Bait and tackle shortage reportedly hits as fishing soars in popularity due to social distancing

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It might be time to start looking into spearfishing.

One pastime that fits easily into social distancing guidelines is fishing. As the weather gets warmer and people continue to stay home from work or school, the sport has reportedly seen an uptick in popularity.

Steve Spencer, co-owner of Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton, Arkansas, confirmed to Fox News that they’ve seen an increase in business. Steve said that it was likely due to two factors: fishing being one of the few activities people can do while still social distancing and that other bait dealers in the area are running low on stock.

Steve Spencer, co-owner of Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton, Arkansas, confirmed to Fox News that they’ve seen an increase in business. Steve said that it was likely due to two factors: fishing being one of the few activities people can do while still social distancing and that other bait dealers in the area are running low on stock. (iStock)

Unfortunately, some bait shops are struggling to keep up with the demand.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused multiple, temporary shortages for various items. When panic buying set in, toilet paper briefly disappeared from shelves. As factories and processing centers closed due to COVID-19 infections, restaurants across North America struggled to keep various meat items on their menus.

Along with increased demand for bait (due to the higher than average numbers of people fishing), bait and tackle shops have had to deal with factories and warehouses temporarily shutting down due to the coronavirus, KATV reports.

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Steve Spencer, co-owner of Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton, Ark., confirmed to Fox News that they’ve seen an increase in business. Steve said that it was likely due to two factors: fishing being one of the few activities people can do while still social distancing and that other bait dealers in the area are running low on stock.

He says that he’s been able to keep a lot of items in stock due to the fact that he’s been in business for 35 years and has built strong relationships with suppliers.

“Really the hardest thing has been the live bait, the crickets, we ran out of crickets a couple of weeks ago, the first time we’ve ever been out in 35 years,” Spencer told KATV.

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“I think as more things open up, and people get back to work and stuff it will get back to normal,” he continued, “but I think it’s going to take longer to get back to normal than it did to get behind.”

Spencer does see a bright side to the situation, however.

“I’ve seen a lot of people go fishing that have never been fishing before,” he said, “and people taking their kids, you know, that haven’t been before, and people are still able to get out and do things and still maintain that social distance.”

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Spencer told Fox News that he feels like things are starting to level off and that supply lines are starting to return to normal. He did say, however, that some items, like minnows, may take longer to return to normal levels.