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Retired Aluminum Worker Pursues Passion at New Business

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/13/13) – On Thursday, April 10, the Chamber of Commerce in Owensboro welcomed its newest member with a ribbon cutting at Bass-N-More Bait & Tackle. The business is located at 1308 Triplett Street.Owner Jim Sparks worked for Century Aluminum for almost 40 years before deciding to take an early retirement and open a “bait and tackle” shop in Owensboro.

“In the city of Owensboro, we just don’t have a place like this,” Sparks said. “You either have to order offline, or you have to wait until you get to the lake to buy what you need to fish with.”

Sparks said he has wanted to open his shop for years. In early 2011, Sparks began the process that would eventually become Bass-N-More Bait & Tackle. He began by planning and testing the community, in order to see in Owensboro could support such a specialty shop.

“It’s gonna be tough in this town, because we don’t have a big fishery. All the lakes where I fish are down at Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, and they are some of the premier fisheries in the world,” he said.

“Fishing is my passion,” Sparks added. “I finally had to just take that next step.”

Owensboro, however, is home to a lot of bass and cat fisherman. There are a lot of city lakes that are stocked by the city and the state, as well as the Ohio River, which is home at least 3 types of bass.

Sparks first opened his shop on March, and he completely financed his inventory out of his own pocket. He estimates that his inventory is currently valued at as much as $30,000.00. He does, however, lease the building.

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“I’m trying to keep my overhead down,” said Sparks. “You could easily spend two million dollars on fishing equipment, and still not have everything. What I’m trying to do is get a feel for what people want, and usually the next day, I will order what people are asking for.”

This early in the year, business is pleasing to Sparks. He said he expects that as the season opens up, they will see business to begin to increase. He said he also intends to work with the city of Owensboro to bring several fishing tournaments to Owensboro within the coming months.

Alex Reid
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Alex Reid

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