Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

June 26, 2000

Rainy mornings, windy afternoons

Rainy mornings and windy afternoons - that's how Dave Groff of Lil' Angie's Bait and Tackle located at the Treasure Hunt near Lester Prairie and Winsted put it when I asked him for a fishing report.

He noted a few lakes in the area are producing fish. However, the combination of rain, wind, and high gas prices have put a big hamper in fishing activity in most areas of the state.

Last week, I heard on a TV news show that it has rained all but six days in the month of June and that gas prices have crept up past $2 a gallon in some areas.

On top of that, every time I have planned on getting the boat out and heading out to the lake for an hour or two, it's been so windy I haven't even bothered.

Add it all up, and even though the fish may be biting, there haven't been many anglers wetting a line.

To make matters better, or maybe worse, when the weather finally does settle down a bit, the dogs days of summer will be here and the fish will be in deeper water and more difficult to catch.

Dave reported: The northern pike action on Parley has been good. Largemouth bass have been hitting on Howard and Mary and Minnetonka has been producing sunfish.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake also noted the weather hasn't been great for fishing of late. Joe's reported: The bass action on several area lakes has been excellent. One angler came in with a nice stringer of walleyes off Big Waverly last week. A week ago, the bass and northern action was super on Howard, but has slowed in the last couple of days. Joe's added, we'll see how the action is how Howard when the results of the annual Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days fishing contest come in.

About 140 to 150 anglers were expected to participate in the contest which was held Saturday. Look for the results in next week's column.

Electronic licensing

Just before the fishing season opened, I purchased my 2000 sportsmen's license electronically.

A few weeks ago, I received my stamps, trout, state waterfowl and pheasant without any problems. The system seemed to work well for me, however, I have heard two different things regarding the stamps and print-out of my electronic license.

The license states that I have purchased the stamps. The question is do I have to affix the stamps to my license or just sign them across the face and carry them with me?

I have heard both are ok. The regulation states that I must validate them and affix them to the license.

There is some question here, but I'm not willing to take the chance. I will, and I think the best bet for everyone buying an electronic license this season, is to follow the regulation and validate the stamps with a signature and affix to the printed out copy of the electronic license.

Joe's Sport Shop reported: So far the electronic licensing is going well. A few people have reported they haven't received their stamps yet. Other than that, there haven't been any problems. The advantage for us is we won't run out licenses.

Outdoor notes

  • The cool and wet spring has not been good for our local pheasant population. There are four major things that affect pheasant populations, quality habitat, a good food source, winter weather, and good weather during spring nesting. Our pheasant population came through the winter in excellent shape. However, the wet cold spring has not been good for the hatch. Young pheasant chicks are extremely susceptible to wet cool weather. Hopefully, the hatch has been a good one and the weather hasn't hampered it too much. Last week I saw several broods of ducklings.
  • The mosquitoes have finally arrived. Get out the bug spray and be prepared to start swatting when the sun goes down.
  • Baseball has been keeping me pretty busy of late and I haven't had the time put out the type of column I would like. The good part about that is, all the baseball around here is played in the great outdoors. Also, I'd like to send out a big congratulations to the Lester Prairie High School baseball team for its second place finish in the class 1A state baseball tournament. As a coach, it was a thrill for me to be a part of it.

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