Friday, September 14, 2007

They Killed The Neighborhood Bait & Tackle Shop

It's been 18 years since I joined the South Florida Fishing Club, a once vibrant organization comprised of almost 100 families that loved fishing, the owners of several local bait and tackle shots, a couple of small lure manufacturers, a large independant marine supply store, and some of the best fishing guides in South Florida. The Sports Authority siphoned off a bit of the business but everybody survived until Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World opened this huge complex next to Interstate 95 in Dania justh south of Ft. Lauderdale. They even have their own Tri-Rail station, a commuter train that nobody uses.

But it's a "Destination", a place where you can buy sports clothing, fishing tackle, guns and ammo, and boats, motors and marine supplies, camping gear, the whole nine yards. The prices are low and the selection is huge. What you can't find is a clerk who can explain how to use a particular lure, which color to choose for a particular species of fsh at this time of year, where the tarpon have been showing up of late and at which stage of the tide, that sort of thing. Instead you go through the check-out line just like at the supermarket where some minimum wage kid runs the items past the scanner and bags your purchases before muttering a barely audible "havagooday". Nobody ever plays up the local fishing clubs as a great place to learn about how to catch 'em and where to find 'em, and they can't tell you either. Now the South Florida Fishing Club is down to maybe 30 families. If you like to fish and live in the North Miami-Dade/South Broward area drop me an email. Thanks

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