Fishing: Great entertainment whatever the cost
WILLMAR -- In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it's no wonder that fishing is a top hobby for the outdoors lovers of Minnesota. But even with a lake within a short drive for most, water abundance may not be the only reason fishing has such a following i...
WILLMAR -- In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it's no wonder that fishing is a top hobby for the outdoors lovers of Minnesota.
But even with a lake within a short drive for most, water abundance may not be the only reason fishing has such a following in the state. It may be the sport's affordability that attracts more and more people to fishing rods, tackle and lures.
In a time where many hobbyists are watching every dollar like the rest of America, fishing can attract many because of its affordable nature.
"It's like anything else. You can stay real basic and real simple," said Brad Foshaug, owner of Brad's 71 Bait and Sports in Willmar.
"Like mom used to tell us when we were little kids, 'Keep it simple, stupid,' you can go that route, or as anything else, you can accessorize."
Foshaug said fishing newcomers and veterans alike can make the hobby as affordable or expensive as they want. A lot depends on how serious they want to go, how much gear they want to own, and what they want to fish, he said.
"For most people, with a $50 bill, you can get them started with just the basics," Foshaug said. "You know, some bobbers, some hooks. Just the basic things they need and then they're basically ready to go."
Whether a novice or a longtime angler, Foshaug said, "Once you get the basics, you really don't have to buy much." Most often, Foshaug said, anglers only need to buy new fishing line, a small box of weights, some hooks and jigs on an annual basis. And once those are purchased, he said, buying bait is relatively cheap as compared to the expenses of other summer hobbies, such as golf.
"There's always new stuff or new things that a lot of guys 'got to buy it,'" Foshaug said. "Heck, if it's like me and most guys, you got a couple of tackle boxes full of stuff and you only use two lures."
Greg Skindelien, owner of Skindelien's Bait in New London, said fishing is an affordable hobby because an angler doesn't always need the highest-priced fishing rod or tackle to enjoy it or be successful. There are so many lines of each kind of equipment, he said, that it's easy to find the more affordable brands of it all.
"And I guess basically once you're out (on a lake), it don't cost you nothing to sit there," Skindelien said.
A fishing rod and reel is an obvious necessity, Skindelien said, but those can be purchased at the low-end price of $20 "and most even come with line."
Foshaug agrees that a quality rod and reel combos can usually be bought for $30 to $100. "It's not necessarily 'the more you spend, the better you're getting.'"
However, no matter how much of a novice or expert, Skindelien said, "it's all about what they're fishing and what they're planning on doing."
Skindelien said he has noticed this year that many anglers have cut back on their fishing budgets due to the economy, citing fewer purchases of new depth finders and other non-essential items.
"They're trying to get by with what they had last year, but most are still going and buying their bait," Skindelien said.
Despite the economy, any angler can enjoy a good time on the lakes this summer with the fishing necessities, Foshaug said.
"You're looking at less than $100 to have the basics you would need to start fishing any species," Foshaug said. "I don't know if I can consider (fishing) cheap, but it can be inexpensive."