The other day our Executive Editor handed me a page from an NJ newspaper with a small article about a new tackle shop opening up not too far from home. According to the story, owner Frank Hernandez, Jr. (who, it turns out, I went to high school with) was laid off from his job at a trucking company. Rather than look for someone else to work for, he decided he was going to work for himself. In the story, the reporter asks the life-long angler about the decision, to which Hernandez replies: “I’m taking a risk, but you only live once.”
I went through both a tackle shop phase and fly shop phase in my life. In high school my buddy Chris and I thought opening a bait shop at the Jersey Shore sounded like a swell idea. But even back then we realized there were so many established shops, it would never work. Then after college my friend Mark and I had the scheme of the century. We would open a high-class fly shop in uppity Princeton, NJ. It’s a town full of rich academics that come from all over the world and travel all over the world. This dream quickly crashed and burned when we found out the cost of renting a storefront in Princeton.
The bigger issue, however, is that it’s really hard to fish when you’re sitting behind a cash register all day or refilling the PowerBait shelves. I’ve had so many people tell me that if you love to fish, never open a tackle shop and never become a charter captain. In the article about Frank’s shop, it says he’s open 7 days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and he has no other employees. On one hand I’m envious because he had the guts to pull the trigger. On the other, I truly hope looking at lures all day instead of casting them doesn’t drive him mad. Do you think you could run a tackle shop? Have a great weekend.