The Riddler

Bait Shops of the Past

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125 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, massmike said:

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.

And yet Red Bridge B&T is still open in Ludlow and Granby B&T in Granby.

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2 hours ago, Angler #1 said:

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? 

Exactly right.    I lived in Holbrook and used to bike there as a kid and fish Sylvan lake

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On 12/25/2018 at 9:58 AM, unskunk said:

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........

There was also Conrads, which was on a dead end street off Bridge Street in Salem, around the corner from Lake and Surf.  My dad and I would stop there early in the morning, ring the bell and either old man Conrad or his poor wife would get out of bed, come let us in the back door and box up our worms.  This was in the late 70's when the flounder fishing in Salem/Beverly was lights out.

There was Al's bait (original) in Beverly, which was where Beverly House of Pizza is now (right next to the "new" Al's).  And also Bridge St Bait and Tackle on Bridge St. in Beverly.    

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52 mins ago, Riptide said:

Exactly right.    I lived in Holbrook and used to bike there as a kid and fish Sylvan lake

A yes Sylvan Lake a environmental waste site, with 20 pound plus carp and large mouth bass up to 10 . Catch and release fishing unless you wanted to light up from what was in the water. We found artificial frogs worked along the edges among the pads was a dynamite bait to use. My sons and I also fished that for many years when ever we wanted a little along time. Does George Davies ring a bell ?

 

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The shirt is worn out, yellowed and full of holes but I cannot find it in me to toss it out - too many memories. I go back to the same cottage on Sagamore Beach every year (since 1966). Still have the first surf rod I bought from Biff in the late 60s - white 10' Surf Striker (Made in Korea) but the reel is long lost to corrosion and I would be scared to use the rod again in case it has become brittle. Somewhere, and I keep hoping to find it, I have a Polaroid of Biff, me and my now BinLaw in our Biffs Tshirts stood outside the shop. When I do I will scan it and post it.

Regards

Puck

Biff1.JPG

Biff2.JPG

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12 mins ago, speedwell said:

The shirt is worn out, yellowed and full of holes but I cannot find it in me to toss it out - too many memories. I go back to the same cottage on Sagamore Beach every year (since 1966). Still have the first surf rod I bought from Biff in the late 60s - white 10' Surf Striker (Made in Korea) but the reel is long lost to corrosion and I would be scared to use the rod again in case it has become brittle. Somewhere, and I keep hoping to find it, I have a Polaroid of Biff, me and my now BinLaw in our Biffs Tshirts stood outside the shop. When I do I will scan it and post it.

Regards

Puck

Biff1.JPG

Biff2.JPG

When he was down along the canal and then near the Candy factory . I got to work at that shop later when Bruce Miller Bought it out, before he had his own shop built where he is now. I can say that  a lot of plug memories were hanging in the windows when he passed , that some one made a small fortune selling.

 

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Biff was quite the man.  He did not suffer fools.

 

Case in point.......I was in there many years back when a couple of teenagers came in and thought they knew stuff about fishing and started to contradict what Biff was telling them.  

 

Biff got furious, red in the face, and in anger, pulled out his revolver which he kept under the counter, and slammed it down on the counter.

 

The kids bolted out the door and I just stood there shocked by what I had witnessed.

 

 

 

 

 

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34 mins ago, Angler #1 said:

... ….plug memories were hanging in the windows when he passed ...

 

 

I recall meeting an older woman in the old DD next to Job Lot that said she had a number of Biff's old plugs that he had gifted her.

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There were several in and around Worcester that deserve an honorable mention.

First was Johnny's Bait. Located on the corner Millbury and Burton St. Johnny Wiiliams once told me he built his home on Bell Rd ( A sunny place for shady people) with shiner money. Johnny had his own minnow ponds and grew his own. He had 5 massive concrete tanks in his basement. Four held shiners in various sizes, and one was reserved for nightcrawlers and worms. He was open 24 hours a day. You could go there 2am on a cold Jan morning, ring the bell and either Johhny or his wife Vi would get up and sell you a dozen shiners.

Also on Burton St was Pete's Bait. Also located in tbe basement of his home. Fascinating set up. Pete actually had a small spring running under his home and through his basement. He constructed concrete tanks and incorporated the spring into them so he had fresh running water.

Then there was Oxford Bait Mart. I think they opened in tbe late 60s. They were the first to bring Arkansas shiners to the area. 

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40 mins ago, zeke04 said:

...He seemed to live in the back of the shop, sometimes with his girlfriend.

Yep.  Had a day bed back there.  Separated from the store by a curtain if I recall.

 

He thought the world of his daughter.  Had her picture hanging in the shop.  Daughter was in the Navy.

 

When Biff was not in the store during the day and the door was locked, you would always find him next door at the Bridge Restaurant sipping his tea.

 

One early AM I arrived shortly after he opened.  He had his head wrapped in bandages.  Seemed he was mugged by a couple of guys who posed as early morning fisherman.

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1 hour ago, bob_G said:

There were several in and around Worcester that deserve an honorable mention.

First was Johnny's Bait. Located on the corner Millbury and Burton St. Johnny Wiiliams once told me he built his home on Bell Rd ( A sunny place for shady people) with shiner money. Johnny had his own minnow ponds and grew his own. He had 5 massive concrete tanks in his basement. Four held shiners in various sizes, and one was reserved for nightcrawlers and worms. He was open 24 hours a day. You could go there 2am on a cold Jan morning, ring the bell and either Johhny or his wife Vi would get up and sell you a dozen shiners.

Also on Burton St was Pete's Bait. Also located in tbe basement of his home. Fascinating set up. Pete actually had a small spring running under his home and through his basement. He constructed concrete tanks and incorporated the spring into them so he had fresh running water.

Then there was Oxford Bait Mart. I think they opened in tbe late 60s. They were the first to bring Arkansas shiners to the area. 

In the same area...……….D&G Sports Main St. in Cherry Valley, Spag's had quite a bit of tackle and the Fair in Spencer had a great sporting goods dept

 

Nobody mentioned First Stop Sporting on the way to Scusset beach …………..

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48 mins ago, b-ware said:

In the same area...……….D&G Sports Main St. in Cherry Valley, Spag's had quite a bit of tackle and the Fair in Spencer had a great sporting goods dept

 

Nobody mentioned First Stop Sporting on the way to Scusset beach …………..

Ah Yes Spags and the Fair in Spencer both had good bargains as i recall stopping many times while in the area working doing alarm work for the local banks.

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