Everyone seems to have a favorite bait shop, that one place that has what you want and need. Just a simple stop to get what you need so you can get back to fishing. Sometimes that might be a little dinky place tucked in an alley way, or a shed in someone’s yard, or maybe the big-box store that has lures at hard-to-beat prices. But why can’t they all be your favorite bait shop?
Take for example, Gare’s Bait & Tackle in Correctionville, Iowa. It’s a tiny little shack, parked in an alley way. Gare has a limited selection of lures, mainly geared towards river and pond fishing for catfish and bass. He also has a few complete rod & reel packages at cheap prices, which comes in handy if you’re in a pinch. He also has some of the fattest night crawlers around, which makes for great bobber fishing with the kids. But the reason I love Gare’s bait shop is because it’s open 24 hours a day. If I need my catfish fix at 1am, a quick stop to Gare’s and I am good to go!
What about Scheels Sporting Goods store? Their vast selection keeps me coming back for more. I have great luck with their live bait, I can find about any Rapala lure I need there, as well as some spinner bait assemblies to build my own lures. They have some of the more pricey reels and shacks I like to drool over, as well as the Scheels branded rods & reels that they back 100%. And they sure don’t skip a beat when it comes to your electronic needs! I always make it a point to stop atleast 2 times a month to add to my collection.
Kabele’s in Spirit Lake, Iowa, is another one of my favorite bait shops. Every time I stop in, I am greeted with a smile and conversation, as well as the area hot spots, which comes in very handy when you are fishing a big lake like Spirit or West. One look to the left, you see electronic goodies. A look to the right, you see lures and bait. I like to think of Kabele’s as the little-big bait shop, since they seem to have a great selection like you would see in any of the big-box stores, but small enough that they can stock a specialty item in a hurry if the fish are biting on it. Another bonus to this shop is that they rent flashers during ice fishing season. And if you are from out of town, you can book reservations for lodging at Kabele’s, and clean your catch also.
Whether it’s these bait shops above or other shops like Bacon Creek General Store in Sioux City, or Stan’s & O’Shucks in Milford, or Adam’s in Storm Lake, I always find a reason to stop by to get my fix. Each one of the bait shops I come across seem to have a reason to keep me coming back. And all of the bait shops serve my purpose of catching fish, and that my friends is why everyone of them is my favorite.