Cape Cod and the Islands’ Bait Shops
By: Tonya Jean Kelsey
Visit a Cape Cod bait shop for all your fishing needs from worms to waders. Local bait shop owners are also friendly hosts who can steer you the right direction when it comes to local fishing spots, what to use where, and what not to do.
If you plan on bait fishing, you’ll need to find what the local fish like and the best place to go is a bait shop. Don’t waste precious fishing time trying to catch your own, just pick up some eel, squid or herring on the way. Most shops also carry lures, line, rods, reels, and mosquito repellent. Many carry boating necessities. Some have waders, hats, and rain gear. All have helpful staff willing to help you make the right choice whether you are heading out on a boat, surfcasting, bait fishing, or fly fishing. Even if you don’t really need anything, stop in at a bait shop on your way out for the latest tips, sage advice, or just a friendly hello from a true Cape Codder.
There are popular bait shops all over the Upper Cape region. Buzzards Bait in Bourne is conveniently located off Main Street on Miller Cove. Maco’s Bait & Tackle has two locations in the area with bait and tackle plus boat storage onsite. Red Top Sporting Goods offers rod repairs, line spooling and rigging services. Toward Sandwich, Canal Bait and Tackle features lures selected for working the Cape Cod Canal. Or stop by Forestdale Bait and Tackle for bait and gear plus fresh fish and lobster rolls at their very own fish market. Down in Falmouth, Falmouth Bait & Tackle Co in Teaticket can fix you up for fly-fishing with complete lines and they also offer shell fishing gear, rentals, and line spooling service. Eastman’s Sport & Tackle has a huge selection of gear plus knives, outerwear, and all the accessories you never thought you’d need, and JC’s Offshore Tackle specializes in an array of offshore rigs. Then, at the end of Falmouth Inner Harbor, West Marine is a full-service marine shop with boats and everything you could possibly need for your boat, kayaks, fishing tackle, clothing and more.
In the Mid Cape area, Fish Snax Lures in West Barnstable is Cape Cod’s own local manufacturer of high-quality soft baits, hooks, and lures. Sports Port Bait and Tackle in Hyannis and Sports Port Too in Osterville are classic family-owned local bait shops with all the right tackle and great advice. And West Marine also has a location in Hyannis with an assortment of tackle, boating equipment, clothing, accessories, and services the company is known for across the country. Further east, Riverview Bait and Tackle in South Yarmouth and Harwich Sport Bait and Tackle in Harwich Port both stocks just what you’ll need to fish for everything from bluegill to bluefin Tuna, as well as hunting gear, apparel, and accessories.
Moving on to the Lower and Outer Cape area, more local bait shops await to make sure you’ve got everything it takes to have a successful day on the water. In Chatham, Cape Fishermen’s Supply offers fishing supplies plus lobster traps, safety gear, mooring supplies, rainwear and more, and the bait shop at Cape Cod Charters can hook you up with live bait, too. In Brewster, stop by Ace Hardware for bait and basic tackle. Up the road, Goose Hummock Shop in Orleans and Blackbeard’s Bait & Tackle in Eastham are go-to spots for bait, gear, and fishing news.
The bait shops on the Islands are also the best source of information on what’s biting, where they are, and what they’re hitting. On Martha’s Vineyard, Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown has tackle, bait, hunting supplies and the latest fishing reports, and Coops Bait and Tackle offers expert advice along with some of the best fishing gear you can buy. West Marine has a site in Vineyard Haven, where you can get everything, you need for fishing, boating, and paddling. On Nantucket, Bill Fisher Tackle is a local gem, owned by members of the fishing community who are keeping this Nantucket tradition alive. While they sell bait and tackle, it’s the tips, service and encouragement that keep visitors coming back year after year. Nantucket Tackle Center also offers great service, and they have a wide selection of rods, reels and lures including well-known locally crafted Spofford’s Lures.