Big StoneLake is 26 miles long,and it’s a great fishery. Now of course if you are going to come fishing here, you need bait.There’s a bait shop in town that was recently voted the best in Minnesota by a Twins Cities television station…you just have to find Artie.
Artie Arndt grew up on the waters of BigStoneLake.
“I have lived here since I was three,” Artie said. “I don’t want to ever leave.”
A year and a half ago Artie bought the bait shop in Ortonville and he’s been in there enough. It’s a business that has been in Ortonville for close to 40 years.
“I have been into fishing my whole life, said Artie. “I knew the previous owner, we were good friends and I was always interested in the business.”
Now Artie uses his knowledge of fishing, something he has done competitively, to help his customers.
“One thing we do is give everyone a free map of BigStoneLake and tell people where the good fishing areas are,” mentioned Artie. “One thing about Ortonville; it’s all about helping people. We want to make it the best experience possible for the fisherman.
And this is truly a family business.
“Anyone who comes in here see my wife and four kids all working here. Everyone has a role. We go out and get our own bait,” Artie said. “So they are out there doing that and helping with the customers.”
“My dad took me out fishing every other night when I was younger, so I love fishing,” Artie’s son Tanner mentioned. “It’s really great working for him here. I want to work in the fishing industry, it’s not like a day job.”
Now while business is good, Artie is a great promoter for the whole area.
“Big StoneLake has always been good for fishing. For the past few years it has really exploded. We have the best perch fishing with nine to twelve inchers,” Artie said. “People drive for hours to come here and fish perch.”
What else is interesting about Artie’s Bait and Tackle is they have a station set up based on the honor system where anglers can pick up their bait after business hours and if you have that urge to fish at 1:00AM you are good to go.