history of the bait box

learn more about our iconic building

our story begins in the 1800s

For about a century, the Woodring family has had great experience in pioneering and commercial fishing on Sanibel Island. You may even be familiar with Woodring Point, a location on Sanibel Island best known for its popularity in fishing and strategic location overlooking San Carlos Bay.

Sam Woodring, the original fishing pioneer, purchased Woodring Point in the 1800s where he settled with his family.

Original Woodring Homestead
The Original Woodring Homestead
Homestead on Woodring Point
The Original Woodring Homestead

the woodring family

Woodring and his family were the only full-time residents in the area, which allowed them to explore the island and expand upon their wealth of pioneering and fishing experience. Later, his son Sam Woodring Jr. and daughter-in-law Esperanza Woodring created and perfected Sanibel’s first fishing guide.

Sam Woodring Jr. and Esperanza’s son Ralph carried this knowledge with him for a lifetime before he brought his family’s traditions to The Historic Bait Box. Woodring opened the Historic Bait Box in 1971, and its doors have been open ever since.

Woodring Yard on the Sanibel Point
The Woodring Family
Esperanza Woodring casting a net.
Sam Woodring with his father.
Watercolor of The Historic Bait Box by Maggii Sarfaty

your one stop shop for fishing

The Historic Bait Box is your one stop shop for all your fishing needs! We carry a wide selection of fishing gear, such as rods and reels, cast nets, life vests, fishing apparel, and lures of every kind. We also carry live and frozen bait, which is caught nightly, so we can guarantee its freshness.

In 2021, the Munger Family acquired The Historic Bait Box and worked with manager Ron Taverna to make lifelong bonds with customers, talk all things fishing, and meet all customer needs and expectations including offering fishing lessons for kids and commercial fishing licenses. John and Kimberly Munger are originally from Fort Lauderdale and enjoy sport fishing and scuba diving. They are honored to uphold the 50-year traditions of The Historic Bait Box and continue to bring the Woodring Legacy to Sanibel Island.

The current owner of The Bait Box is Matt Joyce.