Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

July 26, 1999

The dogs of summer are barking

The weather has been hot and humid, angling activity has slowed, and the dogs of summer have finally arrived.

Every season there are a few signs that indicate the arrival of summer's dreaded dog days. First of all, the weather turns hot, humid, and if you don't have air conditioning, miserable.

Secondly, many of the smaller, more shallow lakes in our area become weedy and green, filled with ever-growing algae. Finally, the fish go deep into a mode of laziness and inactivity, and so do most anglers.

Actually, when the dog days hit, many anglers could simply pack up their gear and not get it out again until the fall or even the next season. It seems the desire to fish that was there in May is long gone and often interests turn to other outdoor pursuits, like the upcoming hunting seasons and working with tightly wound bird dogs.

Maybe, that's where the term dog days came from. When the fishing slowed down, it was time to start getting the hunting dog in shape.

No matter, if you're an avid angler, extend your patience and put in the ear plugs because the fishing has slowed down and the dogs of summer are barking.

With the fishing slow and the dogs barking, I scratched my fishing bug by taking a little trip to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wis.

Hayward is about a four-hour drive northeast of the Twin Cities, and the town and area are like most northern Minnesota resort towns - tourist traps abound and traffic jams are common on weekends.

However, the hall of fame definitely doesn't fit into that tourist trap category. The hall of fame has several museum buildings filled with mounts and thousands of angling items from lures to outboards, and even famous canoe paddles.

The top attraction is a huge replica of a muskie that can't be described. The only way to experience that muskie is walk through it's gullet and experience the view of Hayward from it's mouth.

If the fishing bug is still biting you, head to Hayward, search hard for sunnies, or just take a siesta until the fall.

Outdoor notes

  • Take special care of your pets during hot weather. If your just starting to get your dog in shape for the fall, make sure you work him early in the morning or in the evening when when temps are not has high. Also, make sure your pets have cool, fresh, water.
  • An article from the DNR in this week's column outlines date and other information regarding the upcoming fall hunting seasons. Please note the dates of the early goose hunt and the Minnesota youth waterfowl hunting day.
  • The 1999 Minnesota Hunting Regulations Handbook will be out in early August.
  • The first weekend of Game Fair 1999 at Armstrong Ranch near Anoka is set for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 and 8.
  • Make plans for your fall hunting trips now and remember the application deadline for antlerless permits comes up pretty quick and is just a little more than a month away.
  • To sharpen your shotgunning eye and get used to handling your firearm again, head to the Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club for a round of trap shooting. The club is open for practice shooting every Wednesday evening through early September
  • Now is a good time to replace the line on your fishing reels.
  • Enjoy the season, and don't forget the bug spray.

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