Tackle shop talk – Murray Johnson, Southern Sports and Tackle

Local tackle shops are often at the beating heart of local fishing communities yet their owners and staff, with a wealth of knowledge and experience between them, often remain the unsung heroes. Through this weekly series, we aim to give these hard-working guys a little bit of the limelight.

In this week’s Tackle Shop Talk, we speak to Murray Johnson from Southern Sports and Tackle in Esperance. 

Murray Johnson was seeking a coastal lifestyle before he took over the tackle store in Esperance.

RFW: How and when did you get involved with your tackle store?

MJ: I purchased the store in 1996. I had moved to Esperance from Perth a year earlier and was looking for a business opportunity that suited a coastal lifestyle. 

RFW: What do you enjoy about working in the business?

MJ: It’s an industry where your client base are going out to do something enjoyable. That makes it a great place to work. 

RFW: What makes your customers keep coming back for more?

MJ: Clients want great service and fair pricing. You need to be prepared to source a product if you don’t have it in stock ensuring they aren’t going elsewhere.

Establishing a great relationship can result in people continually coming back. We now have clients kids coming back with their mates to purchase goods, or just chat about the latest fishing adventure. 

Enjoying a fishing trip in Esperance? Call into Southern Sports and Tackle to hear from the locals about what’s biting in the area.

RFW: What’s a hot tackle item in your store at the moment? 

MJ: Beach guys are enjoying plenty of salmon, so Halco lures such as a Chrome Twisty or Slice are popular. Boaties are chasing squid so Daiwa Emeraldas in 3.5 are working well. Also bluefin are around so Black Magic Jetsetters are selling well. 

RFW: If you were Fisheries Minister for a day and you could change one thing, what would it be? 

MJ: If I was the Minister I would be keen to see how we can engage more people in fishing.  

RFW: What’s your favourite fishing destination in WA and why?

MJ: You can’t beat the south coast for both beach and boat fishing so Esperance has to be my favourite. 

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