About the Shop
Sports Port Bait & Tackle has a long history in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Originally founded by William Hill in the early 1950’s. Hill had moved his family to the Cape from New York. Bill loved fishing and talking about fishing. It is said that Bill had a recliner chair in the shop and always had the coffee pot on for his regular customers. It was Bill who thought of putting a mannequin out in front of the shop to catch people's eye. The “Old Salt” still holds his post outside of Sports Port and people know it is the shop’s open sign. The Old Salt has weathered many storms (even a car accident in 2010) and he has certainly become an iconic landmark for residents and visitors of Cape Cod.
Bill had one daughter, Karen Hill, who followed in his footsteps in her love for fishing. Karen took over the shop when she was just in her early twenties after her father's passing. Karen was an accomplished fisherman in her own right. She won many tournaments including an international title won off the coast of Ecuador. One of her proudest fishing accolades was catching an 813-pound giant bluefin tuna in Cape Cod Bay. Karen had built upon her father's business by sharing her love of the sport with her customers. Many customers have talked about how Karen got them started in fishing - showing them how to tie knots, giving ideas about where to fish, and how to fish different areas of Cape Cod. After 45 years of owning Sports Port Karen decided that it was time to retire so she could do all of the other things that she loved to do, but being a small business owner often didn't have the time.
Karen Hill and Amy Wrightson met through a mutual acquaintance which eventually would put Karen’sretirement into action. Amy had moved to the Cape from Boston a few years earlier. She had been working as a kayak instructor/guide and was looking for a retail space for a paddle shop. She and Karen talked about the Sports Port being a good option. Amy had grown up fishing with her dad on the Cape in the summers and on family vacations and remembered coming into the shop as a kid. The farther Amy and Karen got in their talks of transferring ownership of the shop, Amy realized that it had to stay the fishing institution and destination that it had become. So, Karen passed the Sports Port torch to Amy. Although Amy thought she knew a lot about fishing she would quickly realize she had much to learn. Thankfully, Tyler and Chris who both worked for Karen for several years stayed on and helped to smooth some of thebumps in the road. Since taking over the shop Amy and her husband Travis have had 3 kids and thankfully a team of wonderful guys to help keep things running smoothly at the shop.
When you walk into Sports Port it really is like walking into a time warp. Many customers who have been coming to the shop for decades comment on how it still looks pretty much how it did so long ago. We believe that living in the fast paced, always changing, shifting, world it is a breath of fresh air to come into a space that has stayed consistent season after season, year after year, decade after decade. Now, don’t get us wrong…we strive to carry the latest plugs, reels, rods etc. But you can count on Sports Port to greet you with a smile, a passion for fishing and an aim to have our customers leaving the shop satisfied.
Come see us and tell us your fishing stories….