Take the bait

Jun 11, 2008 at 12:00 am

Detroit has several small, home-grown shops selling everything needed to fish. Though many bait shops have closed in recent years, including longstanding ones like Fisherman's Marina near Harbor Island and newer ones like Detroit Bait & Tackle on Bagley in Corktown, a handful are still out there, providing a mom-and-pop source for bait, tackle and fishing tips. Besides these specialty shops, others stores around town carry live bait and a handful of fishing supplies, including Mondry True Value Hardware on Michigan Avenue near Livernois, Palace Plaza on Jefferson Avenue at Meldrum, and even the old parking booth at the entrance to Delray Park — when someone's working there. But you're sure to find the goods at the following places:

Dicks' Fishing Hole

E. 7919 Jefferson Ave.; 313-824-6414

In a new location inside an old flower shop on the corner of Van Dyke, this decades-old store is a fixture. Owner Dick Brousseau, 73, talks the talk and walks the walk — the walls display large, mounted fish that Dick's caught over the years. He sells bait, poles, lures and sinkers.

Moe's Bait Shop

17412 E. Jefferson Ave., 313-824-5222

Located on the far east side, Jim "Moe" Mogielski, 38, makes most of his products himself. He melts blocks of lead to pour his own sinkers, and creates his own colorful lures by hand. The stretch of river near his shop has fishing nooks galore. "There's quite a few spots out there," he says.

Steve's Bait

6440 E. Jefferson Ave.; 313-259-1176

Billing itself as the oldest bait store in the city, they offer a huge variety of unusual bait including leeches and neon-green live worms, hundreds of lures and poles, and years of experience and advice.

Detroiter Glenn Lewis has been a longtime customer. "This is the best fishing store in the world to me," he says. He's around so much that an artist who painted an outdoor wall mural here included an image of him in it.

Lafayette Bait and Tackle

3331 W. Lafayette Blvd.; 313-613-0549

A victim of recent progress, this unfortunate place finds itself completely surrounded by the construction for the international welcome center near the Ambassador Bridge. The only access is off Fort Street near what used to be 23rd Street. "Might not make it if it stays like this," says owner Dean Aytes, 53.

The old store sells minnows by the dozen, as well as a small line of fishing equipment. Aytes, who co-owns the shop with his wife, says he'll provide beginners with everything they need to start fishing for about $30-$40. "I'll set them up. Just come on in," he says.