While COVID restrictions stopped almost everything that was fun in the world, by some small mercy, fishing and golfing were excluded. Phew!.

This was great news for Mossman Ice, Bait and Tackle Specialists which supplies a wide range of fishing tackle, fishing shirts, gear for crabbing, boating, spear fishing—including dive and snorkel equipment; archery, hunting as well as ice and bait.

But it wasn’t all good news as co-owner Pat Hutton explained.

“While people have had more time to go fishing, many have lost income, and we’ve had a huge drop in our wholesale ice business,” she said.

“We deliver wholesale ice to cafés, restaurants, catering companies and commercial tour and fishing vessels, all which have closed their doors due to restrictions.”

Jim and Pat Hutton believe buying from local, independent businesses is always important, and it is even more vital now.

“At the best of times, all anglers should visit independent tackle stores, but now with everything going on, it is important to support all local businesses,” Pat said.

“Visiting a locally owned tackle store like ours is an experience. Notwithstanding social distancing, it is a place to meet friends, talk fishing and be a part of the fishing community.

“Most of the time local businesses will price match but even if people have to pay one or two dollars more, it’s not a big deal.

“I guarantee you’ll get better service and you might learn something if you ask questions and it may help your fishing experience. Way better than Googling fishing spots near me!”

“You will also be indirectly supporting community groups, schools and sporting clubs because it is locally owned businesses like ours and many others who are called upon to provide raffle prizes for fund raising, and to provide prizes for various local activities.”

Jim and Pat say the biggest reason for supporting local business is because the big supermarkets and chains will survive, but small businesses may not.

“The big players can take a hit in the wallet. This is not the case with the small locally owned stores such as butchers, fruit and vegetable shops, gift shops or clothes outlets and the like.

“When we lose a small business, “it is much harder to replace and in the long run, it means less choice for us all.

Mossman Ice and Bait Tackle Specialists is tucked away down the lane behind Raintrees Servo and has been in business for the past 34 years. Pop in or Like them on Facebook.

Are you a business owner with a story to tell?

Email Douglas Shire Council at media@douglas.qld.gov.au to make sure your story is heard.

We want everyone to #DoItInDouglas