Fishing during the coronavirus
NORTH WEBSTER, Ind.-- Hook, line and sinker! Quarantine is the perfect time to get out to fish or hunt while we are all practicing social distancing.
The fun activity helps to break that cabin fever and get you out and about while still being away from others.
Lake Wawasee in Syracuse Indiana was humming with boaters and eager fisherman who were not going to let the coronavirus dampen their start to spring.
“Fishing is something as you get older too you don’t have to necessarily be athletic to still do it, enjoy it and have fun" says Joshua Honderich who is the head of Elkhart County Fishing Club.
"We were cruising around, getting the boat out for the first time this year, you know just having a little bit of fun" says Brandon Winthrop, "Getting out of the house.”
Life maybe different as we all adjust to this "new normal" but that was not stopping local fisherman and cruiser from getting their boats into the water for the first time this year and some fish on their hooks.
The fisherman say getting out on or near the lake is something anyone can do.
A boat is not needed to fish or enjoy the lake because you can do both from the shoreline while spreading out and not worrying to much about social distancing.
"There's only two of us and there’s not a lot of people on boats, it’s not bad" says Winthrop.
"You always learn something new I think that’s why I like it and why a lot of people like it too" says Honderich.
Another fisherman who was on Lake Wawasee on Tuesday says, "I’m not going to let it ruin my life by any means yet I do want to be careful and I don’t want to take anything home.”
The Ye Olde Tackle Box bait shop in North Webster off of Main Street is also doing all they can to help flatten the curve.
“I’ve worked since this started about 265 hours. Since the 20... whatever day it was. It’s been a lot" says Joe Denton, who has owned the Tackle Box for about a year now.
While the stay at home orders for Indiana and Michigan have been in affect since March 23rd many have been cooped up at home, however that is not slowing their business.
“Cause people aren’t working they don’t have anything to do so a lot of my customers love to fish" says Denton "So as business goes it’s been really good.”
But that has come with some changes and adaptions to how business is run.
Curbside pickup, online orders, and call aheads all went into effect on Tuesday for the bait shop along with extra cleaning measures to help keep the customers and the store itself safe.
“I would be devastated if they caught it and if it happened here" says Denton, "So it’s more safety for them.”
The owner has also had to let his other 3 staff members go for the time being to help keep them healthy which has not been easy.
"Unfortunately I don't have employees working here because they are older, great people" says Denton "I wish I could have them here because they are great people but I don't want them to catch the virus nor do I want any of my customers."
Denton tells us that the customer response has kept him pushing through this tough time.
"It’s been phenomenal" says Denton, "The customer support for me being open has been overwhelming.”
However, the DNR released a statement pushing the renewal date for 2019-2020 licenses to May 22nd instead of March 31st giving you can extra 2 months to enjoy the outdoors.