The Riddler

Bait Shops of the Past

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Had the day off driving around my area checking out spots from the past and reliving fishing memories from when I was a kid.  Took a few photos. Drove by Mass Bait Shop in Revere at the Rotary and American Legion Highway.  Peeked inside and there is quite a few glass rods hanging around and cob webs. This was a bustling place back in the day!  I believe the owner was Phil here.  

 

Took a drive down North Shore road and heading to Starbucks but stopped off at the old Bait Shack that was off the Pines River over by the General Edwards Bridge.  I never knew the name of this place but as a kid we would ride bikes from Chelsea and head over to catch flounder for the day during the summer.  It was window pane and winter flounder heaven.  Anyone here remember the name of the owner?  Perhaps a photo of when it was operational?  All that is left are a few Cinder blocks covered by weeds.  

 

After getting coffee took a ride down Revere Beach and the ducks are here in force!  1000’s of them! Stopped by the fish market and Swordfish is on sale! Picked up a few steaks for the grill!

 

Happy Holidays!

 

 

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Edited by The Riddler

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Land marks. Shrines. Temples. All of them. From Bangor Maine to Key West I’ve visited many. The tales these places could tell. The men that run them often in times past kept them stocked with bait,real bait ,different species and different sizes. When these places close they are gone for good. Sad when that happens. A real sin when it happens because of government interference,overreach and control. 

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The stories the walls of those bait and tackle shops could tell if they were still standing would amaze one and all. Many of the true sportsman's of our times operated them and also fished hard as well . Many of the names would make a whos who of fishing and in some cases identify many of the early time plug builders and rod makers of the day . How many different type rigs were originated by owners of tackle shops along the coastal waters of our country . How many tackle shop owners were true officiates of our sport and brought in the new and uninformed fisherman to give them an opportunity to share an experience that most will carry with them until the day they pass. Shop owners over time who enjoyed writing about there sport that helped to bring the sport closer to the public so that they could increase there base line and add even more children to the fold of fishing. Names like Whitey Kruger,  Al Cappy, Al Phillips, Bunny DePitro,[never owned Red Top, but he operated it like he did] Robert Sarson, John Biddle, William Nolan, [his family still carries on the tradition of plug building that Bill began in another time] Karl Spritzer, Bill Thomas,[his son, Mike operates Mand D in Wareham] Russ Manning, Daniel Nunes, Tom MacDonald, Charley Murat, David Hammond, Darrell Youngblood, Roy and Chris Brouwer, Mike Bucko's, Tom Crawford, Howard E Pflaumer, Charlie and Ginny Rendler, Just a small list of past owners of tackle shop owners that have left there mark in the fishing community over the years.  I am sure that others could very well add a few more names to this list of Tackle shop owners over the years

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That was my favorite place to get worms. Phil was a nice guy and do you remember the Minor bird ( A dozen large ) he would say?   Phils wife would go crazy if you whistled at the bird    Phil had the best worms.  (Snakes )  The plane hanging in the air behind the counter was a model of the plane he flew in the war.

Another place to get large worms was in Everett  Jonny Shinner . at the end of Ferry St.  If he knew you , you could call ahead and he would put the worms outside in the fridge for you the night before so that you could pick then up at 3 or 4 in the morning. just leave the money in the cup. 

There was another place down near Kanes Donuts.  At Kanes you tool a right down the hill and he was a a house? I forget his name. My brother and a guy the called Smallman dug for him 

 

Edited by ccb

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3 hours ago, Kones1 said:

Land marks. Shrines. Temples. All of them. From Bangor Maine to Key West I’ve visited many. The tales these places could tell. The men that run them often in times past kept them stocked with bait,real bait ,different species and different sizes. When these places close they are gone for good. Sad when that happens. A real sin when it happens because of government interference,overreach and control. 

Ahhh yes the tales they could tell. Most of them probably BS as we fishermen have a habit of embellishing our stories, but still great tales! My son was just a toddler when I started having him tag along with me. He'd order my ugly worms ( sandworms ) and somehow we always had pinhead minnows in our fish tanks at home. A gift from the owners. I remember my trips as a kid with my father. All the new words I learned. Most had nothing to do with fishing..

Most  of the old places are gone around here. A few new ones didn't make it work

A lot of those old timers have passed, I'm old, my son is grown but your post lost me with the government interference thing. No government could stop and interfere with the passing of time.

No amount of overreach and control could slow it down or hang on to the past. Its our job to hang on to the past and remember these people and places. The government can't control what we remember.

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I'll add my story too. Although I'm from CT not Mass, we too have the skeltons of the old bait shops. I'm suprised there aren't any ghosts hanging around them. People's names, faces, the stories.

Makes no difference where you're from. We've all experienced those times in the local bait shops. Gone from around here too are the local fish markets. There is one here and there, but not anything like the past.

