PELL CITY, Ala. (WIAT) — Many businesses have been struggling to survive during the coronavirus pandemic and mandatory shutdown of non-essential businesses, but one Alabama industry is thriving in these times.

Bait and tackle shops around Alabama’s waterways are seeing an uptick in business as more people take up fishing as a social distancing pass time.

“We have been very blessed,” said Jessica Tate, owner of Lucky’s Bait and Tackle in Pell City. “Very crowded.”

The family owned business carries fishing poles, artificial bait, and live bait. Initially, they closed down the store for five days under the impression they were a non-essential business.

Then in a press conference, Gov. Kay Ivey suggested fishing as a way to enjoy the outdoors and social distance.

Tate says in the first weekend they were open and everything else was shutdown, they sold over 30 pounds of minnows.

Lucky’s also carries locally made product, Coosa Custom Baits.

Owner Jeff Clark said his business is thriving during the pandemic.

“It’s been a blessing,” Clark said. “We’ve been so busy here the past few months. Our orders have spiked through the roof.”

Lucky’s staff say they’ve seen customers of all ages, from all around the Southeast, some beginners on the water and some long time fishers during the pandemic.

“We are grateful for the community’s support through all this,” Tate said.

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