AR 71950
(870) 398-5000
www.selfcreek.com

Self Creek offers lakeside services of all sorts for anglersand boaters on west Arkansas’ 7,000-acre Lake Greeson. Tie your boat to theoutside dock and go inside for delicious hot foods (including great pizza),snacks, groceries, ice, fishing supplies, bait, gifts and more. Don’t have aboat? You can rent one here. And if you’re tempted to stay, rent one of thecottages with hot tubs, fireplaces and lake views.

Dale Hollow One Stop

5500 Burkesville Hwy.
Celina, TN 38551
(931) 243-2636

Dale Hollow Lake often is called the “Smallmouth Capital ofthe World,” and the One Stop is theplace to go for the “float-and-fly” tackle used by locals to entice giantbronzebacks. Inventory includes the entire line of Punisher Lures, made bylocal craftsmen, plus hunting and camping supplies, food, gas and licenses. Thestore’s hot sandwiches are to die for.

Blue Ribbon Fly Shop

1343 E. 9th St.
Mountain Home, AR 72653
870-425-0447
www.blueribbonguides.com

Blue Ribbon is the oldest and most respected fly shop in theworld-renowned trout-fishing country of north-central Arkansas. Whatever youneed in the way of fly-fishing gear for fishing the nearby White, Norfork andSpring rivers, they have it—everything from clothing and fly-tying materials.Tie your own flies at their fly-tying bench, or they’ll tie a special version toyour specifications. They work with a stellar group of experienced guides youcan hire, including guides who can introduce your children to fly fishing onDry Run Creek, the best kept secret in the United States. All their employeesare accomplished anglers who are on the river, if they are not in the shop.They know where to go, how to get there and what to use. Drop in and visit withthem for tips that will make your visit a sure success.


Black’s Camp

1370 Black’s Camp Rd.
Cross, SC 29436
(843) 753-2231
www.blackscamp.com

Everything you needfor fishing the famous Santee-Cooper lakes, Marion and Moultrie, can bepurchased in the Black’s Camp tackle shop, including licenses, live bait,lures, ice, gas, lake maps, snacks and drinks. Take a gander at the huge fishmounts on the wall while you’re there, including 4-pound-plus shellcrackers andsome monster catfish replicas. Other services include a lakeside campground,motel rooms and a restaurant that specializes in Southern cooking. The catfishstew and bread pudding can’t be beat!

The Tackle Box

1901 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL 33050
(305) 289-0540
www.thetacklebox.com

Local residents voted this angler’s hotspot “Best TackleShop in the Florida Keys” at least seven times. Capt. David Still, who owns theshop, says they provide “everything you need for fishing except gas for theboat.” Drop in for fresh, frozen or rigged live baits, get your reelsreconditioned or repaired, charter a fishing trip (Capt. Dave specializes intarpon), load up on tackle and lures (including their specialty, the Triple Ddorado lure) or just visit for some free fishing advice.

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