Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

June 24, 2002

Info on outdoor resources has come a long way

A simple trip on the Internet to the site of this newspaper or to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' site can provide more than enough information to satisfy anyone's need to know.

Actually, the amount of information out there today about lakes, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors in general is totally amazing.

On the DNR's site you can research, get lake maps, and detailed information on just about every fishing lake in the state. Lakes like Collinwood even have their own web sites.

Just think back to five or 10 years ago, the Internet wasn't there, and getting info like that was much more difficult.

Today, we can go on the web and get detailed fisheries survey info on a lake. Very detailed lake depth and structure maps that even tell where the best places to fish are available.

Then we can head to that lake in a boat filled with electronics that can tell us the depth, clarity, and temperature of the water. Those electronics can also tell us where the fish are and at what depth they are suspended.

When that's all done and we hit the hot spot, we can pull out a global positioning system (GPS) unit that is held in our hand and mark that exact spot on the lake. Once marked, the gps unit can easily lead us back to that exact spot. In fishing today, this stuff has almost become the norm.

Now, just imagine what it was like fishing on one of our area lakes 80 years ago.

If you're having trouble, here's a little help. This information appeared in the West Winsted section of the Lester Prairie News dated Jan. 22, 1922:

"Lake Mary, which has always been considered one of the shallowest lakes in that region, has at least one place 60 feet deep according to men living in that neighborhood. The deep spot has been discovered lately according to those gentlemen.

Round Lake, which looks scarcely larger than an ordinary pond hole is the deepest lake in this part of the state and some of our fishermen have often fished as deep as 75 feet without having reached the bottom."

Interesting, isn't it?

If you would like more information on Lake Mary or to confirm the reports from those 1922 anglers, go to www.dnr.state.mn.us. then go to the lake finder feature.

I don't believe the site carries any information on Round Lake. Regarding Round, we may just have to take a 1922 anglers' word for it.

Outdoor notes

­ Heavy rains put a big damper on fishing in the past week. Runoff clouding the water, and changes in water temps always affect fishing. On a better note, look for the sunfish to bite in big numbers when the weather settles down.

­ Make sure your dog has been checked for heartworm and is on a heartworm preventative medication.

­ Keep fishing simple and fun. A good way to do that is to use live bait. Digging angle worms and catching nightcrawlers is a blast for kids and, without question, are two of the best things out there for catching fish.

My four-year old daughter likes playing with worms more than she does fishing and is in the habit of giving each worm a name.

­ If you can't get the big sunnies to bite on angle worms or wax worms, try small leeches.

­ The walleye bite on Mille Lacs continues to be excellent and many anglers are saying it is the best fishing Mille Lacs as ever provided.

­ In next week's column, look for info and results from the Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days Fishing Contest.

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

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