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Bait on the lake: Northwoods Bait and Tackle opens near Lake Bemidji shore

BEMIDJI—For the owners of Bemidji's newest bait shop, location is key.

Northwoods Bait and Tackle, which opened for business for the first time Monday, is located just across the street from boat access sites. Co-owners Aaron Guthrie and Aaron Schmitz say that's what drew them to the location. The owners of the new establishment said it's one of the main reasons they selected the building, located just across the road from Lake Bemidji Northwoods Public Water Access.

"For the location, it's something we had been looking at for quite some time. From what I'm hearing from the community, there's been a lot of people saying there should be a bait shop here," Guthrie said. "There are the resorts that are north of here, there's the state park, and we're directly across from the boat landing with 34 boat spots. There's a definite convenience factor."

Though the shop just opened, with a grand opening set for later this month, it's been in the works for some time.

"We've both lived in this area for 16 years now and we met each other while working at Gander Mountain, so we worked together there for about six years. Then we went our separate ways, while maintaining our friendship," Schmitz said. "I ended up working at Taber's Bait for a while, so, we've been in this industry and talked about doing this for many years. The opportunity presented itself at a pretty good time and we jumped on it."

The two began working at the site, located at 6615 Bemidji Ave. N., in January and started with demolition. Over the past month, product has been brought in.

"We plan to offer a large selection of tackle, rods, reels and accessories, along with top quality bait," Schmitz said. "We also really want to be involved in the community. We want to be involved in volunteer work with taking kids fishing and supporting the BSU bass team. That's the type of culture we want to carry."

On April 28, the shop will hold a grand opening event, which Schmitz said will feature notable personalities from the fishing industry, food and raffle drawings.

Matthew Liedke

Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.

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