When I moved up to Monroe to attend college after I got out of the Army, I immediately looked up tackle shops in the phone book.
The first one my finger came across was The Honey Hole Tackle Shop in West Monroe.
Only a couple hours in town and not even knowing where I was going, I found the unassuming store front of an old 7-Eleven building on North 7th Street heading north out of West Monroe. It had what looked to be an old church sign out front that simply stated “Honey Hole.”
As soon as I walked in, I discovered Bobby Phillips. Not knowing me from Adam, he cheerfully answered every question I had about where to fish and what to fish with. Information, to me, that was much more than where my classes were.
I continually stopped by The Honey Hole for all of the 10 years I spent in North Louisiana, and I handed over more money to Phillips than my wife knows about.
The one thing that kept me coming back was that The Honey Hole was a tackle shop, not a shop that sold tackle.
“My three favorite things to do are fish, talk about fishing and buy stuff to go fishing,” said current Honey Hole owner David Owen. “All we do here is fishing — no other sporting goods.
“We specialize in crappie tackle, and keep up with what’s happening in our area on the waterways and the baits to use.”
Owen is proud of the fact that The Honey Hole is the only tackle shop in this part of the world that carries Black Lake Tackle, hair crappie jigs made in Campti. He also carries the full line of Bobby Garland stuff and just about anything else a white perch angler would want or need before heading out on a fishing trip.
And as I found out that day several years ago, The Honey Hole also specializes in information. It’s a place where angles can walk in and feel welcome. It’s a place where they can pull up a chair, have a cup of coffee and talk fishing with Owen and Phillips, who still takes the time a few days a week to work at the store he started.