Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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June 3, 2012

Gone fishin’

Dave’s Bait Barn a reservoir staple

— Seven years ago Dave McCain opened Dave’s Bait Barn, 4526 E. 100 North, believing he could always get bait to go fishing, but instead he now has little time to partake of the hobby.

The bait shop was opened in the 1980s by Jay and Jo Hamler and eventually closed. It was one of two bait shops on the reservoir, Hill’s Bait Shop closed in 1993.

McCain said Jo Hamler opened the shop when she retired to just sell worms until her husband retired.

“There was more demand than they expected,” he said.

Eventually the Hamler’s built a home in Florida that they called the “Worm House” because it was purchased with the money earned in the bait shop.

“She was tickled when I reopened,” he said.

McCain had been working as an electrical contractor, but the economy slowed .

“It was very stressful,” he said. “It was putting a toll

on me after a number of years.”

When a family member purchased the property on Sycamore Road, McCain decided the reservoir needed a bait shop.

“I love to fish and thought what better thing to do,” McCain said. “Thought if I wanted to go fishing at midnight, I could always get bait. Now I never get to fish.”

McCain said he tries to fish on holiday weekends, but that didn’t happen over the Memorial Day holiday because of the business in the shop.

Inside the shop are an assortment of rods and reels, bobbers, snack foods and other fishing related items. On a refrigerator is an assortment of pictures with fisherman displaying their catches.

The first several years the business was slow, but through word of month and the location helped the business grow over the years.

“Everything depends on the weather,” McCain said. “Last year was a difficult year. April was a bad month, but things have picked up this year after the second week in May.”

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