It was 1970. Willie Thomas had dreamed of being the captain of his own charter fishing boat. But, with a family to feed it was time to stop dreaming and start working. Willie saw potential in an old wooden boat for dredging clams and bought it to go into the clamming business. It was not long before he realized there were no clams to dredge and soon after the clam dredging equipment was replaced with rods and reels and Willie was making a living by living his dream.
The name of that first boat was Willie-B. He brought his son, Ricky, aboard as his first mate and together they quickly earned the reputation of two successful fisherman with an extensive knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay. After a few years they traded to a more suitable boat and today the Willie-B II can be seen trolling the shores of the Potomac and around the Chesapeake Bay.
By 1990, Willie had ‘retired’ to Florida and left the charter business for Ricky to manage. Ricky had done well on the water but called his dad with an idea of opening a small tackle shop in Callao, VA on the main road leading to the water. Willie was already tired of retirement and came up to Virginia to help his son open the doors of R.W.’s Sport Shop. The first Saturday they were open they both were blown away by how busy they were. This started out as something for the two of them to do when they were not chartering. Soon, dad was running the store while Ricky captained the boat.
In less than a year they knew they needed a bigger place and the land the current store sits on came up for sale. The following year they put up the building and today they have gone from a simple tackle shop with some saltwater bait, tackle and t-shirts to a 10,000+ square foot Hunting and Fishing Supply store with everything from Turkey calls and duck decoys to guns and ammo to umbrella rigs and Rod & Reels.