The Rhine Valley Game Calls and Bait Shop will be one of the smallest in physical size that you may visit, but it will contain the most products per square foot of any bait shop that you will ever see.

You could spend hours looking at the eclectic assortment of products that adorn the walls and ceiling. This bait shop is a small family business located on the back roads close to the banks of the Missouri and Gasconade rivers, just a few miles Southwest of Hermann, Mo.

This is not a bait shop that you just happen to see as you are traveling and stop in. This is a place that you seek out specifically if you need bait or other fishing or hunting supplies.

James (Jim) Poulsen is the owner. In November 2013 when he discovered what the high cost of a simple wildlife call was, Jim decided that he could produce a high quality and an affordable product himself. That was the beginning of Rhine Valley Game Calls.

After a short period of time Jim wanted to expand the business. Realizing that there was not a bait shop in the immediate area, he determined that this was a good direction for his business to follow. He applied to the Missouri Department of Conservation for a bait dealer’s license and in June 2014 live bait was added to his inventory.

If you are planning a fishing trip and are in the market for nightcrawlers, red wigglers, shiners, goldfish, crickets, leeches, cut shad or herring and a very wide selection of prepared catfish baits, you need to stop here.

There is also frozen shad, chicken liver and gizzards. The primary species of fish that the majority of people seek is catfish. With both the Gasconade and Missouri rivers close by their choices include the channel, flathead and blue catfish. Spoonbills are also snagged during season. The majority of farm ponds will also contain catfish.

Jim Poulsen is well known throughout the community. This is because he has been in law enforcement for over 21 years, part of the time as the assistant police chief for the City of Hermann. Currently he works part-time as an EMT (emergency medical technician) for the county besides working full-time security at the Callaway Electric facility.  

With his knowledge of the area and its people, supported by his great common sense, Jim is an important asset to his clients. He knows most of the clients by name and the loyalty between each other is strong.

This is evident by the various fishing and hunting supplies that you will find at his bait shop. Jim’s inventory is very specific to his client’s needs. With great emphasis on the client’s need for putting food on their table.

The terminal tackle supports the serious catfishing in the area. There is a wide assortment of hooks, weights, trotline equipment, snagging hooks, snaps, swivels, and even more hooks.

Many of Jim’s clients that run trotlines for food have their own preference for the type and size of hooks that they use. Jim also carries bank poles for the catfishermen.

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