Custom Lures and Bait is very different from the other bait shops that I have visited over the past several months.
Even the name shows its paradox to a typical bait shop. Lures are featured before the live bait and that philosophy carries throughout the shop and its owners.
Roger Tripp and his partner, James Brewington, opened their shop on Sept. 15, 2013, in Fredericktown, Mo. The live bait part of the business came about because there wasn’t a bait shop locally and their customers requested live bait along with the lures that they purchased.
As you drive into the parking lot the first thing you notice is that the bait shop is an entirely separate building located next to the main building.
The fisherman has a good selection of bait to choose from. There are the standard Canadian Crawlers and red wigglers. Minnows include shiners, gold fish, koi, and rosie reds. The bait fisherman will also find crickets and Super meal worms.
Catfishing is very popular in the area and to accommodate them, the bait shop carries Sonny’s dip bait, blood balls, Skip Jack Herring, shad and rooster livers when they are available.
People can stop in anytime from sunup to sundown to buy bait and supplies except on Thursdays. Custom Lures and Bait shop closes on Thursdays.
To insure that their customers receive the best and healthiest baits, Roger and James make a weekly journey with their specially-equipped truck to buy their bait directly from a wholesaler and not a local distributer. This way, they can be selective in their choices of bait for their customers.
The main building for Customer Lures and Bait is a story in itself. Built on the edge of town, the building started out life as a honky-tonk bar and dance hall. When you walk into the building you will find Roger Tripp, Sharon Martin, or James Brewington behind the original bar ready to serve you.
Select a soft drink from the refrigerator and a bag of chips or some other type of snacks that are available, sit on the bar stool and have Roger fill you in on the colorful history of the building.
Sharon will take you on a tour of their shop and point out the selection of terminal tackle they carry, which includes many sizes and styles of hooks, weights, lines, swivels, etc.