Welcome to Silver Minnow Bait Shop!

The Silver Minnow Bait Shop was established by Jim and Beatrice Matheson 22 years ago in 1994.


It all started when Jim, who was a miner, was sitting in his room at Musselwhite Mine approximately 700 km(450 mi) North of Thunder Bay. He was on a two week rotation which meant he was spending half of his life up at the mine. While sitting there, thinking he would have to spend half of the rest of his working life in that little room, he decided it wasn’t for him and gave his notice.

Not really knowing what he wanted to do he bought a dump truck and started a small hauling business.  After doing this for a short time he decided that the hauling business wasn’t for him either.

This is when he decided to try the “bait business”.  He didn’t know a thing about bait but went ahead and began to learn everything there was to know about it!  After constructing a 15′ by 30′ building which would be his new shop he filled some rain barrels with water, put some aeration in them and found whatever minnows he could to throw in.  The original shop was located on his property just below their home.  The first few years of business was slow to say the least, but as years went by he began to learn all the little tricks about trapping, keeping minnows alive, keeping fisherman happy and building a loyal customer base!

Jim ran the bait shop  out of the original location for about ten years, when him and his wife( Probly more his wife), decided they had enough of the eager fishermen knocking on their door at home all hours of the night looking for bait.  This is when he bought some property down the road and built the shop which is still in operation today.  The new shop was built in 2004 and that was the end to all the midnight wake ups!

Twenty years later, after building his reputation and building a great customer base, Jim decided it was time to retire.  The business went up for sale in 2013 and was purchased by Josh Schill just in time for the 2014 season.  Josh, who was in the Civil Engineering field prior to purchasing the business, was an avid fisherman but had little experience about running a business.  So, even tho the business has sold, Jim still has a big part in helping it be successful.  Right from the start he has helped out with everything from trapping minnows, holding leech’s in his tanks at his house, tricks to keeping bait fresh and lively, making sure order’s are never missed and so on and so on!

He says this will be his last year and plans are to be completely retired next season but we’ll see.  We seem to think its in his blood and he’ll be out on the trap lines next year too!!

Note:  It’s now 2017 and Jim’s still trapping!! 🙂



"Please call for bait reservations" 1-807-683-3778