Home Drifting Easy - Fishing Tips Best Sellers at Oyster Bay Tackle-
Best Sellers at Oyster Bay Tackle-

We’ve been in the bait and tackle business for 32 years, and over that time I have seen a lot of products, makes and brands, come and go. Sometimes people ask me, “What are your top sellers?”

When it comes to reels I would quickly answer Penn. If it was five years ago, I would have answered Okuma. That’s how fast things can change in a fast changing market. It’s all about affordability in my neck of the woods. It’s also about dependability and endurance. Put the two together and you have a winner.

Penn has changed hands a couple times in the last decade and there are a lot of grumbles that they aren’t made in USA anymore. But, the company has come out with four lines of reels called Pursuit, Fierce, Sargus and Battle that cover all sizes and price ranges from $39.99 to $119.99. Each step up has more ball bearings and more features, but all of these reels are smooth, solid and durable.

The Penn Company has also done away with the anti-reverse switch. If anyone has been reading my last couple of columns, you know how many problems are associated with an anti-reverse. Sand gets in the mechanism and it quits working, making the reel turn both ways. Newbie’s switch it off, and make a total mess of their line. Kids mess with the switch and there’s no joy. I love the fact that Penn has done away with this anti-reverse switch and I wish every company would follow their lead. When I sell a customer a Penn reel, there’s no thought in my mind that says, “Oh boy, I wonder if he’ll be bringing it back tomorrow with some kind of problem…”

“What are your best selling rods?”

That question is a little harder because each of my employees like and show their favorite brands. If you walk into Fenwick Tackle, Buddy Seigel will put a lightweight, 9-foot Tica rod in your hands every time. At Oyster Bay Tackle, Libby Kelly will show you a Daiwa Emcast surf rod for the beach. I will search for the Sea Striker Beach Runner surf rod for a combination of price and a lightweight feel for the beach, and a Shakespeare Ugly Stick for the bay. I’m also partial to Star rods, while Walter Moore loves St. Croix. Both are wonderful if you are in the market for a higher dollar rod.

Shakespeare Ugly Sticks have been around for a long time and it’s hard to beat them for price and durability. If an angler wants to horse big stripers up on the Route 50 Bridge, I will sell them an Ugly Stick in a heartbeat so that little voice in my head won’t ask… “I wonder if he’ll break it….”

“What is your best selling lure?”

Well, that’s got to be the Got-cha Plug! We sell Got-cha Plugs for bluefish, stripers, shad and trout. These versatile lures are not real expensive, bluefish can’t bite the tails off and you don’t have to be an expert to use them. Got-cha Plugs are real popular with anglers fishing on the Route 50 Bridge, Oceanic Pier and in the Inlets. The Sea Striker site says: “The ORIGINAL GOT-CHA™ plug comes in several styles and colors. The lure is excellent for bluefish, Spanish mackerel, trout and other fish that feed on small bait fish. It is great for fishing from piers and bridges and is also a favorite of boat fishermen jigging for trout and bluefish.” We’ve even had anglers catch fish in the surf with them. Small ones are good for shad, medium sized for bluefish, and the 2-ounce models are excellent for stripers. When we first started carrying Got-cha Plugs several years ago, we stocked about 6 models. Now we stock around 50 plus different kinds and send quite a few out to Internet customers. They are especially popular in Texas and the Carolinas.

“What is your best selling terminal tackle?”

Top and bottom rigs for sure. Those plain, simple, TW1040 rigs that everyone puts two snelled hooks on to go fishing everywhere and anywhere. The heavy duty top and bottom rigs are also very popular. Leadered hooks and sinkers and swivels would be next. These items are ones that no tackle store can run out of because if you don’t have hooks, swivels, sinkers and rigs you can’t run a tackle store!

“What are the 10 items besides hooks, top and bottom rigs, sinkers and swivels that you would never, ever run out of without going through a major panic attack during a busy summer day?”

1) Crab Throw Lines

2) Crab Nets

3) Minnow Buckets

4) Minnows, chicken necks and squid

5) Sand spikes

6) Fishbite Bloodworms

7) Berkley Gulp

8) Inexpensive 10-foot combos for the surf

9) Inexpensive 6’6” combos for the bay

10) Kingfish rigs for the surf

We are a predominately an inshore tackle shop and sell to anglers fishing in the bay and surf. If you asked these questions to a marina selling offshore bait and rigs, the answers would be totally different!

Some of the above items are bait, which would make one ask…

“What is your most popular bait?”

At Fenwick Tackle, it would be finger mullet, bunker, Fishbite bloodworms and squid. At Oyster Bay Tackle, it would be bloodworms, Fishbite bloodworms, live minnows, Berkley Gulp and squid. I guess you noticed that two artificial baits are very important products that I would hate to run out of at any time. Berkley Gulp! and Fishbite Bloodworms have continued to be very good sellers and I would say it is because they work! My most popular natural bait would have to be squid, only because it is so versatile and almost everyone uses it at one time or another.

“What is your most popular non-tackle related item you sell in your store?”

No question about it, White Marlin Open T-shirts for sure! Almost every tackle store around sells lots of products that are fishing related. Some of the items that are popular for us, and I’m sure other tackle stores as well, are polarized sunglasses, suntan lotion, hats, visors, t-shirts and tire deflators. Tackle stores and marinas offer different brands and kinds of products that you can’t find in average outlet mall. Customers come in to find unique gifts, fishing t’s and just “something different” to take back home. I do a lot of my clothes shopping at the marinas downtown and in West Ocean City because they offer neat and different clothes I can’t find in the mall. (ask Michelle at the OC Fishing Center and Sunset Marina!) I’m often seen poking around upstairs at Ake Marine to see what’s on the rack as well.

Well, that gives you a glimpse of our most popular, best selling products. Thanks to everyone for a great season, especially my customers, without whom I would not have a business. Thanks to Larry Jock and his staff at the Coastal Fisherman for putting out the best fishing paper ever. Thanks to my employees who worked hard this summer to make our stores succeed. Thanks to my parents in heaven, Irv and Juanita Mumford, who helped to build Oyster Bay Tackle, starting in 1980. I miss you every day. Thanks to my brother Dan who works behind the scenes. We have a small family business and WE DID BUILD IT!

Good Fishing…

Sue Foster is an outdoor writer and owner of Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City, MD and Fenwick Tackle in Fenwick, DE.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 10:54