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BEST FISHING HOLE (URBAN) Minneapolis 1999 -

Sadly, besides providing another way for rich, drunken adolescents to become paraplegics, Jet Ski contraptions have also ruined countless formerly fruitful Minnesota fishing holes. Luckily, the Skis haven't yet completely taken over Lake Minnetonka, still the best urban spot to catch a panoply of finned creatures ranging from the mighty bass, northern, and muskie to the lowly bullhead, dogfish, and carp. Personally, we're pan fisherfolks, which traditionally means sitting in a rickety rowboat in hobos' clothing in search of tough-fighting crappies and sunfish. For such fun, head to Maxwell's or Stubb's Bays, and look for boats filled with old farts who won't tell you what it is they're fishing for, and aren't catching and releasing. A proper trip begins at Ray's Bait Store on old Hwy. 7 in Excelsior, where one can pick up a full supply of minnows, worms, bobbers, Nut Goodies, and that all-important fishing license. Those lacking a rickety tub can rent one with a tiny motor at any of the handful of Lake Minnetonka's fishing marinas (there used to be 30!) listed under "Rentals, Boat" in the Yellow Pages. Meantime, cheapos or landlubbers can find good fishing from shore in the channel between Crystal Bay and North Arm, near Lord Fletcher's. (We go in for cheap laughs when the day's done: Try putt-putting up to Fletcher's after a full day of handling greasy fish, docking next to the yuppie yachts, standing in your grungy uniform at the bar next to the assembled Chip-and-Muffins, and ordering a martini.)

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