Welcome to the bait shop! Can your daughter have a candy?” asks Jamie Ducheneaux, with a smile on his face and lollipop in his hand.
It is my first time visiting the Dx Bait Shop in Swiftbird and I do not tell Ducheneaux who I am- we’ve only spoken on the phone a few times, during an interview, and my advertising calls for graduation sponsorships (which Ducheneaux gladly participated in).
The bait shop itself is impressive, and Ducheneaux is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about fishing reports and lake conditions- all the makings for great customer service.
The shop is stocked with various live bait: minnows, smelt, worms, and shiners. To my daughter’s delight, Ducheneaux encourages her and instructs her how to scoop minnows into a bait bucket.
“Grasshoppers ain’t here yet, but as soon as they are in season, we’ll have those too,” said Ducheneaux.
There are shelves full of items that any fisherman or camper would need: tents, canopies, fishing poles, nets, lures, and flashlights. Ducheneaux said he is working on diversifying his products and services- to include creating a marina and boating dock.
There is also a variety of food and beverages- microwaveable sandwiches, soda, beer, candy, chips, and jerky.
I noticed the shop has security cameras and I inquire about the rowdy crowds that tend to congregate at shorelines, often resulting in littered trash and beer cans.
“Ever since I put up the cameras, I’ve noticed that there are fewer incidences like those. Less trash. People know that we’re here,” Ducheneaux said.
The area around the bait shop is also cleaner- the grass is maintained and mowed, and true to his word, there is visibly less trash in the area.
As my family and I exit the shop, Ducheneaux follows and points out areas where catfish and walleye have been biting.
“People have been catching them real good in that area. You can access it by taking that road,” Ducheneaux said as he pointed out the route.
Our experience at the bait shop was extremely pleasant and so convenient, as we tend to fish on the north shore of the river. A quick snack run later that day was just that- quick and convenient.
The Dx Bait Shop can be reached at (605) 848-3812.