By Dan Grulke
Two years ago, I would have never thought I would have to write an article on how to shop for fishing gear. However with COVID-19, things have drastically changed.
Online shopping is at an all-time high; fishing gear is mostly low on stock; and the ability to replace fishing product takes forever, with the delay in shipping domestically and internationally. Below are ways that will give you an idea on how to navigate these issues.
Most brick-and-mortar stores are very low or out of some fishing equipment. This is due to two factors: high demand for fishing gear and the slow ability to replace it. With shipping restrictions and delays, it is hard for distributors to keep up with the demand for fishing tackle. As a result, most retailers are out of stock. One way to solve this issue is when the item you need is in stock, buy enough of the item to last you for a longer period. You can also research other places to buy tackle, look for the out-of-the-way places that people may not know about.
There are also multiple online retailers that carry fishing gear and auction sites. These sites often have fishing tackle that brick-and-mortar stores are out of. Remember that there are significant shipping delays, so plan your orders well in advance. If the site has a “notify when available” option, use it. Desirable fishing tackle is often sold out as soon as it comes in.
Prioritize your fishing equipment shopping list. What is your most effective lure? What is your favorite line? What lure do you need to have for summer? What lures can you do without? Once you have decided your priorities, you can then build a list and schedule of what is needed immediately and what can wait.
Dan Grulke is the Fishing Coordinator for the Fairfax County Park Authority. He has lived in Northern Virginia for all but five years of his life. He has been fishing locally, in other states and in other countries for 40 years. He has previously been a freshwater fishing guide on the Susquehanna River and Upper Potomac River for eight years. Although he currently is not a guide, he enjoys introducing others to the sport of fishing. You can contact Dan at Dan.Grulke@fairfaxcounty.gov.