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No Wake Restrictions Make For ‘Phenomenal’ Fishing

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MOUND, Minn. (WCCO) — The no wake restriction on Lake Minnetonka is creating a unique opportunity for anglers. Fishing guides say the high water is creating once in a lifetime fishing conditions.

Many recreational boaters are staying off the water, allowing anglers to drop a line without having to fight large waves or boating traffic.

Late morning is a time when Kurt Erickson, the owner of Erickson Guide Services, would normally dock for the day. But just before noon on Monday, he was just setting out on Lake Minnetonka.

“I can do a guide trip on Sunday afternoon and not be bothered by boats,” he said.

No wake restrictions have left a quiet calm across the water allowing the normally busy bay of Black Lake to become a new fishing hole.

“The biggest benefit is less boat traffic,” Erickson said.

With fewer waves to rock his boat, Erickson doesn’t have to concentrate on keeping his boat in one particular spot. Fishing is all about the right location, and inches matter underwater when reeling in the big one.

“They’re in one specific area,” Erickson said. “It’s imperative you hold yourself and stay on there to get production out of fish you want.”

Dustin Hafner, the owner of DH Custom Rods and Tackle, doesn’t have to be in a boat to understand the impact of the no wake rules.

“This year, it’s a different story,” he said.

His customers constantly update him on fishing conditions. His friends, employees and customers send him pictures of large walleye, massive bass, and northern pike that were all caught from Lake Minnetonka. Hafner has also reeled in a 28-inch walleye.

“The fishing has been consistent and there’s a lot of big fish caught,” Hafner said. “It’s the chance of a lifetime, right now. It’s phenomenal fishing.”

Back on Black Lake, 30 minutes of slow going proved successful. Erickson caught a bass.

Fishermen often tell the story of the one that got away, but this year, they’re about the one they reeled in.

Anglers say the no wake zone adds extra time to a fishing trip. But it can take more than an hour to get to different sections of the lake.

As of Friday, Lake Minnetonka needs to drop nearly seven inches, without rising, for three consecutive days before the no wake restriction is lifted.

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