The Tackle Shop TourPosted on: August 31, 2020 FHMD
Tens of thousands of people enjoy fishing in Maryland and they all need bait and tackle at some point. Enter the independent tackle shop, a thriving business based on customer service. Dozens of fine “Mom & Pop” tackle shops are sprinkled throughout Maryland, and the fishing public is blessed to have them. Read on for an overview of five, longstanding tackle shops, one in each region of Maryland.
Tochterman’s Tackle, at 1925 Eastern Avenue in Baltimore City is the oldest family-owned tackle shop not only in the central region but in the country. Thomas G. Tochterman, Sr. opened the store in February 1916 and they are still at the same address. Originally, Mr. Tochterman sold confections, but soon started selling soft crabs and peelers to local anglers to use for bait. Before long he added bamboo fishing poles and started making cork floats, snelling hooks and pouring lead sinkers. The business evolved into a full service tackle shop. Thomas G. Tochterman, Jr. and his brother Edward took over the shop in 1936 and ran the store for decades. The business was turned over to Tommy Jr. and Tony in 1981. Tony and his cheerful wife Dee have been running the shop for the last 30 years and have no plans to retire. Anglers come from across Maryland and surrounding states to browse and buy tackle at the historic, four rowhouse wide tackle shop. Call Tochterman’s Tackle at 410-327-6942. Open 9am to 6pm; closed Sundays.
The Tackle Box in the southern region of the state is a full-service tackle shop owned by Ken Lamb. It is stocked with fresh and frozen bait, live eels, minnows, and a huge selection of rods, reels and artificial lures. Ken’s mother and father started the business “on a shoestring “in 1960 in a small room on the side of a building. In 1974, the Tackle Box moved to its current location off of Route 4 in Lexington Park between Solomon’s Island and Point Lookout. It’s a convenient location for anglers fishing the mid-Chesapeake Bay and surrounding tidal rivers. There is ample parking in front of the store, even for boats on trailers. The Tackle Box is open 7 days a week, 6am to 8pm except weekends when they open at 5am. They are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Call the Tackle Box at 301-863-8151.
Jim and Robin Wiegand own the Bassin Box on old route 40 in LaVale, Maryland. It is halfway between Cumberland and Frostburg. The location is convenient to Rocky Gap State Park and Casino, Deep Creek Lake and branches of the upper Potomac River. The pleasant couple started the business in their garage almost 35 years ago. They moved to their current 3,500 square foot shop in 1991. Customers are welcome to sit in the store, drink coffee and tell fishing stories. Jim makes custom lures while Robin charms the regulars with her kindness. The store is essentially their life and they enjoy it. Bassin Box primarily caters to bass and trout anglers, but they also sell hunting and archery supplies as well as live bait and fly tying materials. They are open from 9am to 6:30pm; closed Sundays. Call Bassin Box at 301-729-4088.
Chesapeake Outdoors has been in business since the year 2000. The store is just off of Route 50 on Kent Island at 1707 Main St. The spacious building has plenty of parking and 3,800 square feet of retail space. It’s a fully stocked tackle shop, with fresh and frozen bait. They also have crabbing supplies and lots of hunting and archery equipment. John Oertly has been the manager for 15 years and “does it all.” Customer service is his stock in trade. Open 7 days a week, 5am to 7pm Monday through Saturday; 5am to 5pm Sundays. Call them at 410-604-2500.
Cheverly Sport Fair is at 5621 Landover Road in Hyattsville. The store has been around for decades. It’s the kind of place where you can get tips on the local hot spots and find just the lure you’ve been looking for. Recently sold, it is now under new ownership, but still delivers the experience and knowledge you’d expect from a long-time, quality shop. Open 7 days a week from 9am to 6pm, except Sundays when they close at 2:30pm. Call 301-277-8145.
These are just a few of the tackle shops you’ll find in Maryland. You can check out a full list here.
In need of additional inspiration? Check out Fish & Hunt Maryland’s latest articles written by fellow sportsmen and local partners.
Be sure to acquire your license from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources before heading out. Visit our Plan Your Trip page for information on fishing charters and guides, lodging options, marinas, retailers, and more.