New bait and tackle shop at Burr's Marina
New London — Diane Womack likes to talk fish, which makes her a perfect proprietor of the new bait and tackle shop at Burr's Marina.
Located at 244 Pequot Ave., Diane's Bait, Tackle & Charters shares space with Burr's marine supply shop, and both are easily accessible to customers by vehicle or vessel.
This past winter, Womack set up her bait and tackle shop, which seemingly sells all the essentials for fishing, crabbing, and soon, she said, lobstering.
"If people call ahead, they can pull right up to the gas dock here and I can have their order ready," said Womack, who said she's been fishing since she was a toddler.
"I started fishing with my grandfather when I was 2 years old," said the 54-year-old Womack. "We would go for anything we could get at Lighthouse Park (in New Haven.)"
Later, she said her mother would ask her to keep an eye on her younger brother, George, and oftentimes they would pass the day fishing.
"We loved fishing, and we would go crabbing," she said, explaining their technique of putting chicken parts in pantyhose and snagging crabs in the hosiery.
Later, as an adult, Womack worked for Honeywell for almost 15 years, but continued to enjoy fishing in her leisure time. Then, about seven years ago, she gave up the corporate job and returned to her passion, working for a charter boat captain, booking charters for him, and running his bait and tackle shop.
This past winter, the owners of Burr's reached out to Womack, who now lives in Montville, to see if she wanted to open her own shop in combined space with their boating supply store. She did.
"We gutted the store area," she said. "Our vision was to combine a bait and tackle business with a boating supply store. We wanted to do it for the convenience of our customers. We want to be a one-stop destination."
At Burr's, whether boaters have a slip there or are tansients, they can shop for sandworms or squid or buy fenders or dock line. There's space for visiting boaters to tie up for free to visit the shop at Burr's or nearby restaurants.
"We want to bring business to the Pequot Avenue area," said Womack.
She sells rods and reels and all the associated gear for a day of fishing. And there is bait, like live eels, sandworms, squid and, for tournaments, flats of mackerel and whole bluefish.
Womack will also connect anglers with charter boats and captains that will be compatible to their party, and assist them with obtaining necessary licenses for fishing or clamming.
"I want to help people," she said. "I can tell them where to go to fish if they don't have a boat and what they'll need."
She also wants to encourage youngsters to fish. "They need to get out there and try it," she said.
Womack likes the daily interaction with customers, and she likes hearing fish stories.
"I love the people, and I love what I'm doing," she said.
She also thinks mariners and anglers should check out the facilities at Burr's.
"We've got dockhands, and a mechanic on duty, and they can do repairs, and winter storage, and we have everything you need for fishing and crabbing. It really is one-stop shopping."
Diane's Bait, Tackle & Charters
Diane's Bait, Tackle & Charters
WHAT: Diane's Bait, Tackle & Charters
WHO: Diane Womack
WHERE: 244 Pequot Ave., New London
EMPLOYEES: Womack is the sole operator and employee
PHONE: (860) 857-2373
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