Aikens Lake News

Photos: Newly Renovated Big Guy’s Bait & Tackle Shop

Date
Oct. 08, 2018

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We’re excited to share that our latest renovation project is complete. Before closing camp and packing planes for the final time in 2018, we put the finishing touches on our newly rebuilt Big Guy’s Bait & Tackle Shop.

Of all our annual upgrades in 2018, this one might have the largest impact on day-to-day operations if for no other reason than every angler at Aikens steps foot into the bait and tackle shop.

“The bait and tackle shop hadn’t been touched since it was built, so it looked a bit out of date compared to the other buildings,” Julie says. “We remodeled the building and the deck and added a pair of new restroom. The main objective was to add more space so guests and guides have more room.”

The finished results are phenomenal. We’re eager for guests to see it in person next season, but in the meantime below are a few photos to show you an overview.

The coolest component of the remodel is the section of the tackle shop created as a tribute to the Big Guy himself, Pit’s late father, Gerry Turenne.

Gerry’s larger-than-life presence and genuine, generous spirit made a lasting impact on Aikens and his surrounding community. When he passed away unexpectedly in June of 2015 it was a massive blow to those who knew him. Thousands of comments came via phone, email and the crowd of people at Gerry’s funeral, with many statements such as the following three condolence messages:

“Gerry made people better people.”
“There aren’t many people in the world who’ve had a greater impact on me.”
“Gerry made everything around him better.”

After Gerry's death, the Aikens staff surprised the Turenne family by renaming the tackle shop to “The Big Guy’s Bait and Tackle Shop." Now, three years later, this renovation is another symbolic tip of the cap to Gerry.


“I really wanted to surprise Pit and, in a way, showcase and keep the Big Guy in The Big Guy’s Bait & Tackle,” Julie explained. “The fish I used was one that he caught (it was in the bar before), and I asked Pat to make the frame I purchased look more rustic to display his guide shirt.  He used reclaimed wood from the original slabs of the tackle shop.”

“Gerry would have loved the way it looks.”

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