By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
Owner: Clay Coleman
Address: 205 S. Veterans Blvd., Tupelo
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday: closed Sunday
Phone: (662) 840-7980
Facebook: Clay’s Bait and Tackle
Advice: “I’ve found a niche and I’m digging into that deep. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, specialize in something that will keep customers coming all year.”
The predecessor of Clay’s Bait & Tackle Shop has been around since the 1950s.
The original shop was at the corner of Veterans and Main Street. It changed owners over the years and in 1991, the business moved to its current location on South Veterans.
Clay Coleman bought the business three years ago and has worked hard to convert it into the year-round go-to place for freshwater fishing supplies.
The store sells tackle for bass, brim, catfish and crappie. It emphasizes its selection of Zoom tackle.
It also has a fly fishing section.
The store stocks live worms, crappie minnows, bass minnows, crickets and goldfish. Plus, it stocks rooster liver, which Coleman said is an excellent catfish bait.
The bait shop also carries adult- and kid-size fishing poles, tackle boxes, locally made jigs and custom-painted lures.
The store also offers free knot-tying and troubleshooting help. It encourages customers to bring in their poles so employees can offer customized advice.
“We spend most of our time helping brand new fishermen get started, helping fishermen who have been around for a year or two improve their skills and helping tournament fishermen learn a trick or two,” Coleman said.