Reporting Frank Vascellaro
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. Saturday, hundreds will hit the water for the Minnesota fishing opener.
And Waconia’s In Towne Marina will be ready as Gov. Mark Dayton kicks off the opener on Lake Waconia.
“You get tired, but you don’t get tired of it,” Cindy Mase said. “We’ve traditionally been open all night long, ever opener.”
This weekend marks the 32nd fishing opener for Cindy and Jim Mase. They bought the marina as a sentiment of their love for the outdoors, and each other.
Now their boys, Ben and Jimmy, help run the place. The lakeside shop is a convenience store of sorts, selling everything from bait, to rods, to coffee.
With their town as the backdrop for the unofficial start of summer, the marina couldn’t be happier to welcome everyone to the town of Waconia.
“That’s what we’re all about here in Minnesota,” Cindy said. “We care about the environment and care about each other.”
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Minnesota Fishing Facts
-This is the first time Waconia has hosted the fishing opener
-Lake Waconia is the second-largest lake in the greater Metro area (3,000 acres and only smaller than Lake Minnetonka)
-Walleyes in Lake Waconia average 2.5 pounds and 19 inches
-Lake Waconia is stocked with walleye every year, not just every other year like other lakes
-Two million people fish in Minnesota each year
-Fishing brings in an estimated $4.7 billion each year to the Minnesota economy
-The average Minnesotan spends 20 days fishing each year