Specialty shop hopes to lure fishermen to downtown Gulfport

By David Elliott - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Slowly but surely, more and more business are returning to downtown Gulfport. On Monday a small business called "The Reel Deal" opened its doors.

As you can imagine, the shop is hoping to lure in fishermen. Tom Ruddick and his wife, Lee, sell fishing tackle, make custom fishing rods and repair fishing gear.

"It's been a dream 11 years in the making," Tom Ruddick said at Monday's grand opening celebration.

While some might be hesitant to open a small business during these uncertain economic conditions, the Ruddicks think the time is right for their operation.

"We did some research and it told us, especially in these hard times, people tend to stay close to home and take advantage of local recreational activities like fishing. On top of that, some people use fishing to supplement their food bill," Tom Ruddick said.

Tom and Lee will also tell you they're happy their new endeavor can be a part of the revitalization of Gulfport's historic downtown area.

"It's awesome, really heart warming," Lee Ruddick said.

"We're part of the history of the coast coming back. We're excited to be part of that," Tom Ruddick said.

The Reel Deal is located on 25th Avenue.

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