Unable to complete a sale of Walt’s Hook, Line and Sinker, owner Walt Hoehn has decided to close the bait and tackle store Dec. 1.
The log cabin store, located along Ottawa Road, just outside of St. Peter, is connected to a residential addition Hoehn constructed where he has been living. He is now offering the property for sale through RE/MAX as residential. It still could be used as a business by the buyer.
“The 30th of November will be my last day,” Hoehn said. “It will be closed up on Dec. 1. I’m taking the business off the market, because no one would buy it, and I am just selling the real estate (7.2 acres and building). Whoever would buy it can do whatever they want. On the fourth of December, I turn 70, and I’m going to go fishing.”
He had been trying to sell the business for six months.
Hoehn has purchased his new home in Webster, South Dakota, where he will live in his retirement.
He doesn’t plan to work anymore, but he said there is a bait shop in Sportsmans Cove bait shop in Webster, but the owner had an accident and is having trouble walking, so offered to help him if he gets really busy. He lives only seven blocks from the bait store.
“If I give you call, can you come and scoop minnows,” the bait store owner asked Hoehn said.
“I don’t plan on charging anything,” Hoehn said. “If I get a scoop of minnows myself, that’s all I need. If the weather is nice, I’m going to be fishing. I need to do something for myself for a while. Tomorrow is not a give the way this crap (COVID-19 virus) is going. I figured I put in extra years. I’m healthy. I’m overweight and I smoke. But I don’t take any medication except a few aspirin for arthritis.”
During the COVID virus, it has been more difficult to order supplies, so Hoehn is down to having just minnows and a dwindling supply of tackle and fishing supplies. He is offering 35 percent off any of the tackle. “That’s basically my cost,” Hoehn said.
“Everybody fell behind when they shut everything down,” Hoehn said. “I don’t need hassle anymore.”
Hoehn, who has a gregarious friendly personality and knows where the fish are biting, has made a lot of friends over the years running the bait shop.
“I’ve enjoyed it here,” he said. “A lot of good people have come in. That’s the only part I’m really going to miss.”
Hoehn said the area always has been a good fishing spot with the St. Peter Trout Ponds just down Ottawa Road, the Minnesota River and all the lakes. In the wintertime, it’s possible to fish all the lakes without a boat.
He likes the Webster area because he has good fishing, something that he hasn’t had much time to do in the last 14 years running the bait and tackle shop.
Hoehn has fished the lakes near his new home for about a dozen years.
With the closing of Walt’s, the nearest bait and tackle stores to St. Peter are 10 to 15 miles away at Walt’s Bait and More along State Highway 169 in North Mankato and Green’s Corner Bait on State Highway 60 in Madison Lake.