WYANET — Tom Yourek has opened Canal Area Tackle Shop at 719 S. Wyanet/Walnut Road near Lock 19 of the Hennepin Canal.
In addition to selling a wide variety of baits and fishing tackle, Yourek also rents bicycles, canoes and kayaks for those people wanting to take advantage of these recreational opportunities on the nearby Hennepin Canal.
“I have six canoes, six kayaks and 30 bicycles,” he said. “I have a tandem and an adult tricycle in addition to 6- or 7-speed bicycles to ride on the canal.”
Yourek also has a full range of camping equipment for rent such as tents where 4, 6, 8 or 10 people can use at camping sites along the Hennepin Canal. He also has grills, sleeping bags, cots and mats for campers to use.
“I can supply just about anything anyone needs to go camping,” he said. “I even offer delivery service where people can come and pick what they want, and I will take it to their camping spot along the canal.”
Other items Yourek sells for campers are ice, firewood and propane.
Yourek sells minnows, leeches, nightcrawlers, wax worms, butter worms, red worms and a good selection of catfish baits for anglers wanting to fish the Hennepin Canal.
He also has some small tackle boxes and fishing rods for people to use if they need them.
Yourek is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April through December.
Since opening the business in early May, Yourek said he has seen business increasing every day as more people find out about it.
“I have some returning customers and new people every day stop by,” he said. “Many people have told me this is a nice location, being close to the canal, and it is easy to get to.”
He credits Jim Miller, who used to run Will-O B’s Bait Shop, with giving him some suggestions on how to run this type of business.
“I used to go into his bait shop all the time,” he said. “He has helped me a lot.”
More information about Canal Area Tackle Shop can be found at his website at www.canalareatackle.com. His phone number is 815-878-6822.
After getting married, Yourek moved to Wyanet about 10 years ago after running an auto repair business in Melrose Park for 30 years. He and Mark Sealer have built the structures found on his property.
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