Couple opens bait-and-tackle shop in Lakeland
LAKELAND — Matt Wiseman calls his new bait shop “1,200 square feet of fishing fun.” Inspired by seeing people fishing in the area, Wiseman hopes his store, Matt’s Lucky Bait & Tackle, becomes the best bait shop in the St. Croix Valley.
“We looked in Afton, Bayport, Lakeland and Woodbury,” Wiseman said. “When we didn’t find a bait shop, we thought it was time to bring it back to the valley. And we thought it would be a good idea.”
Wiseman and his business partner and girlfriend, Sarah Neuman, hope to create a one-stop convenience shop for area anglers in time for the summer fishing season.
“The process was interesting,” Wiseman said. “There were lots of phone calls but once we got ahold of the right people we got it done.”
Achieving his new venture was a journey, according to Wiseman.
“It’s been a hard road to get here. We had a house fire. I got laid off and finally I decided that it was time to go into business for myself,” he said.
He hopes in the long run he can benefit the community, too.
“My grandparents have been in boats for most of my life and they helped me out with setting up this shop.” Wiseman said.
Wiseman has fond memories of fishing with his grandparents when he was younger.
“Ever since I was a little kid I’d always loved fishing. I went fishing every day, caught crappies, bass, sunnies, you name it. Lately I’ve been doing more walleye and northern fishing now and I love to fish at any time.” Wiseman said. “I remember when I was little I’d go boating on the lake with my grandpa and we had a great time.”
Wiseman’s love of fishing encouraged him to make his bait shop a convenience for area anglers needing some fresh bait.
“I remember this one time I wanted to go fishing at 1 a.m. and everything around here was closed. My bait bucket had froze and I couldn’t go fishing so I’m hoping to open up shop any time a fisherman need it.” Wiseman said.
The shop will be open from 5 a.m. to midnight and Wiseman is just a phone call and short distance away if people need to buy bait outside those hours. His number is listed on the store’s door.
Items available from the shop include crappie minnows, nightcrawlers, shiners, suckers and leeches The shop sells propane and plan to have wood available.
For tackle, the store carries bobbers, jigs, fenders, rods and many other items. Wiseman works with local designers and has muskie bait and custom-made jigs created by them on sale in his store as well.
Fishing licenses are also available at the store and Wiseman hopes to do consignment sales in the future.
The couple’s goals now are establishing a strong customer base and turning the store into a gathering place for anglers.
“Once we get a really strong customer base we’ll offer free coffee to the old-timers who want to come in and shoot the breeze before heading out,” Wiseman said.
The bait shop is currently in their soft-opening. The grand opening celebrations take place on April 6 and 7. Celebrations go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and hot dogs and beverages will be provided for those who stop by.
The shop is located at 178 St. Croix Trail N, Suite 100, Lakeland, MN 55043.
For more information on the shop check out mattsluckybait.com or find them on Facebook at Matt’s Lucky Bait & Tackle.