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The Tackle Box, Marathon

The Tackle Box, MarathonThe Tackle Box, Marathon

The Still family, from left, Capt. David, Debbie, Robyn and
Chris, operate The Tackle Box, a full-service bait and tackle
shop in Marathon.

Chris Still inside The Tackle Box, a tackle shop with a wide
selection of fishing and lobstering gear as well as live and
dead bait, reel service, clothing, sunglasses and accessories.

The Tackle Box, a bright yellow tackle shop at 1901 Overseas Highway in Marathon, has served anglers in that location since the 1950s.

Now owned and operated by the Still family, The Tackle Box offers its customers a wide variety of live and dead bait along with clothing, sunglasses and gear for fishing and lobstering.

Want to troll for dolphin in the Keys? Try Capt. Dave’s Triple D lure. The three “Ds” stand for Dave’s Dolphin Demon, and the lure has been a Tackle Box specialty for years.

Live bait offerings include fresh shrimp, pinfish and crabs (for tarpon and permit). Mullet and fresh ballyhoo are available seasonally.

The Tackle Box offers anglers a rod and reel combinations for sale – along with rod rentals for those who want to fish the Keys without buying gear.

Anglers drop off rods and reels for repair at The Tackle Box. The shop is a designated service center for Penn reels.

For those headed to the Keys to chase spiny lobster, The Tackle Box stocks nets, tickle sticks, measuring gauges and hard-to-find bully nets.

Visitors to the bright yellow tackle shop also find a wide selection of hats, sunglasses, sun-protecting buffs and outdoor clothing, including custom T-shirts.

The Tackle Box is located at Mile Marker 48 -- across the street from the Faro Blanco Resort and and not far from the city’s 33rd Street boat ramp, which provides boaters with bayside access to the water and free parking 24/7.

The Tackle Box is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Check out the shop’s website at or call (305) 289-0540.

The Tackle Box, Marathon Directions

Big Time Bait & Tackle, Marathon

Big Time Bait & Tackle, MarathonBig Time Bait & Tackle, Marathon
The sign for Big Time Bait & Tackle at Mile Marker 53
oceanside in Marathon. 

Capt. Jack Carlson on his 36-foot Yellowfin charter boat
moored behind Big Time Bait & Tackle in Marathon.
Carlson operates the tackle shop and the Two Conchs
Sportfishing charter fishing business.

Keys fishing captains Biff Goss and Jack Carlson saw a need for a tackle shop that would serve the specific needs of anglers fishing around Marathon, so they opened Big Time Bait & Tackle.

 The waterfront tackle shop at 11499 Overseas Highway is located on the ocean side of U.S. 1 just west of the Vaca Cut bridge at Mile Marker 53. It’s open from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., seven days a week. 

Big Time Bait & Tackle is right on the water – a location that works well for Carlson’s charter business, Two Conchs Sportfishing. 

Open the back door of Big Time Bait & Tackle and you can step out onto the wooden dock where Carlson and his crew clean fish and tie up several charter boats -- including Carlson’s sleek 36-foot Yellowfin with triple outboards and the Mustad logo on its sides.

Carlson knows the waters around Marathon. He grew up fishing there with his father, a charter captain. Carlson’s son, Austin, also runs a charter boat.

For anglers, Big Time Bait & Tackle offers live shrimp, pinfish, fresh ballyhoo (in season) along with pre-rigged trolling and swordfish baits, jigs, rigs and lures. 

 The shop sells new and used rods and reels and rents rod/reel combinations to those who want to fish without buying the tackle. Carlson’s C-Stik custom rods are on display inside the shop.

Big Time Bait & Tackle is packed full of hooks, sinkers, line, pre-made rigs, clothing, sunglasses, hats, gaffs, coolers, knives – just about anything you might need for fishing the Keys.

Bags of oats are available for anglers who like mixing oats with block chum and menhaden oil to create a chum line for yellowtail snapper.

For details about Big Time Bait & Tackle, visit or call the shop at (305) 289-0199. For information about Carlson’s Two Conchs Sportfishing charters, go to or call (305) 481-0495.

Big Time Bait & Tackle, Marathon Directions

D&D Matlacha Bait & Tackle

D&D Matlacha BAit & Tackle

D&D Matlacha Bait & Tackle offers boat ramp, live bait and big selection of lures near prime fishing waters of Pine Island Sound

The sound of water streaming into live bait tanks greets visitors to Dave and Debbie Root’s tackle shop in Matlacha – a small fishing village on State Road 78, the road that connects mainland Cape Coral to Pine Island.

On busy weekend mornings, trucks towing boats crowd the entrance to D&D Matlacha Bait & Tackle while anglers line up inside to buy bait, tackle, boating accessories and Dave’s secret bait chum.

The Roots moved from Vero Beach to enter the bait and tackle business in Matlacha in 2002 after retiring from other jobs.

Anglers drive to their shop from points east to fish the fertile waters around Pine Island Sound – where mangrove islands and rich sea grass beds support snook, redfish, seatrout, jumbo mangrove snapper and high-jumping tarpon.

In addition to supplying boaters with supplies such as nautical charts, batteries and oil, D&D serves anglers who fish on foot from the Matlacha Bridge or the pier at Bokeelia.

Located at 3922 Pine Island Road (State Road 78), D&D is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. (It’s closed on Christmas Day and open half a day on Thanksgiving.)

Launching a boat and parking in the lot next to the tackle shop costs $10 a day. The Roots also offer boat storage by the month.

Call D&D at (239) 282-9122 or visit the shop’s website at to find a fishing guide, learn about area tournaments or check the weather on D&D’s web cameras.

D&D Matlacha Bait & Tackle Directions

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