How to Sell Fishing Bait and Tackle Online

Build a complete fishing supply store online with the best eCommerce software

The Market for Fishing Supplies is Vast and Deep

Fishing can mean many different things to different people, whether it's just a fun pastime, a commercial endeavor, a family tradition, or part of a self-sufficient way of life. It has universal appeal all over the world — if there's water, and fish, people will go fishing, simple as that. If you're passionate about fishing and you want to help share your love with like-minded folks everywhere, selling bait and tackle online could be a wonderful career for you.

You could spend time comparing eCommerce platforms to try to find the best solution, but we'll save you the trouble: Shift4Shop has everything you need to sell bait and tackle online, build and market your brand, and grow your business. You'll be able to create a great shopping experience for customers complete with all the features they demand, like product reviews, Q & As, easy navigation, and more, enabling you to become an authority in the fishing bait and tackle industry.

Fishing Supplies

Fishing Supplies You Can Sell Online

Fishing may have started out with nothing more than nets, spears, or a line tied to a stick, but today it's a complex industry that millions of people consider their passion. Specialized equipment is available for fishing in all types of aquatic environments and targeting specific fish. Debates over the best brands are frequent, and everything from wood to plastic to carbon fiber is used in various fishing equipment.

As an online bait and tackle retailer, there's a huge variety of products you can choose to sell, and it's up to you whether you decide to focus on a few particular things or to sell everything an aspiring fishing champion needs. Each entry on the list below is representative of dozens to hundreds of products, covering different brands and manufacturers, different purposes, and more, so even if you decide to focus exclusively on one type of fishing rod you'll still have plenty from which to build a selection.

Sell Fishing Supplies

Summary of Types of Fishing Gear to Sell Online

  • Fishing rods
  • Fishing reels
  • Rod and reel kits
  • Specialized rods and reels (baitcasting, fly fishing, etc.)
  • Fishing gear for beginners and kids
  • Fishing line
  • Fish hooks
  • Fishing net
  • Tackle boxes
  • Lures, sinkers, bobbers, etc.
  • Live bait
  • Artificial bait
  • Fishing clothing (waders, vests, rainwear, hats, etc.)
  • Tools (knives, pliers, etc.)
  • Outdoor supplies (coolers, bug spray, sunblock, etc.)
  • Safety and hygiene products (first aid kits, wipes, etc.)

Getting started is always the hardest part, but it's easier when you understand the possibilities and how they can help you build the business you envision. There's so much to choose from that you can always start small (e.g. selling the basics only, like a small selection of rod and reel kits, fishing line, hooks, and lures) and grow your business later, expanding into other parts of the fishing world.

Starting small is beneficial because it gives you a tighter focus on the products you do sell, and enables you to become an authority on the topic much faster. Basically, by selling fewer products, you can be the big fish in the small pond! Of course, when you're ready to expand, don't limit yourself unnecessarily — what's important is that you can build a business you're passionate about at a pace that's comfortable for you and your budget.

Selling Bait and Tackle Locally and Online

Maybe you already own a small bait shop conveniently located near a great fishing destination and you want to expand online with minimal hassle. Or, maybe you're just starting out and you'd like to own a brick-and-mortar bait and tackle store in addition to your eCommerce website. Shift4Shop makes this easy by providing tools for you to sell online and in person at the same time.

Our integrated POS (point-of-sale) system is a robust solution that lets you create orders and accept payments in person while keeping your inventory synchronized between online and offline sales. It's packed with features to make running your business easy, no matter how you choose to expand.

Selling Bait and Tackle

If you'd like to provide local customers with a few other options, you can let them call ahead to place an order for pickup using our easy Phone Order/MOTO system. You can use this system to process phone orders from customers anywhere, regardless of whether or not they are local to you.

Shift4Shop's powerful eCommerce shipping software allows you to set up custom shipping methods to provide extra delivery options specifically for your local area, while restricting more distant customers to traditional shipping methods. You'll have all the features you need to get the best of both worlds, online and offline.

Shipping Considerations for Bait Shops

Whether you ship live bait or other types of bait derived from animal parts, you need the right shipping tools to properly ship perishable matter and/or live animals. Shift4Shop simplifies this process with multi-carrier support, designated shipping methods for certain products, and the ability to restrict shipping to only certain areas. This latter feature is very important for online bait shops so you can remain within regulations. Some types of bait are off-limits in certain states or cannot cross the border between the US and Canada, so it's best to simply disallow customers from those locations.

Packing and shipping live, refrigerated, or otherwise perishable bait means extra costs and effort for you during the fulfillment process, so Shift4Shop allows you to add a shipping and handling surcharge of any amount, to any product you feel is appropriate.

