Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

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

Dec. 11, 2000

Ice on area lakes ready for anglers

Although there isn't enough ice on the lakes for vehicle traffic, cars and trucks, the ice fishing season is off and rolling in a big way.

Anglers and bait shops from the area have reported 8 to 10 inches of good ice on most lakes, with a large amount of activity, including ATV traffic and fish houses being put out in good numbers.

Dave Groff of Lil' Angies Bait and Tackle at the Treasure Hunt near Lester Prairie reported: There is 8 to 10 inches of ice on most of the lakes in the area and a lot of houses going out.

Buffalo, Collinwood, Howard and Jenni were providing some decent walleye action. Swede Lake, near Watertown, has 50 or more houses on it and was giving up crappies.

Walleyes are hitting on Lake Waconia near the high banks in about 14 feet of water and the spearing action on Winsted Lake has been very good.

Groff added that they have sold a lot of dark house licenses this season with two large northerns, 12 and 14 pounds, came off Winsted last week.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported: Howard had eight inches of ice and the evening walleye bite has been pretty good with a moon glow jig tipped with a fathead being the bait of choice.

Joe's added the dark house spearing has been good and the water clarity for spear anglers on Howard was said to be very good.

With the ice fishing season underway we must all remember that no ice, especially early ice is ever completely safe and that 12 to 15 inches of good ice is required for vehicle traffic.

Outdoor notes

­ The Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club is again raffling off a deluxe King Crow fish house on wheels. The house is on display at Joe's Sport Shop.

Tickets are $2 each and are available at Joe's and from club members. The drawing will be at the club's annual fishing derby in February. Also, the club is selling Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club caps available at Joe's.

­ Although the weather hasn't been great for late season pheasant hunting, myself and others I spoke with have run into some pretty good hunting and excellent bird numbers in certain parts of Minnesota. The season closes Dec. 17.

­ If you have a fish house out on the lake, make sure your heating system is clean and in good working order. Your house should be properly ventilated and don't keep your propane tank inside the house.

­ This winter anglers can expect to pay $2 for a scoop of crappie minnows; $2.35 for a good scoop of fatheads (about 35 minnows); $1.50 for wax worms and larva and $3.65 for a half-dozen sucker or shiner minnows.

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