The Riddler

Bait Shops of the Past

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Murat's in N.Smithfield RI.  Classic old time takle shop with some great hand built rods.  Gone but not forgotten.  Walking through the door under the big striper sign, you knew you we're entering the real deal.

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CT had their bait shops too. Bridgeport had Bill Boat Basin ( could rent boats there too ) Parsells, ( could rent boats there too  ) I learned a lot of new words at Parsells. A block from there was some nameless sandwich/ bait shop neatly right across from Bills. A block down from there was another nameless place which was leased every season at Pleasure Beach.

All of these place were within a block or so of each other. West end had the Tackle shops too. Teds, Orbit. I think Jimmy O's may still be there.

And then in Stratford was Stratford Bait and Tackle. Couldn't even move in the shop most days. All the BS artists in there. The great Christmas Party.

Miss ya John! Great guy. You knew John was a good guy because my mother would invite him and his wife. for Sunday Dinner. His wife treated my son who was a toddler at the time, like he owned the store! Big Man took her too young. RIP Pam!

 

Time marches on.... We have those memories, will tomorrow's generation of fishermen have them? Fingers are crossed. Bobby J's, don't you dare close!

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On 12/25/2018 at 8:41 AM, 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 

 

John at Shinertown was my "go to" bait shop in the area. He would leave me 2 dozens of seaworms in the front porch (after hours), the cash was left in the mailbox. That place brings back a lot of old memories, I remember walking down the steep backyard following the pathway - inside a basement of single family home in Everett was a tackle shop. There were empty fridges upfront, casting nets on the ceilings filled with rigs and plugs. The atmosphere was sort of euphoric, brought back a lot of good memories. I can even recall hearing the 4 water filtration tanks constantly running. John always had a good supply of shiners, nightcrawlers, seaworms and even tadpoles for the kiddies. My last time seeing him was at Pete's place at Fishing Fanatics, my guess he was helping out during the peak of the season. Stand-up guy, he was always upfront with me.

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Nice thread.   

Used to do the after hours bait in the bucket trick (snakes) when I was still just a surf rat with a shop in Quincy.  Thanks again Ron.    

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During the late 40’s my late father would take me to a commercial clam facility on Atlantic Ave, Boston next to the old fish piers/dealers to purchase grass shrimp we used to fish for trout in ponds and stream in eastern/central MA. The proprietor chucked and packaged clams for use by wholesalers and restaurants, and sold grass shrimp as a sideline.

He had a floating wooden “cage” tied to his dock out back, would scoop up a small net, fill a pint container with sawdust and ice, wrap the shrimp in a piece of burlap and place them the container, the bottom filled with sawdust and ice. They were sold by the gill (1/4 pint - a rarely used measurement today).

We caught some large trout at Walden and Jamaica ponds, the Shawsheen and Ipswich R. and Vine Br. with that shrimp – esp. on opening day.

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23 hours ago, Angler #1 said:

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.

Carl-

 

Team up with Jessica and dig me some worms. I'll pay you $4/dozen times 100 dozen a week in May/June and July. You "might" get a little tired but Jessica is young and strong so you point where she should dig and you bark directions, get her to work harder/faster. She should be used to it (the abuse)  after her season of lobstering.....JC

Edited by jason colby

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My teen years found me going for bait a lot. Dragnet for shiners. Dug my own sandworms at times in the nastiest mudlfats . Always left smelling good. Dug my own clams .

The best was dragging for shiners. Fill the bucket, use what I needed and I'd sell the rest to some of the bait shops around Pleasure beach. Or I'd walk the pier. and people would buy the fresh bait for snappers. A dollar for a couple scoops. 

As I got older I'd be out for bait every August. Never made much but I became my own bait shop. I still have my forks, my eel pots, my 24' dragnet is in the shed.

I still use them all every now an then.Kids get a kick out of seeing what the net brings in. That has never changed. I guess not too many parents do stuff like that with their kids today.

Once I got my first real job at 16, I was rich enough to hit all the bait shops.

And as I see the words flat of sandworms the only time we had flats of sandowrms were when we took the bus trips to Quincy  I think it was Harveys boat yard or something?

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Sportsmans Rendezvous in Milford, Ct. -Barb and Jeff 

Ed's Bait and Tackle in Newtown, Ct.- Ed and Carol 

Something's Fishy Tackle Shop in E. Windsor, Ct. - Larry Batts

Franchell's Sporting Goods - West Springfield, Ma.- Tom Amos

Pioneer Sporting Ctr.- Northampton, Ma. - Bill Van

McSquid's and Mac Reeds- Orleans, Ma. - Bruce and Mac

Captain Don's- Charlestown, RI.

Henry Hetu's place in Westerly/Watch Hill- can't remember the damn name.

And about 200 more that were either mini-mall casualties or forced out of business by big boxes.

 

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18 mins ago, massmike said:

Sportsmans Rendezvous in Milford, Ct. -Barb and Jeff 

Ed's Bait and Tackle in Newtown, Ct.- Ed and Carol 

Something's Fishy Tackle Shop in E. Windsor, Ct. - Larry Batts

Franchell's Sporting Goods - West Springfield, Ma.- Tom Amos

Pioneer Sporting Ctr.- Northampton, Ma. - Bill Van

McSquid's and Mac Reeds- Orleans, Ma. - Bruce and Mac

Captain Don's- Charlestown, RI.

Henry Hetu's place in Westerly/Watch Hill- can't remember the damn name.

And about 200 more that were either mini-mall casualties or forced out of business by big boxes.

 

I think there are many more, in the thousands perhaps...……….Just in my area of central mass the was Lemon's on Rt. 9, Bolakoshi's on Main St, Gate 43 B&T, 2 locations and 2 different owners, Moulson's  Bait shop and quite a few others that have closed up in the past 60 years

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3 hours ago, massmike said:

Sportsmans Rendezvous in Milford, Ct. -Barb and Jeff 

I bought quite a few guns from Jeff, even after the store closed and he was working at K5 Firearms.

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Black Duck in Wellfleet....back in the early 90’s.   an older gentleman from Orleans, I think his name was Ed....retired Worcester firefighter worked there. He was a true gentleman....happy to help in any way he could. I would stop there on occasion just to say hello and catch up.....enjoyed swapping deer camp stories. He was one of a kind. Anyone know who he was, or remember him ?

Edited by pops02
Typi

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almost forgot Stuart's Sports Ctr. in Indian Orchard, Ma. - First Mail order retailer in our area for years- inventor of Al's Goldfish. Also Matt's Bait shop in Westfield, and the Sports Center owned by Joe Kavitsky, the originator of the shimmer fly.

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13 hours ago, Riptide said:

Burgess Bait and Tackle on the Holbrook / Randolph line.   Used to go there a ton as a kid.  

Now it it is ironic , however Mr. Burgess was right down the street from me and he also repaired lawn and snow blowers for awhile . His son and mine went to the same school . He also served as a President of the Mass Bass for awhile. He liked to buy and sell old fishing gear , like the jigs made like the Upperman that he also made for  a short while. He bought all the stock made by Bill and then thought he could duplicate it , which he did for awhile. He was a grumpy one to work with for the most part , until he got to know you and even then he was hard to deal with. I know that the building owner had him leave near the end and he went into another place and that was the last I ever saw him.  Where did you live? 

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