How Dickie Hutson came to run the 'best bait shop in town'

Brenda's Bait and Tackle Shop, owned by Tommy "Dickie" Hutson, opened its doors in Petersburg in 1955.
Posted at 4:20 PM, May 17, 2023

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Brenda's Bait and Tackle Shop, owned by Tommy "Dickie" Hutson, opened its doors in Petersburg in 1955.

It began as "Hutson's Bait" with Dickie's father selling fishing worms and minnows out of some houses, then a backyard shed.

In 1986, Dickie Hutson built the shop as it stands to honor his mother.

Many of the shop's customers, like Norman Allen, have been coming in since they were kids.

"Grand-Daddy turned me onto it, said it’s the best bait shop in town,” Allen said.

Petersburg Bait Shop
Norman Allen

Johnny Swenk has been a patron since he was six years old.

Hutson's father would pay him and other neighborhood children one to two cents apiece for any night crawlers they caught.

“He loved doing that, he knew we needed a little money, cause all of us were poor. We didn’t have much money around here," Swenk said.

Petersburg Bait Shop
Johnny Swenk

Brenda's provides more than just bait for its customers.

“They know every place around here to fish," customer John Elwell said. "They know what’s in there, they tell you where to go.”

Hutson said customer service, good prices, and a unique inventory should keep the shop in Petersburg for a while.

“Hopefully it will keep going for another 10 years," Hutson said.

Petersburg Bait Shop
Tommy "Dickie" Hutson

Brenda's Bait and Tackle is located at 1119 Mckenzie Street in Petersburg.

They are open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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