Britain’s youngest tackle shop owner

A schoolboy dream to work in the tackle trade has become a reality sooner than expected for one young angler after he gained full control of a popular tackle shop just weeks after collecting his GCSE results.

While tens of thousands of other school leavers are struggling in a depressed economy, 16-year-old James King has already landed the job of a lifetime by gaining ownership of Dymchurch, Kent-based outlet Kingfisher Tackle.

The keen fisherman, who has been wetting a line since he could hold a rod, officially took over the reigns of the popular store after his father, Andy, sprung the surprise on him in April of this year. 

“It all came out of the blue. I was stunned when my dad told me I’d be taking over complete control of the shop. I was over the moon, as it’s something I’ve dreamed of doing for years,” said James.

“Now that I’ve finished at school I manage the staff and stock levels, deal with reps and work hard to satisfy all my customers. So far, it has been relatively stress-free and great fun,” he added.

Local regulars were amazed when news first reached them regarding the change of management, however it appears James’ approach quickly won them over and the shop is now busier than ever.

“It is all about applying common sense to the job,” said the youngster.

“If you are friendly with the customers and help them with their needs, then they’ll stay happy. There may be a credit crunch on, but there are still plenty of people coming through the door and I’m delighted with the way things are going,” he added.

Fishing has always been in the family, with father Andy running the charter boat, ‘Louise Jane’, out of Dover.

He is convinced his son has all the attributes necessary to keep customers coming through the doors and money going into the till, as he told Angling Times.

“James has fished all his life and he loves it,” Andy told Angling Times.

“At first he had a few customers who were cautious about his age, but they’re now asking for him by name when they visit the shop. He really has won everyone over and is doing a brilliant job,” he said.