As reservoirs and rivers begin their spring thaw, new business owners Marie and Lester Sage have one thing on their minds fishing.
The Sages opened On the Hook Bait & Tackle Shop on Feb. 25 at 100 E. Main St., Cortez. The avid fisherman and woman said the lack of assortment in fishing supplies available in Cortez led to their desire to open the store.
We decided that maybe we could offer the locals more variety, said Marie Sage.
The store currently carries new fishing rod and reel combos: bait casting rods, spinning rods, and catfishing rods, as well as used rods and reels that have been reconditioned. Lester Sage said they will buy used reels and rods if they are in good shape. He said he would eventually like to offer repair work on reels for customers.
Ill probably get into doing that a little later, working on other peoples reels, he said.
On the Hook offers a selection of fly fishing equipment including fly rods, reels, flies, and fly tying kits to make your own flies. They also have electronic scales and fish finders.
To start children fishing at a young age, a Scooby Doo tackle box and bobber might do the trick. Lester Sage knows about starting out young. He said hes been fishing since he was 2 years old.
I used to fish tournaments. My dad fished for 60 years and he taught me a lot, said Lester Sage, noting that his fishing experience will help other anglers look for the right bait.
We fish all the time so we know what works and what doesnt. Theres different things that we do try, he said. If we find something thats working good, Im going to keep it in my store, or if somebody walks in my door and theyre telling me about something thats really working good Im going to have it in my store.
On the Hook carries some items that cant be found around Cortez, according to the Sages. One of their specialty items is live bait. They carry worms, millworms, fresh salmon eggs, waterdogs (available in April) and live, glow-in-the-dark nightcrawlers.
(The nightcrawlers) glow underwater. Theyre not common and hard to get, said Lester Sage.
Another specialty item the store has in stock is pork rind baits. When hooked to another lure, the bait looks like a crawdad to fish.
Additionally, top water crankbaits are offered, and flatfish crankbaits have been flying off the shelf because not many manufacturers make the flatfish, according to Lester Sage.
Local fisherman and outdoorsman Kalin Grigg sells hand-tied 1/16 ounce and 1/8 ounce jigs at the shop. They are developed specifically for the fisheries of the Southwest and tied using largely local materials including feathers from turkeys, pheasants and grouse. According to a description from Grigg, the colors and patterns make them particularly effective for crappie, bass, walleye, perch and blue gill. They may also be good as trout bait. Lester Sage said the shop sold five of them the first day they were offered.
(The jigs) are probably the nicest ones Ive seen. Theyre proven bait in this area that work, he said.
Were buying as much of our supplies as we can in Colorado. I have to go a few other places to get our worms and things like that, but Im trying to keep it in Colorado as much as I can, said Lester Sage.
On the Hook Bait & Tackle Shops March hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Starting in April the store will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 564-5841.
Reach Paula Bostrom at firstname.lastname@example.org.