Cast a Line: 10 Awesome Bait & Tackle Shops in the U.S.

High-quality gear and expert local knowledge. 

By Trent Jonas

Cast a Line: 10 Awesome Bait & Tackle Shops in the U.S.

One of the keys to success in fishing is the gear. Starting out with the right rod and proper bait are the first steps, which makes local bait and tackle shops a crucial part of your fishing experience. And the best shops offer much more than just bait and bobbers. They are places to go for local expertise, where you can get chatting with the owners and customers about what's biting, when, and where. If you're an angler in the area, don't miss out on these 10 excellent bait and tackle shops. 

The Bait Shack, Anchorage, AK

Whether you’re just off the plane with nary a fly in your hat brim or a grizzled angler stopping in to talk about the bite in Ship Creek, the Bait Shack is the place to go in Anchorage. They stock all the gear, bait, flies, and supplies you’ll need, and the experienced staff serves it up with fish stories and deep local knowledge. If you’re just visiting, you can rent equipment and arrange a guide through the Bait Shack, as well.

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Hook Line & Sinker Outdoors, Rogers, AR

Anglers looking to tie into a striper or chase one of the White River’s monster brown trout in Northwestern Arkansas need look no further than Hook Line & Sinker Outdoors for their gear needs. The shop has two locations, one in Rogers and one in Bentonville. Both locations stock top brands and boast deep selections of rods, reels, and tackle, as well as live and artificial baits. 

Squidco Fishing, San Diego, CA

For more than 80 years, Squidco Fishing has been supplying Southern California’s offshore anglers with the gear they need to haul in their fish. With everything from bait and fishing licenses to maps, boots, and reel repair, Squidco is the place to go for all of your saltwater needs and advice. 

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The Tackle Box, Marathon, FL

The Florida Keys are an angler’s paradise. A quick boat ride gets you to some of the best offshore fishing on the East Coast. Closer in, you’ll find incredible bottom fishing, as well as world-renowned inshore and flats fisheries. No matter the type of fishing you’re doing or the species your chasing, the Tackle Box in Marathon is the place to get the gear and supplies you need.

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S. Tokunaga Store, Hilo, HI

For nearly a century, anglers on Hawaii’s Big Island have relied on S. Tokunaga Store for bait, gear, tackle, and advice. Whether you’re heading offshore to troll for ahi or marlin or dropping heavy gear off the South Point cliffs to hook a monster ulua, you’ll find everything you need, as well as a few nuggets of wisdom, at S. Tokunaga Store. 

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Full Stringer Bait and Tackle, Longville, MN

Full Stringer Bait and Tackle in Longville—within close proximity to some of Minnesota’s best-known walleye, pike, and muskie fisheries—has been voted the North Star State’s favorite bait and tackle shop. In addition to rods, reels, and ice, you’ll find just about any kind of live/natural bait or artificial lure you can imagine. They may even tell you where to find the bite.

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Bud’s Bait, Carthage, MO

With locations in Carthage and Joplin, Bud’s Bait has been the go-to bait and tackle shop for Southwest Missouri anglers since 1962. Both locations stock a tremendous selection of the gear and supplies you’ll need to chase bass, walleye, crappie or catfish: Live bait to lures, rods, reels, and everything in between. 

East Rosebud Fly & Tackle, Billings, MT

Located on the Yellowstone River, Billings is a stone’s throw from the best trout fisheries under the Big Sky—and given Montana’s world-class reputation for trout angling, that’s saying something. The place to go for one of the state’s largest selections of trout fishing gear is East Rosebud Fly & Tackle. From waders to fly-tying supplies, East Rosebud is the place to get outfitted before you hit the river.

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Forestdale Bait and Tackle, Sandwich, MA

Anyone on the Cape or heading out to Cape Cod for a weekend of fishing can get the gear they need at Forestdale Bait and Tackle in Sandwich. Forestdale Bait and Tackle carries gear and supplies for both salt and freshwater anglers, with a bent toward those chasing trout and stripers. The shop even has flies and equipment for fly anglers. 

Surf City Bait & Tackle, Surf City, NJ

When you head out to the Jersey Shore for a day or weekend of fishing, hit up Surf City Bait & Tackle on Long Beach Island. Surf City carries plenty of live bait and a superior selection of tackle and gear. In addition, the shop offers rentals, daily fishing reports, and weekly fishing talks from experienced locals.

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