Interested in small bait retail business planning tips? If YES, here is a practical guide on bait and tackle shop business.

How to Start a Bait Shop

Are you looking towards starting a small bait shop? A bait shop would serve as a good business in an area with a considerable amount of angler men and women.

If you’ve a fondness for fishes,  why not start a mobile bait shop? It will allow you to do something you’re passionate about and earn from it.

Basically a live bait shop is for those who have fervor for fishing. However one must understand what it entails to run a shop and make maximum profit out of it.


Do you want to construct a building, lease or buy an existing one? Before making this decision you should consider your budget, the income gotten from starting up a bait shop is barely enough to construct a building. When you want to pick out a building to lease or buy to start a bait shop,  consider the shelves,  refrigerators, freezers and floor space as well as its ventilation, these components would make a fully functional bait shop.


Your bait shop should be specially made to fit your needs. It should also be located in an area where lots of fishing activities are carried out.

After securing a good location to start a bait shop, you must purchase the equipment. You must have a minimum of two refrigerators of about 5 feet tall with transparent glass doors to allow customers see through.


The licence and permits differ by state, however you’ll require a retail merchant’s, bait dealer’s, minnow dealer, sales tax licence to start a bait shop anywhere. You will also need a warranty from the environmental and local sewer agencies in your area to dispose the water from your fish tanks into the sewer system. There may be other required licence in your state to start a bait shop, meet with the local department of natural resources to gather information on these licences.


The baits will have to be purchased from a government approved vendor or if you want to collect the baits personally, you’ll have to do this in line with the local state rules to prevent the spread of diseases among consumable fishes.

You can purchase about thirty packages of different colors and sizes of bait to start a bait store. Conduct a survey to find out the type of baits the local angler want. Ensure you avoid mixing up the baits and label the package properly with its suitable prize.

If you are unable to gather the worms on your own, you can offer kids in the neighborhood a little amount of money in exchange for gathering the worms. After you may have accumulated enough worms, you can proceed to separate these worms according to size and maybe color.


A business plan is necessary in every business, it describes the shop, your goals, objectives and business strategies.

The business plan for your bait shop should contain the summary of the business, business description, market analysis, Market strategy, Competitive analysis, business financial information and development plans.

The first section of a bait shop business plan is the executive summary which would contain on overview on the entire plan. Describe your business, the type of baits you want to sell and side items as well.

A market strategy is what you get from a detailed market analysis, a market analysis would allow you to understand what a bait shop entails. It will identify your target customers and ways to accumulate your share of sales.

The operations and management of the shop should be taken down and should contain the coordination and duties of the members of the management team. A section for the financial data of the shop should also be put aside, this section should contain all the revenue, money going out of the shop and your startup budget.

Find out a means to gain an edge over other bait shops in your area? What services or baits can you offer that other bait shop owners don’t? You can decide to sell live baits or other important fishing items.


If you do not have enough to start a bait shop, you can get financial assistance from these external sources;

  • Loan from the bank.
  • Love money – Loan from spouse, family or friends.
  • Venture capital.
  • Investors
  • Grants and subsidies.


Advertise your shop. Find out where fishermen socialize, create public awareness through social media, place discount on a few items to attract customers.

Bait shops are difficult to manage and they also fetch very low profit. However, you can get additional profits by trading other items such as boats, nets and fishing rod and the prizes placed on your baits should be at least twice the original price.