Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

Jan. 28, 2002

Ice fishing season and winter weather have been frustrating

If only Mother Nature could make up her mind. One week its cold, then next it's warm. One week fish houses are being pulled out on to frozen lakes, the next they're being pulled off. One week it snows, the next week the ground is bare.

No matter how much you hate winter, this is January. It's supposed to be cold. Ice anglers are supposed to be angling like crazy and the ground is supposed to be covered with a lot of snow.

Although it is January, I'm beginning to think Mother Nature has January confused with March and she can't make up her mind.

In last week's column the headline read, "Area lakes are making ice now." The day I wrote that column the weather was cold and typical for January. The day that column hit the news stands the weather was sunny and 40, with predictions of even warmer weather to come.

Forty degree weather doesn't make much ice and doesn't do much for winter sports enthusiasts in general. Actually, 40 degrees on the thermometer is kind of in the middle of nowhere, especially in January.

In response to Mother Nature's indecision, many ice angles and snowmobilers are frustrated and ready to put their gear away for the winter. I'm frustrated and ready to drill a hole and throw my computer in the lake, and we're all hoping that, in her state of confusion, Mother Nature doesn't decide it's supposes to be January when it's really March, or even April.

On a positive note, Joe's Sport Shop and Hardware in Howard Lake reported the northerns are starting to run on Howard Lake and the action is picking up.

HL Fishing Derby

The 56th annual Howard Lake Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club, is set for Saturday, Feb . 9, 2 to 4 p.m. on Howard Lake.

The grand prize in this years drawing is a 6 1/2 foot by 12 foot King Crow deluxe fish house. Tickets are available at Joe's Sport Shop and Hardware in Howard Lake or from club members.

Outdoor notes

­ The rabbit and squirrel hunting seasons in Minnesota ends Feb. 28.

­ The fishing season for walleye and northern pike ends Feb 17.

­ 2001 Minnesota fishing licenses expire Feb. 28, 2002. New 2002 licenses are required March 1.

­ The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club has tentatively set the date for its annual father/son-daughter banquet for Friday, March 15 or 22.

­ Take a kid fishing this winter. He or she will have fun, and so will you.

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