While driving down the feeder street along Broadway on Tuesday, I noticed one of the bait shops had apparently gone out of business as the building had a “For Lease” sign out front.  

A cold, drizzling rain was coming from the north, and it made me realize just how tough it is to survive in the bait business. While other merchants are adversely affected by the weather, bait camps have to be one of the hardest hit during conditions like those that have dominated this year.

One of the keys to success in that line of work has to be the love of fishing. How else can anyone hang in there with the uncertainties that exist with the weather?  

During the years, I have known many bait camp owners and operators, and I have to say the one common thread among them is the love of fishing and being close to the water. While there is good money to be made in that line of work, the successful operators have to have good self-discipline when it comes to managing money and planning ahead.

This year being a good example of how weather can shut down fishing, the purveyors of bait have to manage, somehow, to make it during prolonged periods without much business.  

Shrimpers also fall into the same category. When the fishermen are kept off the water, there is no market for their catch of bait. With live bait not in demand, the bait camps have to look to other things to make the cash register ring, not the least of which is customers.

Hopefully, we will have some warm, sunny days soon following all of this inclement weather and the commerce in the fishing-related businesses will make up for lost time.

Coming as no surprise to anyone, there were no fishing reports for Tuesday. The fish have to be getting hungry, along with the humans trying to make a livelihood in the sport of catching them.

Reel Report

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. To get your catch in the Reel Report, call 409-683-5273 or email reel.report@galvnews.com.

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