From Daily Republic // Aug. 22, 2005
By Ian Thompson
SUISUN CITY - Rafael Vidal has been fishing the waterways in and around the Suisun Marsh since he was 12 and loved it.
"Going fishing was my favorite hobby. My whole family fished," Vidal said.
Now, the Suisun City resident is in the business of helping others get everything they need to land that big one by running Rocky's One Stop Fishing Shop on Sunset Avenue, within sight of his fishing grounds.
Vidal had been working as an industrial painter, a job "that was pretty hard on me,'' and he wanted to be his own boss.
"I wanted to do something I like and I liked fishing," Vidal said of how he chose his new profession.
With money he and his wife Dema had saved up, Vidal contacted a local real estate agent who found the small storefront in the shopping center on Sunset Avenue just behind the Black Bear Restaurant.
He opened his doors on July 30 and said the first month has been good for him with a lot of customers who either spotted the place while driving by or heard about the store by word of mouth.
"It has been going real good for the first month," Vidal said, adding he is restocking a lot of what he sold out of since he opened.
Vidal's youth surprises some who walk through the door.
"A lot of new customers trip on this," said Vidal, 21. "They sometimes ask is my dad the owner."
Vidal is the person you will usually find behind the counter, but his wife pitches in "to let me go out to fish a little bit."
Rocky's offers a good selection of rods and reels for fishing in the marsh, as well as nets, lures, tackle and other fishing-related gear. There is also a good selection of snacks to make those long hours fishing a little more palatable.
The store is light on the supplies for stream fishing, but Vidal plans to expand that as the store's customer base grows.
He also offers a good selection of live and frozen bait in the tanks and freezers ranging from grass shrimp and mudsuckers to anchovies and chicken livers.
Some time within the next month, Vidal hopes to have a grand opening with a barbecue and some fishing equipment giveaways.
His long-range plans include moving to a larger space to allow him to further expand his offerings in fishing gear as well as bring in hunting supplies.
Vidal said the upside of running the store is being able to talk fishing with friends and customers underneath a sign that reads "Fish Tales Told Here."
The down side is "I don't get out to fish much, maybe once a week," Vidal said.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rocky's One Stop Fishing Shop
Location: 108 C Sunset Avenue, Suisun City, 94585
Hours: Sunday throughThursday, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Owners: Rafael and Dema Vidal
Opened: July 30