Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

July 6, 1998

Finally . . . gone fishing

I finally got to go fishing. In fact, the entire family did, and we had a blast.

My wife's mom and dad rented a cabin on Clearwater Lake near Annandale for the week and my wife, my daughter, and I stayed the weekend with them.

We spent a good chunk of our time cruising the lake on a big pontoon in search of sunfish.

It took a little work. But we found the sunnies and the fishing was good. The sunnies on Clearwater and Grass Lakes seemed to prefer an old-fashioned angleworm to anything else and when we were on the right spot, sunnies made it into the pail on the pontoon, one right after the other.

It was catch' em, clean' em, and eat' em. Eating them was almost as fun as catching them, and if you get on a roll, cleaning a mess of sunnies isn't that bad.

We tried trolling for northerns and throwing plugs for bass and didn't have much luck. When they didn't bite, we headed right back to the sunfish holes. Heck, when the sunnies are biting at a good pace who needs the bigger fish?

All in all, from the call of a loon, to the cabin, to the lake, to the campfire, the weekend was great and so was the invitation from my father-in-law.

While the sunfish action on Clearwater was good, the best action has been coming from Lake Minnetonka. Anglers heading to Halstead's Bay have been pulling dandy sunnies for a couple of weeks now.

Other reports have the bass and sunfish hitting on Howard, evening walleyes on Washington and Collinwood, and northern pike biting at a good pace on Cedar and John. A few anglers also said Mary and Granite are still producing crappies.

GND fishing contest winners

The largest northern pike in Howard Lake's Good Neighbor Days fishing contest was caught by Jacob Barth of Howard Lake. The fish weighed 6.87 pounds.

Other winners were:

  • Northern - second place, Verdell Stenberg, 5.42 pounds; third place, Dale Swenson at 5.32 pounds.
  • Walleye - first, Doug Bakken of Howard Lake, 4.85 pounds; second, Kevin Oestreich of Howard Lake, 4.51 pounds; third to Mike Thorson of Howard Lake, .88 pounds.
  • Bass - first, Tom Brandt, 4.39 pounds; second, Tim Luhman of Howard Lake, 4.37 pounds; third to Tim Causey, 4.21 pounds.
  • Panfish - first, Paul Steuck of Dassel, .68 pounds; second to Tammy Cook of Howard Lake, .65 pounds.

Outdoor notes

  • Plan your fall hunting trips now.
  • It's time for a mid-season check. Change the line on your fishing reels, check the lights and wheel bearings on your trailer, and tune up your boat motor.
  • At this time of year, many hunters are starting to prepare their dogs and get them in shape for the upcoming hunting season. Dogs, especially hunting and kennel dogs need the work, but be careful of the heat. Work your dog early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is not as hot and the temps are typically cooler.
  • The sunfish have moved out into eight to 10 feet of water on most of our area lakes.
  • Have fun on the lake this summer and be waterwise.
  • Winsted Sportsmen's Club will have its appreciation party Saturday, July 11 at 1:30 p.m. at the clubhouse on Lake Mary. Anyone who helped or donated to the club in any way during the past year is welcome. Lunch and beverages are provided.

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