Catering to the call of the wild

"A stone's throw away from the dock of the Horluck Ferry is a new business that might appeal to Port Orchard citizens who enjoy hunting or fishing. The business is Bay Street Outfitters, a sport shop that is determined to equip residents with all of their gaming needs--and more.There is a big need for a fishing and hunting store in this area, said owner Derek Mills. There's nothing in Port Orchard like us.Mills, who grew up in Bremerton, got the idea for a sport shop after living in California for six years and working at a similar store. His love for fishing and hunting have also given him a wealth of inspiration to start his business.Who is this store targeted towards? Everybody that fishes and hunts, said Derek Mills. We will match or beat any prices--nobody has an excuse to shop at Wal-Mart or K-Mart. There's something for everyone.Bay Street Outfitters offers a wide array of items. Whether fly or bottom-fishing or fishing for salmon, steelhead or trout, there are many different rods to choose from, and from brand names such as G-Loomis, St. Croix, Fenwick and Lamiglas.I like how high the ceilings are, said Mills of the 14-foot ceilings, perfect for up to 11-foot high fishing rods. We have just over 1,000 square feet and it's going to be jam-packed.Hunting rifles and shotguns will also be for sale, and in April the store will be qualified to sell fishing and hunting licenses. (The community) will have someone who knows community customer service and has knowledge of local fishing and hunting, said Mills.From fly-tying materials to waders and novelty items, Bay Street Outfitters has an inventory that includes hooks, reels, line, duck and goose calls, crab pots, lures, organizers, a labeled selection of flies, and a line of clothing suited for different weather conditions including coats, pants, boots, hats, and gloves. Fishing and hunting books are also for sale, but there are other options for customers who go to Bay Street Outfitters for information on their favorite sport.We have computer access, said Derek Mills. People can check their favorite (sporting) websites...and I always have hunting and fishing shows on the TV.Bay Street Outfitters has a few upcoming plans such as live bait (like herring, shrimp and nightcrawlers), sea kayaks for summer rental (I think it's going to be really good, said Mills), and an extension of their already active guide and lodging venture.We do outfitting for guided fishing and hunting trips, said Mills, who also mentioned that Bay Street Outfitters can help customers connect with guides or lodges to go on trips across Washington and even in Idaho, Montana and Alaska.Another interesting feature of Bay Street Outfitters is the Wall of Fame which Derek Mills describes as a good place to brag without actually having to brag. People can bring in their best pictures of their hunting and fishing triumphs to be considered for prominent placement in the store. They'll be famous in Port Orchard, Mills said.With a grand opening planned for March 1, Bay Street Outfitters seems ready and raring to get started. I love downtown Port Orchard, said Derek Mills. The Bay street community seems really nice and excited to have me here. Port Orchard's just growing, and everyone seems happy to have a local sport shop. "

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