Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake Herald, Minn.

January 5, 1998

Area lakes fishing report

Warm winter weather and varied ice conditions are still the norm for hardwater anglers.

Last week, I had the opportunity to wet a line on Black Lake near Mound. Other anglers reported Black Lake was the place to be for good sunfish action, and they were right.

The action wasn't what I'd call fast, but it was good. Fishing in eight to 10 feet of water and moving around quite a bit, three of us nabbed just enough half- to three quarter-pound sunfish for a nice meal.

The fish were there and so were the anglers; the competition for angling space was fierce.

Also, the ice conditions were definitely varied. No anglers were driving out, and the area we and most other anglers were fishing had only five to six inches of ice. Less than 100 yards away from us, near a channel, there was open water.

Other lakes in the area are very much the same. The fishing has been good and ice conditions are still uncertain. On Howard and Waconia, most anglers are now driving their vehicles on the ice, but are sticking only to areas they feel are safe.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported: "A good number of anglers have been out and the fishing has been good. On Howard, anglers are getting pick-through sunfish on the south end. Good-sized crappies are biting at a slow pace, a few walleyes are coming off, and northern pike action has been excellent. On Big Waverly anglers are picking up a few walleyes and the perch bite has been very good."

Other reports from the area have the best sunfish action coming from Phelps and several other bays on Lake Minnetonka. Ida has seen a lot activity and has been producing a few panfish. Buffalo is producing modest walleye action and the crappie bite on Dog has been excellent at times. On Dog Lake, Charlie Radtke of Winsted recently landed a monster three-pound, seven-ounce crappie.

Last year on Dog Lake, the crappie bite was fast, but most fish were barely keeper size.

Look for late night crappie action to pick up on Howard and give the south end of Lake Mary a shot for evening crappies.

Next week: a report on "electronic fishing."

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