Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

February 8, 1999

Never turn down February warmth

As you can see by the photo in this week's column, Frosty, the snowman in my front yard, bit the dust.

Warm weather, sunshine, rain, and possibly a hit man from the governor's office got the best of him.

Actually, I'm not that disappointed in losing Frosty. My daughter forgot about him in a big hurry.

I'll never turn down warm weather and sunshine in February, and the fishing is starting to pick up a bit.

Although Frosty was unable to assist me in this week's report, some good information regarding local ice fishing did end up in my pail.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported: On Howard, anglers are starting to pick up a few crappies, the northern pike action has been fair, and sunfish, small in size, but in good numbers are being caught on the north end.

Joe's added, anglers heading to Big Waverly are picking up crappies and walleyes on a hit and miss basis.

Other reports from the area have Collinwood, Waconia, Buffalo, and Parley all giving up panfish.

One angler stated the fish are biting, but it doesn't last long. The time to be out is definitely right at dusk. The crappies start biting at about 5 p.m. and then shut down at about 6:30.

Local anglers heading to Mille Lacs have been reporting good fishing with perch and walleyes biting in good numbers. Many anglers have said this winter has been one of the best for ice fishing success on Mille Lacs.

On a final note and to put a few more fish in your pail, remember to be mobile, especially for panfish.

If you find a lake or spot where the sunfish are biting, drill five or 10 holes 10 to 20 yards apart. When one hole slows or shuts down, quickly move to the next one and continue jigging.

This technique doesn't work all of the time. But more often than not, it will provide better action than relying on only one or two holes.

The weather is supposed to be warm this week. Take advantage of it and get out there to do some fishing before the ice is gone.

Howard Lake fishing derby Saturday

The Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club will hold its 53rd annual Fishing Derby on Howard Lake, Saturday, Feb. 13, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The action will take place from the landing at Lions Park on the southwest corner of the lake. Concessions, contests, and prize drawings, including the raffle of a King Crow deluxe fish house on wheels, will all be part of the event that is for a good cause: conservation.

Also, the event will not be cancelled due to weather.

Winsted Sportsmen's Club He/She Mixer Friday

The Winsted Sportsmen's Club has the details fished out and will be raising dollars for local conservation efforts at its annual He/She Mixer Friday evening, Feb. 12 at the Blue Note in Winsted.

Tickets are available at the door, from club members and at the Blue Note, Tom's Corner Bar, and Keg's Bar, all in Winsted.

Outdoor notes

  • Attend the fundraising banquet or event of your choice this winter and spring. There are many to choose from and your participation at these events is vital to the future of our outdoor heritage, wildlife, and natural resources.
  • The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club will hold its 20th annual father/son banquet Friday, March 19 at the Lester Prairie City Hall. Entertainment this year will be provided by the Wabadoo Lake Walruses, an underwater diving and salvage team.
  • Last week, I saw a group of six deer near Lester Prairie. They were the first deer I have seen this winter and they looked healthy and in good shape. Also, I've seen a good numbers of pheasants in several locations. They also look healthy and good condition.
  • Weather forecasters are predicting temps in the 40s and possibly 50s for the middle of this week. If they're right, get out and enjoy it, because it's only February and there's still a lot of winter and nasty weather left.

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