Opening Business

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Chuck Grigg says his Tomahawk Bait Shop does good business no matter what time of year, thanks to his local customers.

But that doesn't mean he could do without the added boost from opening weekend.

"Traditionally this is opening weekend of fishing season, it'll be our biggest license-selling weekend for non-resident fisherman," said Chuck Grigg, Chuck's Sport Shop.

And those non-residents don't just help the Northwoods economy. According to the Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin has the second highest number of non-resident anglers on its lakes and rivers in the country, only Florida's warm climate draws more.

The non-residents help more than just the outdoor merchants. Restaurants also see a boom.

When Elaine Steinhafl arrives to work at four in the morning, she's usually one of the first cars in the parking lot, but not on opening weekend.

"The boats and trailers and cars are usually here at four o'clock when I get here," said Elaine Steinhafl, Village Square Restaurant.

Steinhafl says she expects more of the same this year.

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