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Continued: Anglers and boaters blue as Minnesota lakes head toward historically late ice-outs

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 21, 2013 - 11:21 AM

The April snow is also stalling marina renovations and work usually done by now. At bait shops, it’s pinching sales, with Wayzata Bait and Tackle estimating that it’s down $10,000 in sales from this time last year. And at Al and Alma’s Supper Club and Charter Cruises, one of six boats is in the water, but it won’t be cruising the lake. Instead, general manager Jay Soule said, they’ll get creative to make sure events like Saturday’s boat wedding will still be enjoyable.

“We’ll make dockside fun,” he said. “It’s another reason to make it memorable.”

Organizers are trying to save face, too, for the Lions’ Lake Minnetonka Crappie Contest, which has been postponed until April 27. Even if the ice isn’t out by then, organizer Roy Peterson said, they’ll scrap fishing and concentrate on onshore activities.

That may be the closest anglers get to a lake until the ice-out. Unlike golfers, who can retreat to indoor golf domes, Turgeon, the fishing guide, joked that anglers have no indoor fishing dome during wintry weather.

“It’s the die-hard guys who are itching to get out,” he said, adding that in 30 years of fishing, he’s never been unable to get on a metro lake for the fishing opener. “It’s not yet unprecedented [this year], but it’s getting close.”


Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141

Twitter: @kellystrib

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  • Snow continues to coat the docks and shoreline at Tonka Bay Marina. The late-season ice on Lake Minnetonka has delayed boating and other activities tied to the lake. Several events have already been postponed, including the annual Lake Minnetonka Crappie Contest in Excelsior, which was set for Saturday.

  • Marine technician Joe Determan carefully walked the snow-covered docks. Boat owners and salespeople, along with marinas, cruise companies and bait shops are waiting for ice-out, defined as when a small boat can travel from one shoreline to another.

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