Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

Sept. 2, 2002

Lake Mary was the hot spot in 1914

No matter how you look at it, the summer fishing season on our area lakes was awkward.

Rain, flooding, mosquitoes, and a bunch of other factors all added up to what seemed to be poor fishing and a lack of fishing activity.

That was this season. However, according to an article in the July 1914 issue of the Western Immigrant, that was not the case on Lake Mary the summer of 1914.

The article tells of great fishing for black bass, crappies, and of a few silver bass being caught.

The silver bass being caught were likely walleyes and, like today, Lake Mary is still a good lake for bass (largemouth) and crappies.

The article was sent to me from Dick Corr, a reader from Burnsville, Minn.

Around 1940, Dick remembers his mother Cel renting an old wooden row boat and rowing to the northeast corner of lake and catching very large crappies.

To me, it sounds like the article stirred up some great fishing memories for him. Maybe the article will do the same for you.

From the July 1914 issue of the Western Immigrant

Lake Mary, our fishing lake, is by far the best fishing lake in this section of the state.

Minnesota has long been known as the "Home of Beautiful Lakes," and we believe that we are correct in our estimation that the beautiful village of Winsted is situated right in the heart of the thickest lake district.

From the principal corner of the town, a man could throw a stone into "Beautiful Winsted Lake," and in less than a four-mile drive, any one of 13 beautiful lakes can be reached. With the exception of three, they are all excellent fishing lakes.

Lake Mary, which might be called the local summer resort, is situated about two miles north of the town and is one of the prettiest lakes in this section.

J. E. Allen, who owns a farm on the east shore and is proprietor of the Lake Mary Brick Works (also located on the lake shore) keeps about a dozen boats for the accommodation of fisherman.

For fishing, it is unexcelled, and during the season, people for miles and miles around come to this lake to enjoy the sport furnished in the catching of its finny tribe, its excellent bathing beaches, and the fine shore that is dotted with camps throughout the summer.

Black bass and crappies are to be found here in plenty, and are the species that are mainly fished for. They are probably the best fish caught in this section of the state.

Many lakes supposed to be bass lakes must constantly be stocked. Lake Mary has been stocked only once, but yet there is more bass there than any other.

This season, there has been several silver bass taken from its waters, but as yet, this species has not become numerous enough to be fished for to any large amount.

The people who live on the shores of this lake are genial and cordial in every way, and are always willing that people camp on the shores. They always accommodate the campers in every way.

Quack, quack, its back

The Winsted Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual banquet on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Blue Note Ballroom in Winsted.

I consider Ducks Unlimited to be the leading conservation organization in North America and, if many of you didn't know, the current Minnesota State Chairman is Ken Durdahl of Howard Lake.

Tickets for the Winsted banquet are available at the Blue Note.

Outdoor notes

­ I received a report of an albino wild turkey, a tom, being sited in the Lester Prairie area.

­ A few lakes in our area are providing some good fishing. On Collinwood, anglers are picking up bass, northern pike, and a few walleyes. The muskie action on Waconia has been good. Diamond Lake is giving up a few walleyes to anglers speed trolling with crank baits. The crappie action on Big Swan has been good and Parley is providing mild action on sunfish.

As fall moves closer, and the weather cools off, action on northern pike should pick up in a big way.

­ The early Canada goose hunting season opened Sept. 1. Look for a report on the opening of the season in next week's column.

­ The youth waterfowl hunting day in Minnesota is set for Saturday. Sept. 14. Spinning wing decoys may not be used on that day.

­ The application deadline for antlerless permits and special hunt permits is Thursday, Sept. 5. In last week's column, I mistakenly stated Thursday, Sept. 9.

­ It's not too late, but now is definitely time to plan your fall hunting trips.

­ Get yourself and your dog in shape for the upcoming hunting seasons.

­ This season, deer hunters may want to take a look at the new All-Season deer license which costs $75. More information on the license option can be found on page 54 of the 2002 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regualtions Handbook.

­ The DNR is in the process of conducting the 2002 August roadside counts for pheasants and other wildlife. Although spring rains and flooding may have devastated the pheasant population in our area of the state, the prospects for pheasant hunting in other parts of the state, like the southwest, is very good. Results from the roadside counts will be out sometime in Sept.

­ Take the time to review firearms safety, hunter ethics, and all of the things that will help you and your hunting partners have a safe and enjoyable hunting season.

­ The application deadline for the Lac qui Parle Controlled Canada Goose Hunt is Wednesday, Sept. 11. Application should be sent to: Controlled Hunt, Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, 14047 20th St. NW, Watson, MN 56295. For more information call (320) 734-4451.

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