Fish now comes from Stop and Shop, Big Y etc.

And now my story... I started my son hunting as soon as he could get his license. He was 12 and he got his first turkey no more than an hour into the woods. Hell of a shot he made, and one of the biggest toms I had ever seen. I couldn't  estimate weight so on the ride home we stopped at our local bait shop to weigh the bird. The owner just about wet himself when my son went in. He was more excited than we were. He scrambled around for some twine to tie up the legs, got the bird on the hook. Yelled out the weight for everyone to hear. ( 26lbs dressed Still the biggest tom I'd ever seen ). He treated my son like royalty that day.

He too has passed, but luckily his sons took over. You won't get that kind of service from Bass Pro Shops, or Cabelas.

Let's make sure we keep the neighborhood shops going!

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Shops have been forced to close because business has slowed or totally stopped when the government closes OUR land access. Land OUR tax $ pay for. For a stupid bird ? 1 example of government mismanagement. Want I should go on ? 

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Haven't had that issue here, so I can't relate. Our beaches remain open. Nesting areas fenced off. Here, time has taken these old shops. Most of the owners, and or their spouses have passed on. The customers have passed on. Bass Pro Shop moved in though they don't sell bait or have a section from fish story telling. Again, it was time old age and progress ( ? )

The one shop around here that's still busy, I see younger guys in there now hanging playing cards, shooting the bull. Maybe there's still hope.

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46 mins ago, nightfighter said:

Pete's on North St in Salem. RIP Pete.

 

Wishing the girls well as they carry on the Surfland tradition after Kay's passing.... 

Lake and Surf  on Bridge St in Salem........

RIP  Neil and Gladys McMullen........

God, I really miss this place and these people..I'm sure there are thousands of others that do too........

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1 hour ago, The TideRunner said:

I'll add my story too. Although I'm from CT not Mass, we too have the skeltons of the old bait shops. I'm suprised there aren't any ghosts hanging around them. People's names, faces, the stories.

Makes no difference where you're from. We've all experienced those times in the local bait shops. Gone from around here too are the local fish markets. There is one here and there, but not anything like the past.

Fish now comes from Stop and Shop, Big Y etc.

And now my story... I started my son hunting as soon as he could get his license. He was 12 and he got his first turkey no more than an hour into the woods. Hell of a shot he made, and one of the biggest toms I had ever seen. I couldn't  estimate weight so on the ride home we stopped at our local bait shop to weigh the bird. The owner just about wet himself when my son went in. He was more excited than we were. He scrambled around for some twine to tie up the legs, got the bird on the hook. Yelled out the weight for everyone to hear. ( 26lbs dressed Still the biggest tom I'd ever seen ). He treated my son like royalty that day.

He too has passed, but luckily his sons took over. You won't get that kind of service from Bass Pro Shops, or Cabelas.

Let's make sure we keep the neighborhood shops going!

You won't get that kind of service from Bass Pro Shops, or Cabelas." well said

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6 hours ago, ccb said:

That was my favorite place to get worms. Phil was a nice guy and do you remember the Minor bird ( A dozen large ) he would say?   Phils wife would go crazy if you whistled at the bird    Phil had the best worms.  (Snakes )  The plane hanging in the air behind the counter was a model of the plane he flew in the war.

Another place to get large worms was in Everett  Jonny Shinner . at the end of Ferry St.  If he knew you , you could call ahead and he would put the worms outside in the fridge for you the night before so that you could pick then up at 3 or 4 in the morning. just leave the money in the cup. 

There was another place down near Kanes Donuts.  At Kanes you tool a right down the hill and he was a a house? I forget his name. My brother and a guy the called Smallman dug for him 

 

Haha that bird was awesome!  I forgot about Johnny at Shinertown! He introduced me to the tube in 02. When he got the big worms, “ I got snakes!”. 

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You never see any of those large worms ( 12'' and more) any more?  They are all small.  Now a days I go into the bait stop and ask for a doz,large and they say we only have one size  The minute they say that I flag goes up?   I say let me see them. They kill me, i'm going Striper fishing and they what to give me worms for Smelt.  I guess i'm just spoiled from the old days and those guys? 

Edited by ccb

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CCb todays worms are not even close to what we had available in years past. We could get a whole flat of snakes for bass or cod A whole flat of worms for flounder and or a whole flat of smelt worms . Now you buy a flat of worms and you are lucky to find 3 dozen we would have considered bass or Cod Worms . In some shops the owners go through them and take out the big ones for friends and replace them with smaller ones to fill the 125 worm limit. [That is what a flat of worms should have in it]  Then again back in my early times a flat only cost me $3.00 today it runs around $50.00. It paid us to dig our own back in those times as well  and we could put at times 5 to6 flats a tide when we needed worms . We just needed to harden them up to use , but a great cost saver for sure.

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