New Rockford, ND

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Business Spotlight: M&M Bait

January 15th, 2013
– Local anglers take note: live bait is now available to purchase in New Rockford at M&M Bait Shop. Owned and operated by John & Jean Schuster, the shop opened in late December and has seen a steady stream of traffic as word has spread.

M&M Bait is based out of the Schusters’ home at 1203 5th Ave N in New Rockford. As both John and Jean maintain other jobs as well, the shop isn’t staffed for regular hours, so customers simply call ahead to let them know they’re on their way, day or night, and within a few minutes, someone can be at the shop to assist them. The number to call for this service is (701) 302-0230.

John says that, so far, the system has worked well, “We had people pick up bait at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve, 9 a.m. last Sunday, really any time someone needs it, we’ve been able to accommodate them. As long as people are understanding about this being a small operation, we’ll go out of our way to make it work.”

Many small bait shops around the region have closed in recent years, leading fishermen to drive long distances to pick up what they need. John grew tired of having to make the trips, and once decided that he would raise his own, they say it was a natural step to offer it as a service to others. “Since we went to all the trouble of setting up the live bait equipment for ourselves, we decided to accommodate everyone. It’s definitely not a moneymaker at this stage.”

For the winter fishing season, M&M currently stocks live minnows, waxworms (wax moth larvae, also a common food for pet reptiles), and spikes (a type of maggot). When the weather warms, they plan to add leeches and nightcrawlers to the inventory, as well as standard tackle and other fishing needs. The shop also has a full fish cleaning station available for customers to use.

With so few bait shops in the area, New Rockford is in relatively close proximity and often right on the way to Devils Lake, one of the state’s most popular fishing destinations. “We’re seeing lots of people heading to Devils Lake, of course, but also to Lake Coe, Dry Lake, Adam Lake, you name it,” John said. “Mostly, they’re after walleye and perch, and sometimes northerns.”

Schusters are very interested in community feedback, especially regarding other bait or items they would like to see available. If enough interest is generated to sustain a larger operation, they say the idea of expanding the business out of their home isn’t out of the question.

For more information or to schedule a bait pick-up, call John at (701) 302-0230, and email any suggestions, comments or questions to

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