Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters to reopen Sept. 1

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters is scheduled to reopen Sept. 1, and owner Mike Krause is excited to start serving local and visiting fisherman in the Okeechobee area.

“My goal is to be the premier bait and tackle shop in Okeechobee,” said Mr. Krause, who was previously an employee of the store for seven years before leaving in 2012.

The store, at 5286 S.W. 16th Ave., will be open from 5:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 5:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Mike Krause hopes to make Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters the premier bait and tackle shop in the area.

“We’ll have live bait, guide service available, all the tackle, marine accessories, a full line of hats and clothing, souvenirs and fully enclosed storage units with management on site. We’ll have everything,” Mr. Krause said. “Gambler Lures is a Florida-based company out of Pompano Beach. I’ll have a 38-foot long, 6-foot tall Gambler wall. Everything Gambler handles for freshwater fishing, we’ll have it.”

Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters will carry all the major brands of rods and reels, and Mr. Krause also plans to offer boat rigging as well.

“We’ll do accessory install,” Krause explained. “If we sell the parts and accessories, then I’ll be able to install them myself as well. I’ve got a mechanical background and I’ve been messing with boats a long time. I ran the shop at Roland Martin Marina in Clewiston for five years and learned a lot in my time there.”

Mr. Krause is opening the store with his business partner Jim Pickett. Mr. Pickett, who also owns a Kentucky-based concrete construction company called JPS Construction, has put his faith in Mr. Krause to open the store for both the partners while he’s in Kentucky. But Mr. Krause also has the help of another partner, his wife Lou Ann Krause.

“I gave Roland Martin 60 days’ notice before I was leaving, so my wife, along with my son, Michael Krause, and my friend Steve Poland were up here for a month and a half cleaning, remodeling and preparing the store. If it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t be where we are right now. I can guarantee that.”

Mr. Krause is beaming with enthusiasm and pride in his store and is hopeful he can reel in some loyal customers this Sept. 1.

“The people that’ll visit us from around the country are great,” noted Mr. Krause. “But the friends and families in the Okeechobee area are what makes Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters part of this community’s history. My family is truly the most important thing in my life and I hope we can make you all part of our family.”

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