NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. - It's hard to not think of Minnesota fishing without the name Ted Capra coming to mind.
Capra, 80, was a member of the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame and National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. He also founded Capra’s Sporting Goods in Blaine.
Capra died Aug. 2 surrounded by family and friends, according to his son Dean in a Facebook post.
Capra was a competitive angler well into his 70s and was best-known in bass fishing circles. Nobody in the state has won more Minnesota bass fishing tournaments.
"I wanted to win. It's the craziest thing," Capra told Ron Schara in a Minnesota Bound feature from 2013. "I don't know why, but I wanted to win tourneys so bad, it was actually stupid. I was obsessed with it. I didn't care about the money. It was winning. And I think that was what kept me going. I never made any money at it. At that time, we never made money. You had to do it because you loved to do it."
Son Tony Capra recalls a time in junior high school when he was called to the principal's office, saying, "I thought I was in trouble. When I showed up at the principal's office, my dad was standing there saying, 'The fish are biting, we're going up north. Let's go.' I'm like, 'Yeah! Right on.'"
Services were held on Thursday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in New Brighton. It included a fishing boat procession.
"Not many people going out in style like him... He didn't want to go in a hearse; he's going in his boat," said Dean Capra, Ted's son.
"It's been fun, I mean, what you can say. I made a living doing what I like and that's what we've done. And there's something to be said for that," Capra told Schara in 2013. "When I go, I've done everything I've wanted to do, and that's fish."
Ted is survived by his wife, Nancy; sons, Dean and Tony; brother, Richard; and granddaughters, Ciara and Christine.