Come March 1st, Elmer Daubert, plans to hang a permanent "Gone Fishing" sign on the door of the sporting goods store he has operated at Mountain and Long Point roads in Pasadena for 30 years.
"I'm going to be a full-time sportsman," said Mr. Daubert, who is retiring.
"In other words, I'm going to play. I love to fish, go crabbing and to hunt."
That doesn't mean the shop will be closed for long, however. Mr. Daubert, his wife, Anna, and their two grown sons will spend March readying the shop to turn over to a new owner in April.
Mr. Daubert said the buyer is a customer who plans to run a fishing equipment and marine repair business.
"It will almost be the same thing as when Daubert's started," said Mr. Daubert, 61, who switched from motor and boat repairs to retail sales six years after he opened his business in March 1964.
Bob Liebno, who brings his son, Alex, 6, to Daubert's, as his father once did with him, said it won't quite "be the same," however.
"I can come in here and order exactly what I want," added Arthur Siebert.
"In a big store you have to take what's on the shelf."
For now, Mr. Siebert and others will get the chance to clear the shelves of fishing rods, guns, marine supplies, penny candy and soft drinks as Mr. Daubert has cut prices to try to get rid of his stock by Feb. 28.
What doesn't sell probably will be auctioned off or sold to flea markets, said Mr. Daubert, who prides himself on knowing his customers' first names.
"It's been a wonderful thing to do this for 30 years," he said.
"I never, ever regretted coming up that road to open the business. There's not too many people who can say that about their jobs."
He said he will particularly miss the children who come into his shop. Some of their pictures hang over the cash register in his store.
In his younger days, Mr. Daubert worked in construction and as a gunsmith.
He did a hitch in the Marine Corps and was a firefighter with the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Company.
In the 1950s, he settled into the boat-building business, which is where he worked until he opened the sporting goods store across from Long Point Mall.
Mr. Daubert, who has coached baseball, sponsored a team in the Lake Shore Little League and donated money to help feed the needy, said he plans to take a year off, then maybe start a fishing school.
For years, he has taught customers how to use their fishing gear, even taking them out on the water in his boat to fish for no charge, he said.
"The best part of being out on the water is you're out there and you feel close to God," Mr. Daubert said. "And you see the sun come up and you feel rejuvenated."