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Decades-old fishing tackle store for sale

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Hot rod: Flybridge Tackle owner and champion fisherman Bobby Rego, who has decided to retire and sell his Hamilton business (Photograph by Raymond Hainey)

Long-time fishing tackle store owner Bobby Rego is to retire — and he’s put his 40-year-old business up for sale.

Mr Rego, a prize-winning fisherman, said at the age of 72, it was time to cut bait and sell off his Flybridge Tackle.

He added: “After 40 years and hard work, I need a rest.”

But Mr Rego said he would have some regret at leaving the business he started in 1977.

He added: “It’s been part of my life for 40 years, but when you run out of energy, it’s time to say goodbye.

“The big thing is just to slow down, smell the roses, so to speak.”

Mr Rego will continue to operate the Church Street, Hamilton, business, advertised for sale in last Thursday’s edition of The Royal Gazette, as a new owner is sought.

He said: “It’s a profitable business, it does well. It’s got a good location and hopefully I’ll get someone to take it over.

“We get a lot of tourists in the summer as well. They tend to buy the smaller lures and T-shirts by Guy Harvey, a marine biologist turned marine artist, are very popular as well.”

And Mr Rego added that he was looking forward to spending more time travelling, walking and — of course — fishing.

He said: “I’m a fisherman and an angler and I’ve fished many worldwide tournaments.”

He plans to travel to Costa Rica in April to compete in the Offshore World Championships, a competition he won in 2003.

Mr Rego said the tackle business had changed a lot over the years, with hi-tech materials like carbon fibre used to make rods, while the fashion for custom-made rods had declined as they grew more expensive and off-the-shelf designs improved.

He added: “There have been changes in colours and designs over the years, but they all do the same thing — catch fish.”

Mr Rego said that business was brisker during April to October, but that shore fishermen and people stocking up on their gear kept the store busy all year.

He explained: “The business can be seasonal as far as the weather goes, but we have built up a good clientele.

“A lot of people fish from the shore or docks and fishermen get gifts and replenish their kit.

“The weather can make a difference — if the summer isn’t that good or a hurricane comes and people take their boats out of the water and decide to leave them there.

“But since 2011, business has been pretty level. The big drop was 2010, so it’s been fairly consistent since.”

Mr Rego is also organiser of The Royal Gazette Wahoo Tournament, a past president of the Bermuda Anglers Club, a member of Sea Horse Anglers Club and one of two local representatives on the International Game Fishing Association.

And — like most fishermen — he has stories of the one that got away.

Mr Rego said: “It was probably this year in the annual Light Tackle Tournament. I was fishing with 12lb tests. I fought a fish for more than three hours, a yellowfin tuna which I guess was probably 60 or 70 pounds. It pulled the hook, but that’s all part of the sport. If you caught them all, it wouldn’t be fishing, it would just be catching.”

But he added: “The fish of my life was a blue marlin — 653lbs on a 80lb test. That took 25 minutes.”

Storefront: Flybridge Tackle owner Bobby Rego outside the Church Street, Hamilton, home of the business