Fishing Stores Staying Busy Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Ever since the fishing opener back in May, shops like Marine General and Northwest Outlet have been busy with customers. 

DULUTH, Minn. – With fewer things to do this summer, it’s already been a busy fishing season.

“People wish they could go more but they have things like kids sports, right, jobs, all these things that got in the way of going but this year they’re not in the way so they’re going fishing,” owner of Marine General Russ Francisco said.

Ever since the fishing opener back in May, shops like Marine General on London Road in Duluth and Northwest Outlet in Superior have been busy with customers.

“It seems like it almost changes by the week and it kind of goes in cycles, too. If we’ve got something in stock that’s hard to find, people will find it here, and they’ll their friends and everyone will come here and then we’ll be out of it too. We’re sending people to other shops, other shops are sending people here. We’re doing everything we can to get people what they’re looking for, even if they don’t buy it from us,” Northwest Outlet’s Scott Miller said.

“The demand is so great all over the United States that there wasn’t enough inventory to go around. And imports from China were delayed a little bit so that was tough but we’ve been able to stay ahead of it. We’ve been able to buy and trade an do what we’ve got to do to get stuff in,” Francisco added.

Shops selling fishing supplies have seen a variety of items be popular over the last few months.

“We’re playing all seasons right now. We’re still playing spring with a lot of folks rigging boats. We’re very busy with summer stuff and we’re very busy with late summer stuff which is tubing and things like that. And then people are already talking about the next season,” Francisco said.

They’ve also noticed more families coming in to get their kids on the water.

“When sports stopped, we got busy, no doubt about it,” Francisco said.

“We have seen an intake in getting the kids out doing the fishing and that’s a really awesome thing to see. There’s been a little bit of a decline in the amount of kids that are getting out and fishing but this year we’ve just had an incredible demand for kids fishing poles and kids life jacket. Anything like that to get kids out and in the water,” Miller said.

And as the stores are preparing for the winter outdoor seasons, the employees know kids returning to schools will play a big factor in their sales.

“If there’s no schools, it will be really busy. If kids go back to school, it will level off to where it normally is as people go back to normal living again,” Francisco said.

As they wait, they’re just continuing to help customers to get what they need to enjoy the rest of the fishing season.

“Get out with your family and do that activity together in the great outdoors. Is there a better thing to ask for?,” Miller said.

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