Several lakes still ice-covered for Fishing Opener - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Several lakes still ice-covered for Fishing Opener

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MINOCQUA, Wis. (WAOW) -

The Fishing Opener officially kicks off at midnight Friday, but anglers aren't flocking to the Northwoods quite yet. Several lakes are still covered in ice.

"To not get that jump we're used to seeing for opening weekend, that really hurts," said Kurt Justice, the owner of Kurt's Island Sports Shop across from Lake Minocqua. "The last time we saw this was in 2013. My business, my customer county went down 75 percent."

Justice said anxious anglers have been calling him all week, asking if it was even worth it to come up for the weekend. 

Though it's a slow start, Justice believes better conditions are on the horizon.

"I think with the sun it's really helping," he said. "I think by Sunday a lot of things are going to open up."

Additionally, he said he's not concerned about his bottom line, because there are plenty of fish still to be caught. 

Governor Scott Walker also said he doesn't believe the slow start will impact the Northwoods summer tourism industry this season. 

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