Pandemic outings sale of motor boats. Marinas in Grafton, Bustle of St. Charles | Local company

This is good news and bad news for Creve Coeur’s Gary Hart. The longtime fisherman is happy that more and more people are playing the sport. But that makes it feel a bit stuck, even on the 92 mile expanse of Lake of the Ozarks.

“I’m a guy who loves loneliness when I fish, and it’s hard to find loneliness now,” he said.

The retiree waited for the Memorial Day crush at home, then packed his grandchildren for a vacation to Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. His 2016 Ranger is newly equipped with $ 20,000 navigation technology.

“I can find a penny in a hundred feet of water,” he said.

The updates – a trolling motor and three Garmin displays – only took a few days, but Hart had to wait several weeks for his appointment at Tri-state trolling motor in Wentzville.

Tri-State specializes in the installation and repair of electronic devices and sells kayaks and canoes. Bob Douthit opened the company in 1991.

“It’s just gone crazy,” he said. “No matter how much you bring, it’s not enough.”

These days, Douthit spends a quarter of his time on the phone with manufacturers, trying to find the additional engines that make it easier to find fish. He had to buy more through distributors, which reduced his profit margins.

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