Bait shops open early near Winnipeg

Are you headed out tomorrow for a day of fishing? Did you forget to buy bait? It happens to the best of us.

Luckily, if you’re headed north to Lake Winnipeg, or east to the Whiteshell, there are a number of places you can stop and load up on your way to the water. Head to one of these stores for live or frozen minnows and last minute tackle.

Bait shops on the way to lake Winnipeg

Smoke n’ Fish – Selkirk MB

Smoke n’ Fish is located right on Main Street in Selkirk. Whether you’re going to Lake Winnipeg’s west side (Matlock, Gimli, Chalet beach) or east side (Belair, Patricia Beach, Balsam Bay), this bait shop is on the way.

You can get live minnows for a decent price, and they carry Nate’s Baits frozen shiners. These are really high quality, large spottail shiners. In addition to bait, you can grab tackle, rods and other fishing gear. The helpful staff also sharpen auger blades if you’re in need.

Hours: Smoke n’ Fish opens at 6 a.m. nearly every day of the year.

Wavers – Brokenhead First Nation

This gas station is the last stop on the 59 before you hit popular lake accesses on Lake Winnipeg’s east side. You can load up on live minnows, frozen shiners, night crawlers and snacks. There isn’t as much fishing tackle available here, but if it’s bait you’re after, it’s an option.

Hours: Wavers opens at 6 a.m. daily.

Sportsman’s Stop – Esso station on highway 44 near Lockport MB.

Another place to by bait on the way to Lake Winnipeg is Sportsman’s Stop. It’s just a quick exit onto highway 44 from the 59. In addition to bait, this gas station has the best selection of fishing gear in the area. They have tonnes of rods and tackle. You might get hooked into an impulse buy, but else is new.

Hours: Sportsman’s Stop opens at 6:00 a.m.

Bait shops on the way to the Whiteshell Provincial Park

Manny’s Live Bait– HWY 1, east of Winnipeg. (Closed for the winter)

Manny’s is a good option for bait if you’re heading out to the Whiteshell Provincial Park in the spring, summer and fall. In addition to minnows and crawlers, you can grab leeches and grubs. Those baits can be great for Whiteshell Walleye, perch and crappies. Just make sure to check the regulations of the lake you’re headed to. There are lakes where live bait is isn’t allowed.

Hours: Manny’s opens at 9 a.m. seasonally.

Keystone resort/esso – West Hawk Lake

If you’re in the West Hawk Lake area in the Whiteshell, you can grab frozen shiners at the Keystone resort gas station. If you’re looking for lake trout or crappies in the area, they’ll also have appropriate tackle like tube jigs and tungsten jigs/plastic baits. If you’re there in the winter, you’ll likely see lots of snowmobilers you can exchange info with.

Hours: the store usually opens at 8 a.m. is usually only open until 6 p.m.


There you have it, some bait shops open early near Winnipeg, and on the way to popular spots like Lake Winnipeg and the Whiteshell Provincial Park.

I found this to be a commonly-asked question on popular MB fishing forums, so I thought I’d put the answers in one place. Good luck out there!

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