|The Bite’s On!
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer
Joe Cook, manager of The Bite’s On!, a bait and
tackle shop in the Empire district of Coos Bay, spent 25 years working
in the public housing sector. One day he was talking to the
store’s owner, who asked him if he might want to start working at
the shop. “I had been in Southwest Oregon all my life and
I’ve fished almost all the waters that are fishable,” said
Joe. “I was ready to make a move.” That was about ten
years ago, and Joe has never looked back.
I asked Joe to describe his customers. “The main
reason people stop in here is for fishing tackle and
information,” said Joe. “The guys that work here, Andy,
Dave, and Sean, are knowledgeable about fishing conditions. Andy spent
many years doing golf course groundskeeping and maintenance, but
he’s a gifted fisherman and catches a lot of fish. Dave spent
time working in the oil fields in the Southwest and has come to this
part of Oregon during the last couple of years. He’s done a lot
of deep sea and other fishing. Sean is still in high school, working
part-time. We like to have one youngster working here... this is a
dream situation for someone in high school who likes to fish.
Sean’s getting work experience and is an avid fisherman...out
there every moment he can be, and he knows his ways around fishing
Joe Cook, manager of The Bite’s On! in the Empire District of Coos Bay, holds a rod while standing behind the reel case.
Bite’s On! sells much more than just fishing tackle. Their
bait selection includes mealworms, salmon eggs, herring, sardines,
anchovies, squid, crab bait, mackerel...it’s a long list. During
salmon season they sell tons of herring. “Right now one of the
main things we sell is sand shrimp; by the thousands,” said Joe.
“They’re fish candy. We have a nice rich estuary
Joe said he would like Shopper readers to know “we
have something for every type of fisherman. After ten years of doing
this, it’s become very much a teaching job. I love to deal with
people who are having their first fishing or crabbing experience,
getting them set up and giving them the kind of information they need
to be successful. That’s the greatest thing about this job:
people come in after an outing and tell me what a great time they had.
We get people from all over the world: Japan, New Zealand, South
Africa, and Europe”.
I asked Joe how his Shopper Saver ad is working.
“I think our ad works well. I appreciate what your salesman does,
and it helps that he’s a fisherman.” said Joe.
The Bite’s On! is located at 750 Newmark Avenue.
Their hours are Monday - Saturday 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, and Sunday 7:30
am to 3 pm, and their phone number is 541-888-4015.
When I asked Joe what the future holds for The
Bite’s On!, he replied, “We’re going to be here a
while. We have great community support and the folks that just want to
stop in and give us information always help to keep us in tune with
what’s going on. There are new trends in tackle and
experienced fishermen stop in and tell us about them, or they ask for
something special. We’re a small shop and we can’t have
everything but we can get anything. Some people just come in to
talk...it’s a good place for getting fishing information.”
Joe had one more thing to add: “Around the holiday
season, lots of folks think that getting a gift certificate from The
Bite’s On! is a pretty cool deal!”
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