Herb’s Bait and Tackle mingles history and modern convenience

Jul 2, 2024 | Featured, Business | 0 comments

The Herb’s Bait and Tackle team is happily serving customers in the newly renovated shop. Among them are, from left, Team Member Anna Hittepole, Manager Andrew Duplin, Assistant Manager Kristi Hittepole and Assistant Manager Brian Reis. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

When Herb’s Bait and Tackle reopened early this year, it was still in the transitional stage that allowed it to serve its customers without the wow factor the new owners were planning. Now that renovations are complete, customers walking into Herb’s may feel like they are reliving their first viewing of “The Wizard of Oz” when the movie unexpectedly transitions from black and white to full color.

“I think people walking in will have a “Wizard of Oz” moment,” said co-owner Greg Duplin.

Manager Andrew Duplin stands in the newly renovated Herb’s Bait and Tackle. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Herb’s was founded by Herb Aust in the 1960s and became an iconic local business. Herb’s current owners and its manager, Andrew Duplin, have successfully mingled the business’ long history on Catawba with their dream of creating an upscale convenience store and drive-thru. Somehow, the shop seems fresh and new while also feeling like a comfortable, familiar business that has been part of the slow-paced island landscape for a long time.

While the shop offers an expanded line of modern craft beer, it remained true to its past and its longtime customers by offering an extensive line of bait and tackle, including reels, rods, weights, crankbaits, nightcrawlers, minnows and waxworms.

“We’ve made huge improvements to our tackle selection,” Andrew said.

The shop sells craft beer, wine and non-alcoholic selections.

“We sell just about every kind of beer that Twin Oast brews,” Andrew said.

From left, Team Member Anna Hittepole, Assistant Manager Brian Reis, Assistant Manager Kristi Hittepole and Manager Andrew Duplin talk at Herb’s Bait and Tackle. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Customers will find several rows of sweet and salty snacks, beef jerky, fresh sandwiches made by PC Party Mart, a large merch line, and convenience foods like bread, milk and eggs. Toft’s ice cream and Good Humor ice cream novelties are available.

“We added a coffee bar. We have a five-head cappuccino machine and freshly brewed coffee,” Andrew said.

Andrew said the shop attracts an equal mix of tourists on their way to board the Miller Ferry down the road and local residents who stop by for the convenience and the selection.

“It’s going great. It’s been fantastic,” Andrew said. “We see a lot of familiar faces, that’s for sure.”

Herb’s Bait and Tackle is at 1713 NE Catawba Rd. in Port Clinton. For more information, call 419-797-2455.

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