Minnesota fishing icon Ted Capra dies

(Photo courtesy of Dean Capra/Facebook)

Ted Capra, a member of the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame and National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and founder of Capra’s Sporting Goods in Blaine, died Wednesday, Aug. 2. He was 80 years old.

“With heavy hearts we are sad to announce that father, husband, grandfather, mentor, and fishing legend Ted Capra passed away today peacefully surrounded by family and friends,” one of Ted’s sons, Dean Capra, said in a Facebook post Wednesday night.

In a phone interview with Outdoor News on Thursday morning, Dean Capra said his father had struggled with heart issues for years and ultimately died of heart failure, adding that Ted Capra had heart surgery about five years ago.

Dean said his father had been retired for several years, having sold Capra’s Sporting Goods to sons Dean and Tony, but still spent time helping out at the store from time to time.

Ted’s business interests also included the Shore Lunch fish-breading brand and numerous other fishing-related ventures, as well as real estate, Dean said.

Also a highly successful competitive angler, Ted fished his first tournament in 1967 and still fished competitively well into his 70s, winning the final tournament he fished at age 78, Dean said. That 1967 tournament was a muskie competition, Dean said, but his father was best-known in bass-fishing circles.

“He won at least one tournament in every decade – 50 years of winning tournaments is really something,” Dean said.

With news of Ted’s passing, Facebook posts from the fishing community started pouring in Thursday morning.

“Ted Capra – the Grand Old Man of Fishing and Hall of Famer has passed on. … A true sportsman and friend. He will surely be missed,” fishing legend Al Lindner posted Thursday.

“RIP Teddy, we will go crack ’em when I see you again,” Bloomington’s Seth Feider, a current national bass tournament standout, said in a post Thursday, too.

Aside from time in the Navy, Ted spent his entire life in the Twin Cities, having been born and raised in northeast Minneapolis, Dean said. The family had a cabin near Longville, “graduating” to a lake home on Lake Minnetonka in 2008, then selling what became known as “The Fish House” when Ted’s health started to suffer a few years back, Dean said.

Survivors are wife, Nancy; sons, Dean and Tony; brother, Richard; and granddaughters, Ciara and Christine.

A wake will be held Wednesday evening, Aug. 9, with the funeral Thursday, Aug. 10 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in New Brighton. Times and further details, once finalized, can be found at washburn-mcreavy.com.

“And there will be a procession from the church with boats (to the cemetery),” Dean said. “We’ll send him out in style.”

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