Bait Shops

You may also be limited not just by where you can ship, but to whom. For example, some types of bait can't be sent to certain states unless sent to a licensed bait dealer rather than an individual. You can distinguish your professional B2B customers from individual consumers with Shift4Shop's Customer Groups feature, which allows you to give different privileges, pricing, website visibility, and more to different customers based on any criteria you see fit.

Successful Stores Selling Fishing Supplies Online

Online Fishing Bait and Tackle Sellers Powered by Shift4Shop

How to Get Started Selling Fishing Bait and Tackle

Shift4Shop is the best eCommerce software for building a store to sell bait and tackle online, whether you want to sell a few select products or a huge selection. Get instant access to a complete set of tools for creating your website, synchronizing it with in-person sales, managing inventory, marketing, and much more. Best yet, if you use Shift4 Payments as your payment processor, you can get our free End-to-End eCommerce plan, which includes all our features and no limits with no monthly fee. Shift4 Payments sets up in minutes and lets you accept credit cards as well as several alternate payment methods.

fishing Bait and Tackle

Why Shift4Shop is the Best eCommerce Platform for Selling Fishing Supplies Online

HTML Builder and Page Editor

You may not know how to build a bait and tackle website, but Shift4Shop won't let that stop you. Edit your online store's layout, content, colors, and more in real time with our easy-to-use tools.

Rich Product Categorization

Want to start a tackle store that has everything? Create as many categories as necessary to organize your products, complete with subcategories that help lead customers directly to the right product.

Restricted Shipping

Selling perishable items like live bait? Control how your products are shipped, including both method and eligible destinations, with powerful shipping tools and support for Advanced Shipping Manager.

Multichannel Selling Tools

Sell office supplies on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Google Shopping alongside your website, while handling all your orders in your central Shift4Shop dashboard. Grow your customer base without doubling your workload!

Sell on eBay, Amazon, and More

Shift4Shop's multichannel sales tools allow you to synchronize your online store with eBay, Amazon, Facebook Shop, and more. Manage all sales through your Shift4Shop dashboard and save tons of time.

Accept Online and Offline Payments

Accept payments both online and in person with fast, secure credit card processing, tokenization, digital wallets, and more with Shift4 Payments and over 160 alternate payment providers.

Online Store Themes for Selling Fishing Bait and Tackle

Build an Awesome Fishing Supply Store in Minutes



A free eCommerce theme meant to evoke a sense of adventure, perfect for fishing, camping, and more. Large homepage banners provide plenty of room for product showcases and lifestyle shots, while navigation is enhanced with a sticky menu that remains onscreen when the customer scrolls.



A great theme for the sporty side of fishing, Run uses a new take on the traditional sidebar menu to help you organize any number of products and make it easy for customers to navigate. Whether you're running a mixed sporting goods store or focusing solely on fishing gear, this theme is a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a license to start a bait shop?
Yes, in many states you will need one or more licenses and permits to open your bait and tackle business, including a bait dealer's license for selling live or preserved bait in areas where certain bait types would harm local wildlife. Contact your state's Fish and Wildlife Department (the exact name of the department varies by state) to get started on obtaining your bait dealer's license.
For other licenses and requirements, the US Small Business Administration maintains a directory of local business resources to help you out. You can also refer to their list of permits and governing bodies to figure out who you may need to contact. The exact licenses you need will depend on your location and whether or not you sell live or preserved bait, so ensure you're aware of the requirements in your area.
How do I find out if I can't ship some types of live bait to some areas?
Some types of live bait are restricted on a state-by-state basis due to the risk of the bait spreading infectious microbes or even escaping and becoming an invasive species in the local ecosystem. Usually only baitfish and leeches are subject to these types of restrictions because they can survive in lakes and other freshwater bodies. There is no central database of live bait shipping restrictions, but a quick search will give you updated information about all states that currently have these types of regulations.
Can I ship live bait via USPS?
The US Postal Service allows for the shipment of some types of live animals, including live bait, as long as certain guidelines are met. Please refer to General Requirements for Shipping Animals and Requirements for Mailing Small, Harmless, Cold-Blooded Animals (under which live bait would qualify, e.g. worms).
What can I do when some of my live bait is out of season and cannot be sold?
Some bait is only available during certain parts of the year due to its natural lifecycle and environmental conditions. Shift4Shop gives you several ways to handle product pages on your website for items that aren't yet available. Instead of simply displaying a message that the product is unavailable, you can allow customers to sign up for a waiting list to receive an email notification when the item comes back in stock. You can also accept pre-orders, although this may be a better option for other types of fishing equipment like new release items that are less vulnerable to circumstance than live bait.