Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

December 27, 1999

LiL' Angie's Bait and Tackle opens

I'm sure to the delight of many anglers, a new bait shop has opened up in the Lester Prairie/Winsted area.

Dave Groff of Lester Prairie opened LiL' Angies Bait and Tackle on Thursday, Dec. 23. The bait shop is located at the Treasure Hunt on the corner of Highway 7 and McLeod County Road 9, and has a full line of live bait and ice fishing tackle.

At this time, hours are not firmly set, and may depend on demand. For now, the shop is open any time the Treasure Hunt is open.

Anglers are asked to stop in and check out the selection and bring pictures of their big catches for the photo board.

For more information on the shop, contact Dave Groff in Lester Prairie or at the Treasure Hunt.

Ice fishing season off to fast start

Three weeks ago, when temperatures were reaching the 50s and 60s on what seemed like a consistent basis, many of us were wondering when the ice would come to our area lakes, when the ice fishing season would get started, and in some minds, if there would even be a good season of ice fishing.

Now, as of Friday, Dec. 24, anglers are reporting four to six inches of ice on our larger lakes like Howard, and six to eight inches of ice on smaller lakes like Emma, Mary, and Dog. The ice fishing season as gotten off to a fast start.

Also, ice-making conditions in the last week or so were excellent - very little wind, little snow, and below zero temperatures.

With those conditions, anglers have also reported that most of the ice on our area lakes is good, clear ice.

Although there is four to eight inches of ice on the lakes and anglers are heading out in good numbers, larger houses, and those who want to drive out on to the ice will have limited angling opportunities over the usually busy fishing week between Christmas and New Year's.

Even with excellent ice-making conditions, there probably won't be enough ice on the lakes for driving, especially larger pickup trucks, until sometime after the first of the year.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported: Ice conditions seem to be good and are improving. Anglers are heading out in good numbers, with the best action, so far, coming from the south and north ends of Howard, where early ice anglers are picking up small walleyes, and Lake Jenny, where the walleye bite was very good, but has slowed already due to angler activity.

As always, the walleye bite seems to slow down when the lakes get busy.

Outdoor notes

  • Read and review the 1999 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Handbook and brush up on ice fishing and ice house regulations before you hit the ice this winter.
  • Inspect, clean, and make sure your fishhouse heater is in good working order before you need to use it this season. Also, make sure your fish house is properly ventilated.
  • A good tip to improve ice fishing success is to keep your line, lures, knots, etc. as clean and light as possible. Another good tip is to always keep the bait on your hook fresh and lively.
  • Practice catch and release this ice fishing season and only keep the amount of fish you can use.
  • Minnesota's 1999 pheasant hunting season closed Dec. 19.
  • On Monday, Dec. 13 at 2:07 p.m., my family received one of the greatest Christmas gifts of all. On that day, my wife gave birth to a beautiful and healthy nine-pound, 11-ounce baby girl, and Emily Elizabeth joined our family.
  • Have a very happy new year and I hope all of your outdoor equipment is Y2K compliant.

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