Popular launch and bait shop serving eastern Lake Pontchartrain doesn’t renew lease, owner says
Dockside Bait & Tackle in Slidell has closed its doors permanently.
Owner Chas Champagne confirmed Wednesday afternoon the popular boat launch and marina located on Harbor View Court in Slidell closed when he decided not to renew his lease.
“We finished moving out of the store on Monday. We didn’t renew our lease and we’re just going to pursue focusing on Matrix Shad, Vortex Shad and Goldeneye jigheads,” Champagne said. “Nothing is changing for Matrix Shad. They were really two totally different businesses.
“Dockside Bait and Tackle still makes the product. I still own the name.”
He’s currently operating his popular line of soft-plastic lures out of his home.
“I’m just warehousing my whole Matrix Shad operation out of my house at the moment,” said Champagne, who opened Dockside Bait & Tackle in October of 2009. “If I feel like I need to get another storefront, I will. If I feel l like I can just do it like that, I’ll keep the status quo.”
The daily demands of dealing with live shrimp were a grind, Champagne said, but he stuck it out as long as possible because of the visibility it provided his lures.
“I’ve been wanting to get out the business because it’s so many hours for a little bit of income,” he said. “But I didn’t because it was so good for the lures, such a good marketer. Having a marina and being in the manufacturing business go hand-in-hand together.”
Now he plans to focus on marketing Matrix Shad, Vortex Shad and Goldeneye jigheads full-time.
“I just want the world to know we’re not there, so don’t go to Dockside expecting to see us,” he said. “And don’t think there will be anything different with Matrix Shad. That hadn’t changed a bit.”
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