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tbags

Is that the new bait shop in town?? Anyone been there yet? Is it worth checking out?

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walleyedan

Yes, "Hot Spot". I walked in about a month ago as they were stocking the shelves just to say hello. I forget the owners name, but he used to work at Koeps Sport Shop. I'm sure they will have the essentials and I was told that the Nisswa Guides will be working out of "Hot Spot" and Reeds.

Walleyedan

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daddyducker

Hey WD?

Where is this new shop at? It must have just opened this spring? Are they fully set up w/bait, tackle, the whole works.

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AWH

They're in the same location as Koep's was when they closed. They should have all of the essentials for bait and tackle.

Aaron

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daddyducker

Do you know who the owner is?...name?

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fishroger

Yes , their open. Very friendly. Special, scoop of minnows for $1.50. Tryin to make a go of it.

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tbags

Does anyone know the name of the owner??

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AWH

Article from the Brainerd Dispatch a week or two ago.

Old bait shop gets a new name

By RENEE RICHARDSON

Senior Reporter

NISSWA - The Hot Spot Bait & Tackle store in Nisswa puts a new twist on an old tradition.

Owner Bruce Lovald recently opened the business in the Northland Center where Koep's Pro Shop was carrying on a name loaded with lakes area fishing tradition. Koep's closed more than a year ago.

Now Lovald, who used to work at Koep's, said the new store is a continuation of the bait and tackle's tradition but feels it was time for a name change. And the Hot Spot, which can indicate a place where a Minnesotan can find "pretty good" fishing, seemed an appropriate name choice and one with marketing options.

"You always have a hot spot' to go fishing," Lovald said.

Lovald said he wants to recapture the feeling at Koep's where people were comfortable coming in for a cup of coffee and a chat in a relaxed atmosphere. To that end, a table and cushioned chairs are set up in the store with ice cream treats nearby and plans for "heat and eat" sandwiches. The goal, Lovald said, is to create a sense of community and a place where customers can stop in and get line spooled or buy a life jacket.

The store's focus is on fishing. And the Nisswa Guides League, which moved to Baxter after Koep's closed is coming back, Lovald said. The record fish that used to hang at Koep's are back on the walls of The Hot Spot.

Lovald grew up in Baxter. He used to fish in Whipple Lake. He remembers wearing jeans and tennis shoes and fishing the opener from shore with his father.

"Pretty soon your legs were numb, but you didn't care anyway," he said.

Now Lovald said he'd be happy to get bait for shoppers and have this store run past his retirement.

"That is what would make me happy being successful at this and watch my son grow into it," Lovald said and smiled. "And then he can just put me in the old minnow bag and float me at sea - give me the old Viking funeral."

Bobbers fill a bin in The Hot Spot Bait & Tackle. The store opened April 9.

Lovald and his son, Jamie, shared a good-humored chuckle at the idea.

Not trying to compete with the big stores to his south, Lovald said he won't be able to carry every lure Rapala ever made, but he'll stock the ones that work. He believes the market and sales numbers are there to be successful. Lovald enjoys working with children who may be in shopping for a first quality rod and reel. Lovald wants to work with nonprofits like youth baseball for events like hot-dog fundraisers.

And he's happy to help send a few people more familiar with farm fields than lakes to the proper depth.

When two guys from Iowa came in hoping to catch big sunfish, Lovald had a few encouraging words and was rewarded with the men, beaming from their own success, came back in the next day.

The Hot Spot Bait & Tackle opened this month in the Northland Center in Nisswa. The shop's focus is on fishing supplies, bait and tackle. But merchandise includes colorful sweatshirts and a place to sit down and have an ice cream treat.

"That's the satisfaction you get," he said.

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Write-Outdoor

I hope Hot Spots does well....I really miss the old Koeps shop but S&W and Sportland have done a GREAT job of preserving that old-time baitshop heritage. If the place smells like bait when you walk in, there's somebody with a smile and knows how to fish behind the counter--then it's an old-time baitshop.

I like Reed's and Gander up there as much as the next angler, but I refuse to buy bait at either place. I also don't even like to be fishing gear there. The prices might be higher at the small baitshops, but you can't beat the atmosphere and the experience. Besides, they actually know where the fish are hiding.

I haven't been into Hot Spots just yet but I'll be making the rounds this opening weekend after I get done with the media circus on Leech for the Gov's Opener. Be sure to listen to KFAN for my live call ins and my WriteOutdoors podcast!

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tbags

I agree to a point. I love the old bait joints as much as anyone, but I know a few guys who work at Reeds and GM and those guys fish hard. Don't knock them cuz they work in a bigger store. Good luck to all this weekend, Be safe and see you out there.

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burl

Nothing beats the old shulzes green fish bait and tackle for original bait shop smell.That place was a classic.Burl.

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