Lake Businesses Take Major Hit by Lingering Winter
As anglers wait out the cold weather to catch their first bite, businesses are ready to catch a break.
Snow is on the ground. Ice is on the water. And marinas, shops and restaurants that are dependent on the traffic of the 10,000 lakes are still closed.
Bearz Sport in White Bear Lake the business is still open but they're cutting back on their hours to make up for the difference.
"It's been tough," said employee Cody Quast. "Business has been slow. Hours have been cutting back really bad."
Quast says on a good day he'll see one customer an hour. That's only about one third of the amount of business he saw in the shop this time last year.
"It's not good business but it keeps us working. It's better than shutting it down," he said.
Quast is more upset about the weather than the lack of hours in the store.
"I'm a little annoyed and frustrated. I want to get on the lake and do some fishing."
He's spending his time preparing for the eventual warm-up instead of risking the dangerous rivers.
"You do want to be safe. You've got lots of log jams and stuff that will break loose," he said. "As soon as that ice is off I'm guessing that were going to get extremely busy."
Here's the one piece of good news for anglers Quast believes this slow start to spring could make for even better walleye fishing come opening day on May 11th since the fish will wait to spawn for warmer temperatures and be easier to find, more hungry and more aggressive.