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Bait Shops on Sanibel

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Vacation on an island means many things to many people.  We all have our idea of the perfect day off or perfect time away from home, some go shelling, some just like to work on that tan. And others, of course, see water and think of only one thing: Fishing!  

Seriously, fishing on the island is a serious pursuit!  And what fishing!  Historically the island from the time of the Caloosa Indians was involved in fishing for subsistence and into modern times, islanders have been fishing to put something on their plates for dinner.  Sportfishing came about with a seriously larger than life individual in the form of Teddy Roosevelt who spent quite a few vacations here doing nothing but fishing.  He rented a barge between Sanibel and Captiva and spent the day with his favorite hobby.  A jovial and very social person, he invited the public to visit him on the water only one day a week so as not to disrupt his vacation pleasure.  

Today sees the hot spots for angling either at the fishing pier up by the Lighthouse or at Blind Pass where Teddy fished, but also right in front of your door on our beach at Pelicans Roost.  

You don’t need to bring all of your gear with you unless there’s that one rod that brings you all of your luck!  There are two bait shops on the island that can take care of all your angling needs.  

One is the Historic Bait Box located at 1041 Periwinkle Way, open 7 days a week from 7-7.  239-472-1618.  

From charter guides to equipment to bait, they have it all and have been providing it since 1971. Family operated since that time, this business represents 120 years of fishing tradition on Sanibel. They have their own shrimp boat that runs every night providing its customers with fresh bait in the form of shrimp, fiddler crabs, pinfish, and pass crabs.  Frozen bait includes ladyfish, mackerel, mullet, shrimp, squid, sardines and chum. 

Owned and operated by a local guide and master rod-builder you can’t go wrong at Whitney’s!  

They offer all that you would expect to find at a bait shop and a bit more: passion.  Located at 1554 Periwinkle Way and open from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (239-579-0399) you will not be disappointed. Along with the bait, they offer rod and reel repair, custom rod building, and rentals as well.  Hand-tied flies, spinning gear, lures, plugs, and scented jerk baits.  All with a friendly enthusiastic attitude.

So, you are in good hands here on Sanibel with all your angling needs from either of these very fine establishments!  

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