Spotlight: Jack’s Bait and Tackle

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Recreational fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in the United States. Every year, millions of individuals hit the water. For some, this is a casual endeavor that might involve one fishing outing per year; for others, fishing can be a hobby, a passion, or an obsession.

Even the most avid anglers have to buy their equipment from somewhere, however. Today, Premier Angler takes a look at one of those places — an established bait shop in southern Tennessee.

Chances are that if you have fished Lake Chickamauga near Chattanooga, you have visited Jack’s Bait and Tackle Shop. The customer-friendly shop, which was owned and operated for half a century by founded Jack Brooks, is now run by his daughter, Kim Trotter.

We had the chance to recently chat with Kim about the shop.

Jack’s Bait and Tackle Shop: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Premier Angler: Let’s start with the basics — when did Jack’s Bait and Tackle Shop open its doors? What led to the founding of the store?

Trotter: My family loves to fish. We wanted to serve our community with the best bait and tackle 

Premier Angler: What would you say are some of the biggest challenges facing an independent bait shop today? What challenges have been the biggest for your shop specifically?

Trotter: Having the right products and being able to please everyone.

Premier Angler: Conversely, what is something you are proud of about the shop?

Trotter: Having enough room for new stock. 

Premier Angler: The shop has a pretty good location, situated fairly close to both Chickamauga Lake and the Tennessee River. Located in Chattanooga, however, you’re also dealing with competition for some large retailers. With so many stores carrying an array of baits and tackles now, how has this affected smaller shops?

Trotter: It does not effect us due to the fact that we have a lot of custom made products made locally. These custom made products are only available at Jack’s.

Premier Angler: Jack’s has a pretty active Facebook account with almost 2,500 followers. For smaller shops, how important is it to be active on social media and engage with your current and potential customers? Why?

Trotter: It is very important! It helps get our name and products out to our community and even outside of our area.

Jacks Bait and Tackle
A collection of fish caught using baits from Jack’s Bait and Tackle (photo via Kim Trotter)

Premier Angler: What do you believe is the most important factor that goes in to running a successful bait shop?

Trotter: Being honest and trustworthy, dependable, and willing to take that extra step to serve our customers.

Premier Angler: What would you like any new customers to know about your shop?

Trotter: We have been in business for 53 years. Our customers are our family and they are very loyal to us. When new customers walk through our doors, they leave knowing we have given them our best and that they are now a part of our family. We love our community and have been very blessed over our 53 years .

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