While driving down the main road by my house I couldn’t help but notice the local gas station was advertising bait with a sign in front of the station. At first I was a little shocked to see this but then it bothered me a bit. Gas prices are high as it is. Even though these establishments have nothing to do with the general price of gas, the thought of going to a gas station and paying an extremely high price and then grabbing bait on the way out was just an uneasy thought. You sell gas, leave it that and the snacks in the convenience store. Leave the bait sales for the local shops who need those bait sales—especially during these times. I know it might seem like it makes sense to grab bait when you go to get gas before fishing but the truth is whatever destination you’re heading to on the water, a tackle shop or marina won’t be too far from it at all. Make the five minute detour if you have to and stop at the local bait store.
Aside from the fact that you’re supporting a local business that relies on the sale of bait and tackle to stay afloat, you will also be buying a superior product from the bait shop. Do you really think the spearing and squid buried next to the Klondike Bar won’t be freezer burned? Bait stores will always have a better selection of bait that in turn will help you catch more fish.
And another good point—when you go to buy bait from the gas station, do you think the store clerk will know the local fishing hot spots or what rigs you should use to catch your next doormat fluke? Unless the individual behind the counter is an avid fisherman themselves you probably won’t get that information out of them. Those at the bait and tackle shops are up to date in this information and will absolutely help you to catch more fish after a visit to their store. Some of the information I’ve learned at tackles shops over the years cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
Shopping local is good and is highly encouraged these days. It’s good for the local economy and the people who own those small businesses. I’ve personally seen many of these small shops go out of business over the years due to being pushed out by box stores. They just can’t compete sometimes without the local support.
Next time you do see that gas station bait sign, do yourself a favor and keep on driving to your local bait shop, buy needed bait, rigs and sinkers and leave with invaluable information. I can guarantee you’ll put more fish in the boat because of it. Maybe the employees at the local shop will tell you about a local hot spot that will save you gas as well—much needed with these current prices.