Pro Tackle's History
You could say that the story of Pro Tackle Co. is but one chapter in the "Days of our Lives". This story began over 30 years ago in the mining town of Timmins Ontario. Shawn Johnstone and Jeannette Johnstone started out in the fishing industry by running a 16" cargo trailer full of tackle from Timmins to my hometown of Red Lake Ontario. It was an easy trip of 16 to 18 hours, pulling a trailer along the TransCanada Hwy, stopping along the way to sell our wares to tackle shops. It was also an opportunity to see my family, work and fish all at all the same time.
With the portable tackle shop, we worked sportsman shows, trade shows and group gatherings, home and bachelor parties (much like tuperware). We were also growing into the next step of opening a retail location. Starting our retail business together was a big step, we were leaving our full time jobs so we needed to be fully self-reliant and self sufficient as we worked side by side every day.
We found our first rental spot on what was then First Ave in Schumacher. As the universe would have it, that space was in the same building we are in now over 30 years later. Pro Tackle began in a 400 sq ft. space in the laneway facing a major hwy through the city with a sign proclaiming we were open for business. We put up peg boards on every wall, installed a few plastic bait tanks and set up displays.
After a few years of operating out of the trailer and small tackle shop, the opportunity to purchase the building and open a larger tackle store. In the past our building housed many types of businesses including a bank, a restaurant , a carpet store and a second hand store. With a lot of construction our small tackle shop became a full blown outdoor sporting goods store. For the past 30 years plus, 19 Father Costello Dr. has been a great location.
The reason we got into this business is simple. We felt that as avid fishermen we could offer a convenient location to grab bait, tackle and outdoor gear. We also envisioned a place for like mined people to meet, talk and shop - the full monty. We have sponsored many fishing derbies and tournaments over the years. We've even hosted a few Pearl Lake perch ice fishing derbies!
From the start, we lived and breathed our business. I remember answering the store door at 5 am in my pyjamas. (I am sure those customers remember that as well. lol) But, what else can you expect when people want to go fishing at 5am when the store opened at 6 am. Our 3 children grew up in the store. I have memories of my children sneaking into the store, climbing the very large metal gate, running naked, free from the diaper, and our customers laughing and cheering them on.
From the mothership of Pro Tackle grew other business opportunities. Pro Tackle expanded with the launch of sister company, Timmins Adventure Tours. Located on the Mattagami River in the city center. T.A.T. offers sales and rentals of kayaks, SUP boards, canoes and Mountain Bikes. If also offers paddling clinics and tours.
Almost 23 years ago, we also launched the Timmins Boxing Club. The club started out in the garage of Pro Tackle before moving to the old Feldman timber building and then to the Confederation Sports Facility on Cameron St S. Unfortunately due to the Covid19 pandemic the club closed its doors.
We've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Our journey actually started in 1987 with A La Carte Catering based in Calgary Alberta, followed in 1990 with Northern Carpet Cleaning and P&S Promotions, (Product and Service) based in Timmins. Pro Tackle Co. opened in Schumacher in 1991, followed by the boxing club in 2000 and Timmins Adventure Tours in 2009.
We are very proud to be a part of this Northern community. We look forward to continuing to offer our services with Pro Tackle and Timmins Adventure Tours. serving our community is what we love to do! We are incredibly thankful for all the support we have received operating in Schumacher and Timmins.
We invite new and longtime customers to stop by the store. We are well stocked with live bait ,fishing tackle, gear, kayaks, SUP boards, Mt. Bikes, E Bikes, guns, ammo, snowshoes, backcountry skis, ice fishing huts and sleights and more!