In 1976, Margaret and Robert “Jingles” O’Brien established Jingles Bait and Tackle in their home town of Beach Haven to bring fresh bait and the best products to the fishing community on Long Beach Island (LBI).
Continuing the Legacy
In 2017, Steve and Carole Ann purchased Jingles with the intention of continuing to serve the community just as Jingles has for so many years.
Carole Ann and her family have been coming to Beach Haven since the late 1960’s. Two week vacations were the start, then they became Beach Haven homeowners in 1982.
For close to 20 years, thanks to Carole Ann and her family, I have been coming to Beach Haven. As a Philly Boy, I never realized there were wonderful shore points north of Atlantic City, but once persuaded and I begrudgingly acquiesced to come “check out” LBI, I completely fell in love with the whole package. Right about that same time, my older brothers Kirk and Bob took up surf fishing and I was “hooked” with them. Once I learned the very basics of surf casting, I took a walk over to Jingles Bait & Tackle to look around. That is when I really fell in love with fishing.
I unfortunately came on to the Jingles scene too late to meet Jingles himself, but feel as though I sort of know him through Margaret and her love of the island, it’s community and her love of fishing. Margaret sold me my first rod and reel combo, my first variety of baits, but best of all, she taught me HOW to cast, HOW to fish, HOW to have a fun relaxing time up on the surf or on the bay. Through the years I became as frequent a customer as our busy lives permitted and also got to know Gene a bit when I needed reels repaired or had silly questions that only he knew how give succinct answers to. I would eagerly look forward to heading straight to Jingles after we unpacked at the Fitzsimmons beach house. This went on for roughly 15 years and Carole Ann always accepted this passion of mine as something to keep me busy and out of her hair for a while.
Last April (2017), the craziest thing happened; Carole Ann and I, along with our dear friend Bill Van Tol, made our annual Spring pilgrimage to open up the house, have some beers and maybe do a little fishing. After all of the necessary chores had been completed, we took a walk to Jingles to buy some bait. NO, closed and for sale, this couldn’t be!
“Wanna buy a bait store?” was my question to Carole Ann and bless her, after her eye roll, her retort was “go do your homework, show me it can work”.
Well, after 28 years in corporate America for both of us and a tremendous amount of TLC from Margaret, Gene and Pat Hoagland (former owner of Bruce and Pat’s in Surf City) and support from our families, especially Pop and Nan Fitzsimmons, here we are, running Jingles Bait & Tackle. We both are happier than we could have imagined. Thank you to everyone who came to see us and help us in our first year. It has been spectacular!
Our goal is to keep Jingles “Jingles” to offer a happy family-oriented shop where you can pick up the latest in fishing needs or find your old favorites. Where you can grab fresh bait for any type of fishing or crabbing. Where you can come have a cup of coffee, laugh and tell your best fish stories. Where you can run into your old fishing pals or make new ones.
Carole Ann and I are truly blessed to be where we are and we hope you will all come fish with Jingles!
– Steve Palmer