In the early '60s, a small corner store on Minot Avenue in Auburn went out of business and was turned into a bait shop. After all, it was right next to a small stream that even had its own dam. Over the years it changed ownership several times, and the original Dag's Bait Shop name was also tweaked. In 2009, when the property at 559 Minot Ave. went up for auction, Marcel Larose and his son Dylan could not pass up the opportunity of a lifetime. "The price was right and it could not have worked out better," said Dylan as he rang up a steady stream of customers recently.
Larose smiled as he walked down the aisles of colorful lures, flies, rods, reels and just about every other piece of fishing gear imaginable. "Most of what we sell is made right here in Maine, a lot of it made within a few miles of here. And if not from here in Maine, most if it comes from North America. We have the things you can't find in the big box stores, and most of the stuff they have we have for about the same or less than what they sell it for." As proof of their hard-to-match stock of fishing supplies, he walked past nine 100-gallon tanks filled with live bait.
In the basement are another dozen tanks, ranging in size from 100 to 500 gallons, some filled with more than 5,000 fish. Dylan joked about the fish smell that hits you as soon as you walk through the doors of the shop. "It's kind of like the farmer who gets used to the smell. You don't notice it after a while," he said.
And to somebody who fishes, it's the kind of smell that can get the heart racing in anticipation of landing that trophy fish.