Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

July 3, 2000

Bass hitting big on area lakes

Baits shops and anglers from the area are reporting the largemouth bass bite is on and that bass have been hitting in a big way on several of our area lakes.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported the catch on Howard Lake during the Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days fishing contest was good for northern pike and walleye. And, the catch on bass was excellent.

Joe's said the bass on Howard are still hitting in the shallows and weed beds and a few big ones are coming off, too.

Last week, Dave Groff of Lil' Angies Bait and Tackle reported the bass were also hitting on a few lakes in our area.

This week, several anglers I spoke with also said largemouth bass have been the ticket. One angler stated, "They're still in the shallows and they're hitting hard on anything from Rapalas and floaters to plastic worms." That angler also noted he nabbed two bass over four pounds last week.

Lakes in our area that are typically good producers of largemouth bass include Ann, Mary, Dog, Howard, Clearwater, Waconia, Marion; and a sleeper for me has always been Erie, northwest of Hutchinson.

A few bass fishing tips that have worked for me include fishing in the early morning when the water is very calm. On those calm mornings, work the outside weed edges of deeper water weedbeds with floating plugs.

On windy days or in the afternoons when the water isn't calm, work those same edges with a Texas rig plastic worm combo and get right into the weeds.

Lately, the bait of choice for me has been scented plastic, with the best being Berkley's Power Slug. The bass on a few local gravel pits and Lake Mary seem to love them.

Whatever bait and lake you choose, the bass are hitting, and now is the time to get your line in the water.

On a final note, several lakes in the area, including a few mentioned above, provide excellent shore fishing opportunities for bass. At this time of year, some of the best bass fishing can come from shore.

Outdoor notes

  • Enjoy the Fourth of July, and remember, in the boat and on the water, safety comes first.
  • The Winsted Sportsmen's Club will have its annual appreciation party Saturday, July 8, at the Lake Mary clubhouse beginning at 1:30 p.m. The party is for those who have donated to or helped the club in any way in the past year.
  • Make sure your dog has been checked for heartworm and is on heartworm preventative medication. Also check your dog for ticks. There are several good products on the market to protect your dog from ticks and fleas, just ask your local veterinarian.
  • If you're looking for a great place to camp, try a Minnesota State Park. For more information on Minnesota State Parks, go to this newspaper's Web site at and find the link in the outdoors section to Minnesota State Parks.
  • Plan your fall hunting trips now.
  • A great way to eat largemouth bass fillets is to boil them for about four minutes, lightly season, and dip in melted butter.
  • Take a kid fishing - you'll have fun and so will they.

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