The local tackle shop has long been the center of the fishing community. Tackle shop owners have always been an awesome source of information on what's biting where and on what. Over the past 10 years these local shops have been getting killed by online. Some have moved with the times and now offer retail and info on the web but some have not. I always make a point to support my local tackle shops (Tight Lines Tackle in Sag Harbor, Johnny's Tackle in Montauk, and Urban Angler in NYC). I also make a point to check out local shops when traveling as it's really the best way to understand what that particular area offers in the way of fishing. You can do weeks of research online, which is great, but it can be hard to decipher the good from the bad when it comes to reliable fishing info. If you go into a local tackle shop nine times out of ten you will leave armed with all the info you need to go catch fish in that area.
That being said, here is a great article from yesterday's Baltimore Sun about Tochterman's bait and tackle shop. They have been in business for over 93 years! What's their secret? "Being compassionate with your customer. Making sure that your name stays golden in the business. And put quality first."