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Wildside Graphix opens bait shop in Hastings

Lance Klapak, owner of Wildside Graphix in Hastings, is starting a new business venture. He recently opened a new bait shop in the lower level of his building.

Klapak has owned Wildside Graphix for 22 years. An avid outdoorsman who fishes and hunts "just about everything," he said, he started thinking about opening a bait shop last year, when Hastings' last shop, Killroy's Sk8 and Bait, closed.

"It came out of necessity," he said of his store.

Without a local bait shop, anglers in Hastings have had to go to Prescott, Wis., for any live bait. He, as well as many others, he said, got sick of driving to Prescott every time they wanted to go fishing. So he decided to open his own bait shop. He had the space in his building already, so it worked out, he said.

"Hopefully it'll save some people some time running to Prescott," he said.

So far, he's gotten a positive reaction from the people who have stopped in, he said. He carries a variety of live bait, including fathead minnows, crappie minnows, sucker minnows, night crawlers, leeches and wax worms. The selection will change for the seasons as well, Klapak said. He also carries tackle supplies and is in the process of getting a vendor for that.

Besides giving Hastings anglers a local place to get live bait and fishing supplies, the new bait shop is an opportunity for Klapak to work with his youngest son, Zak. Zak, 17, will help out with the new store during the summer, Klapak said.

The bait shop is located on the lower level of Wildside Graphix, 1630 Vermillion Street (at the corner of Vermillion and 17th streets). Store hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 651-210-9350.