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Offering live bait and what not

Janice Natvik scoops up some bait at Paitl’s Live Bait and What Knots on Wednesday afternoon. (Jed Carlson/

Following a family tradition, Janice Natvik is serving up shiners, fatheads and other fishing supplies at a new bait shop in Superior’s South End.

Paitl’s Live Bait and What Knots, located at 5926½ Tower Ave. beside the ICO station, opened Feb. 6. The shop is named after Natvik’s grandfather, George Paitl, who sold self-serve bait out of his basement in Ashland. Natvik, a South Superior native, remembers catching minnows for her grandfather when she was a child.

Fishing has been part of Natvik’s life as far back as she can remember, including family camping adventures on Twin Bear Lake in Iron River. She enjoys summer fishing in her canoe, a pole propped up next to her while she knits.

“It’s not what you catch, it’s just enjoying the day,” Natvik said.

South Superior was in need of a bait shop.

“There wasn’t anything here,” the businesswoman said, but there are lots of fishermen in the area. “I felt like this was a community service.”

Word of mouth has led folks to her shop, and they’ve been happy to find a bait shop closer to home.

Along with minnows, jigs, line and other fishing gear, Paitl’s stocks a variety of “what knots,” from art prints and recycled rag rugs to handmade knit and crochet items.

Natvik also offers repair service for canvas items like boat cushions, tents and clothing.

The bait shop is open from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“Fishermen want to fish every day of the week if they’re home,” Natvik said, and she aims to be there for them. The shop already has a shelf full of bright-colored summer jigs, despite this week’s snowstorm. Soon, night crawlers and worms will supplement the tanks of minnows.

Other South Superior businesses have rolled out the welcome mat for the new bait shop. Green Light Fitness gave Natvik a large “Open” sign to use. Other business owners on the block, including the nearby barber and chiropractor, have stopped in to wish her well.

Wednesday, Natvik knitted in the front window. She plans to spin wool, work on her loom and tackle other projects in this “home away from home” as word about the new bait shop spreads. She said she would happily teach a class on knitting or crocheting if there’s enough interest.

“There’s no time to be bored,” Natvik said.