The 10 Best Bait Shops in Vermont!

The Green Mountain State, with its pastoral fields, rolling hills, bucolic forests, and verdant green landscape, offers many enjoyable outdoor activities, not least of which is fishing. Many hold fond memories of summer adventures featuring secret fishing holes or midnight missions of night crawler harvesting. It is tradition, then, that there are so many live bait dealers in Vermont, many of which also offer fishing licenses and we feature the best of them here for you.

1. Bayside Bait & Tackle, St. Albans, VT

Bayside Bait and Tackle is within walking distance of the St. Albans Bay dock, and it is one of the largest live bait dealers in the Green Mountain State. Find live worms, fresh bait, and quality tackle gear, including rods and reel and boating needs. But they also buy fish, so there is kind of a circle of life thing going on there that is pretty cool—talk about locally sourced! 

2. Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Castleton, VT

Located along the shores of Lake Bomoseen, Vermont’s largest lake (completely contained within the state), Tom’s offers shiners, fat heads, night crawlers, trout worms, dillies, spikes, tackle, custom jigs & flies, and more. Opened in 1973, Tom’s is a quintessential bait shop that has stayed true to its roots by offering a knowledgeable staff, fresh live bait, and good conversations.  But bring cash or check because Tom’s does not accept plastic.

3. Willoughby Lake Store, Westmore, VT

Willoughby Lake is the deepest lake in Vermont (completely contained within the state), and it is partially surrounded by Willoughby State Park. It is probably the prettiest fishing spot in Vermont, and the picturesque general store that sits on its shores serves fisherman of all kinds with fresh, live bait of many types, including crawler and minnows. They are listed on Vermont Fish & Game’s website as an official live bait dealer and licensing location as well.

4. Hog Island Wholesale Bait, Swanton, VT

Located along the mighty Missisquoi River, Hog Island Bait was founded in 1978 based primarily on the sale of fresh minnows and night crawlers. Their minnows are now farmed-raised and come in Arkansas and Minnesota, with weekly deliveries of worms that are sourced from Canada and packaged at Hog Island’s own warehouse.

5. Otter Creek Bait Shop, Vergennes, VT

One of the three largest major streams in the Green Mountain State, Otter Creek is roughly 112 miles in length, and the Otter Creek Bait Shop is the place to go for fresh bait along its waterway. Owners Wayne and Diane Jones are always on hand to recommend bait or issue fishing licenses, and night crawlers are available in bulk quantities, along with minnows from January to October.

6. Old Fishing Hole Gun Shop, Morristown, VT

Lake Lamoille offers an array of fishing opportunities, and Old Fishing Hole stocks a wide variety of tackle, bait, and equipment to fill every fisherman’s need.  Find trolling, ice fishing, fishing & boating electronics, marine batteries, fresh bait, and fishing tackle.

7. Earle’s Bait Shop, Guilford, VT

Find night crawlers, dillies, wax worms, meal worms, mousses, Arkansas golden shiners, pike bait, and more, at Earle’s. Plus, with Earle’s handy Q&A section featured right on his website, you can find out about how live bait is regulated in Vermont. For instance, did you know that Baitfish Transportation Receipts are valid for only 96 hours after purchase?

8. Doo Wee Bait Shop, Springfield, VT

A family-owned shop established in 2014, Doo Wee serves the Connecticut River Valley with fresh, live bait, including minnows, crawlers and fishing tackle for a variety of seasonal angling. All of their minnows are farm-raised, and Doo Wee receives weekly deliveries of other fresh bait, including Arkansas golden shiners, fat heads, and trout worms.    

9. Big River Bait & Tackle, Hinesburg, VT

Hinesburg is home to Lake Iroquois, and Big River Bait and Tackle serves the area as a certified live bait dealer in Vermont. Big River offers crawfish, crawlers, minnows, meal worms, and more. State fishing licenses are also available at Big River. 

10. Rack N’ Reel Sporting Goods, New Haven, VT

Specializing in sporting goods, fishing, camping, kayaking, and other adventures of the outdoors, R&R offers on-site instruction that encourages the beginner and meets the needs of expert fishermen as well. Owners, John and Bridget Kipp, know all of the best fishing spots and hiking trails, and the store is a featured commercial bait dealer in Vermont.

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