The coronavirus pandemic has had wide-ranging effects across a wide variety of industries. Meat shortages have been reported across the country due to packing plants becoming infected, but another industry that is being hit is the bait and tackle industry.
The shortage is due to both a higher demand because fishing is something you can do while social distancing, and also factories and warehouses being shut down.
In an interview with Fox News, Steve Spencer, co-owner of Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton, Ark., confirmed that they’ve seen an increase in business and that many bait shops in the area are seeing shortages. He says his store has been lucky since he has been in business for 35 years and has built a good relationship with suppliers.
“Really the hardest thing has been the live bait, the crickets, we ran out of crickets a couple of weeks ago, the first time we’ve ever been out in 35 years,” said Spencer
“I think as more things open up, and people get back to work and stuff it will get back to normal,” he continued, “but I think it’s going to take longer to get back to normal than it did to get behind.”
“I’ve seen a lot of people go fishing that have never been fishing before,” he said, “and people taking their kids, you know, that haven’t been before, and people are still able to get out and do things and still maintain that social distance.”
Another good thing about more people getting involved in fishing is that it means more money for conservation. The Dingle-Johnson Act put a small excise tax on all fishing equipment. That means with more people buying more money goes into the fund which benefits all fishermen.