Fishing Tips

5 Places to Buy Fishing Gear Online: Supporting Small Business

When it come to fishing gear, big box stores like BassPro and Walmart are hard to beat. They are convenient, yes. I myself try my best to support small business as much as possible. When out, I stop and visit local mom and pop shops like Wormies (the local pay lake/bait shop here but doesn’t sell online).

An upside of buying from smaller places, especially fishing stores, is that they usually have their own small batch brands. You can find some good hand-made lures!

This country is built on small business and though their prices may not be as good as big box stores, your helping the little guy. So today, I’m going to go over a few small online fishing shop you should check out before visiting the larger guys. Support small business!

JustForFishing.com

First up is probably my favorite online fishing store. The site is well made and easy on the eyes. It is easy to search for your favorite gear and set up in a way that is easy to browse looking for something to catch your eye.

JustForFishing.com carries a wide range of brand names. If it is made you will probably find it here. They have  everything broke down into easy to choose sections.

  • Saltwater Fishig
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Fly Fishing
  • Cast Nets (yes a whole sections on cast netting!)
  • Appeal
  • And even a “Bargain Cave”

Based out of Tampa Florida, you can be sure shipping is fast. They are good group to deal with and are very nice people.

They also have their own products listed below:

If you are looking for new gear or your favorite lure, I suggest checking them out before heading out to Walmart. It might surprise you how a small business can hang.

Fishing Frugal Lures

Nick from Fishng Frugal Lures offers custom made lures and jigs. Sure they may be a little more pricey than big box stores, but you can be sure they are hand made and can be customized the way you want.

He offers:

  • Crank Baits
  • Buzz Baits
  • Soft Plastics
  • Jigs

If your looking for custom made baits, check Nick out.

Speedy Worm

One thing the bog box stores can’t do nearly as good as smaller shops, is to sell good live bait. Have you ever bought live bait from Walmart? Dried up and junk!

Ever think of buying live bait online? Small companies like Speedy Worm does just that, and they do a good job at that. Sure, the website may be small, but they will give any other bait shop a run for their money.

When it comes to prices and shipping, they are hard to beat.

They offer in Bulk:

  • Wax Worms
  • Canadian Nightcrawler
  • Leeches
  • Meal Worms
  • European Nightcrawlers
  • Spikes
  • Butter Worms
  • Composting Worms
  • Crickets

If you are looking to buy live bait in bulk, check them out before buying from a bog box store.

PTL Craft Lures

If you are looking for Trout specific lures, PTL Craft is a good place to start looking. All of their lures are handmade and PTL is all about Trout. They love to fish them, and that’s all they do.

All lures are made from beginning to end by Guilaume and Christelle in their home. Based out of South of France so shipping times may be a little longer but it is worth the wait.

Just note that they are redoing their website and it will be up again soon.

Slater’s Jigs

If you’re a jig person, you know there are tons of options out there. Most are junk! Slater’s Jigs offers some handmade jigs that will make you want to bite at them!

From plastics to hair, these jigs will put the bite on. You will not find anything like them at a bog box store.

The Bottom Line

The point of this article is to open your eyes to choices other than big box stores. There are tons of small businesses out there that you could be supporting. You will find some real gems!

Why buy from a corporation when you have hard working people that are making/selling what they love? Buying from local mom and pop fishing stores and supporting the little guy on the net is a way to contribute to our hobby of choice.

The Great Smoky Mountains a Hidden Fishing Paradise

I have been working (and visiting) the Great Smoky Mountains a lot the past couple of years. During my winding drives, I have come along some real hidden gems in respect to fishing that looks to be begging for me to pull over and start casting.

Being more of a lake/creek fisherman, I have only been fly fishing once in my life as a kid. The Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina have got me thinking about giving it a real try.

The Views of The Smoky Mountains

The beautiful view the smoky mountains offers will take your breath away. The region offers a lot of wildlife along with many streams/rivers that flow heavily giving trout fishing anglers a perfect and beautiful experience.

Depending on where you go in the Smoky Mountains, you will find many places to stay. For a fishing trip, I would suggest looking into getting a cabin.

The Fishing opportunities of The Smoky Mountains

Being that the Smoky Mountains are so large, you will find endless fishing opportunities. From rolling rivers to slow moving waterways and lakes. Here are a few I have found during my drives to customers:

Oconaluftee River

Located in Cherokee, NC, the Oconaluftee is a staple for local trout fishing. With Cherokee’s large Elk population, you never know who you will see out in the water. This stretch of river is a beautiful spot to fish or just have lunch take in the beauty.

One note to keep in mind. You will need a NC fishing license with a trout stamp. You also my need a Cherokee fishing license if you are located withing the tribal land. You can find more information on this and other regulations here.

This is the river I have been thinking about fishing. The downside for myself is, it will require new gear. Since I have do not fly fish, new fly rod, tackle and bibs are needed. I have been looking at some fishing wader reviewed and some rod/reels in my price range as of late. Hope to have everything by mid season!

Cherokee Lake

If you are more into Large Mouth or Stripped Bass, Cherokee Lake may be your spot. This whole region is known for massive lake and stripe bass. I have been past this lake many of times and planning on putting a trip together in the next year or two with my brother in-law.

Lake Cumberland and Norris Lake

So, Lake Cumberland and Norris Lake are not quite in the Smoky Mountains but close enough where they are worthy of a mention. We have fished both lakes many of times.

Lake Cumberland

Located in near the Kentuck/Tennessee border, Lake Cumberland is most widely known for Striped Bass fishing. We have caught some monsters. But, you don’t need to stick with Stripe Bass. Once you limit out,hit the Small Mouth. You can expect to pull some nice fish out of this lake. Actually, the image used on our twitter page is a Stripe Bass caught on a trip their. Here is my quick article on a Lake Cumberland fishing trip I posted back in 2013.

Norris Lake

Norris Lake is newer to our adventures. We have only been once but have decided to go back as soon as we can. Located in the same region as Cumberland, Norris Lake is located throughout many counties in Tennessee. It has a lot of creeks and rivers intertwined flowing into it.

Me with three monsters caught at Norris

Photoed above is some nice Strip Bass caught on our trip to Norris Lake. We had a great day out on the water and limited out.

Above is a beast I pulled in a mouth of a river and Norris Lake. We were located on the river and you channel going into the lake is behind the boat you see in the photo.

Other Fishing Opportunities

There are so many fishing opportunities  in and around the Great Smoky Mountains, it would be impossible to list them all. The above are just a few of the opportunities I have drove past you fished myself. If you have a trip coming up or want to plan one, I suggest googling “smoky mounting fishing”. You will find endless possibilities.

The Bottom Line

If you have never been to the Smoky Mountains, I suggest you check the area out. The mountains makes for a good family trip, tons of wildlife and endless views. Check out my review on Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, great place for a family trip with plenty of river access for fishing.

So, do you fish in the Smoky Mountains? If so, share with us places to check out!