Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

June 16, 2003

Largemouth bass ­ fast action, great eating

Catch 'em, clean 'em, boil 'em, broil 'em, or fry 'em. Largemouth bass action on many lakes in our area has been fast and furious recently.

Some anglers are even saying it's been the best bass fishing action they have ever had.

In our area, lakes like Howard, Mary, Marion and Stella have always been great producers of largemouth bass, and this year has been no exception.

Other lakes like Waconia, Dog, Washington, Dutch, Brooks, and Collinwood have also been producing good catches of largemouth this season.

For some anglers, largemouth are most definitely not the fish of choice. They think the fish are soft and poor eating. That may be the case in late July or into August, but in June and most of the July the fish are excellent to eat. Also, bass caught in deeper water in late July and August are super-eaters.

The hot tactics and lures have still been top water floaters, like Bass-O-Renos and Rapalas. With bass starting to move into deeper water, the baits of choice will be plastic worms, slugs, pig and jig set-ups. I prefer the Berkley Power Slug ­ largemouth just seem to attack it.

Just taking a guess, I'd say the bass fishing has been better because the weed lines on many of the lakes in our area are very well-defined this year, making it much easier to find bass that don't hug the shoreline.

For example, the weed lines on the north side of Howard Lake and Lake Mary are very thick and well-defined this year. To find bass, all you have to do is hit fish on the outside and inside edge of those weedlines hard. Figure out the right lure and presentation, and you will catch bass.

Good luck fishing, and a bass fillet boiled for about four minutes and then dipped in butter is super eating.

21st annual HL GND fishing contest info

The 21st annual Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days fishing contest is scheduled for Saturday, June 21, on Howard Lake.

Registration is from 7 to 8 a.m., with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The contest ends at noon.

The following cash prizes totaling $2,425 (based on 200 entries) will be awarded for the following classifications:

Largest northern: first place ­ $400, second place ­ $250, third place ­ $100

Largest walleye: first place ­ $400, second place ­ $250, third place ­ $100

Largest bass: first place ­ $400, second place ­ $250, third place ­ $100

Largest panfish: first place ­ $150, second place ­ $75

Entries will be limited to the first 200 received. All entries in excess of 200 will be returned.

Entry fee after June 10 is $35.

Rules:

1. All contestants fish entirely at their own risk.

2. All contestants supply their own equipment ­ rods, reels, bait, etc.

3. All contestants must abide by all Minnesota fishing laws.

4. Fishing hours limited from 8 a.m. until noon.

5. No boat shall go to shore anywhere except the tournament headquarters area, which will be located on the southeast shore of Howard Lake at the Lions Park during contest hours.

6. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Everyone must register at official tournament headquarters at Lions Park.

7. Qualifying fish must be angled from a boat. No spearing or netting allowed.

8. Fish will be judged on weight. In case of a tie, the earliest fish registered will be judged the winner.

9. All qualifying fish must be weighed at the tournament headquarters area in their natural state.

10. Only one prize per contestant.

11. Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days Committee reserves the right to reduce prize monies only if insufficient entries are received to cover prize money and expenses.

12. The fishing contest will take place Saturday, June 21. If very severe weather is present Saturday, the contest may be postponed until later in the day or until Sunday, June 22. No refund allowed.

13. The City of Howard Lake and the Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days Committee shall assume no liability whatsoever for injuries sustained by entrants, their guests, families, or others. All participants enter at their own risk.

14. A violation of any contest rules shall be grounds for disqualification.

15. All walleyes entered must be 14-inches or longer to qualify.

16. Anyone with a fish to weigh in must be in the weight-in area by noon. No one will be allowed to enter the weigh-in circle after noon.

All entrants will receive, by mail, their official certificates of entry and a map showing the tournament headquarters.

For more information, call Dennis Decker (Chairman) at (320) 543-2992.

2003 lake clean-up day falls on first day of summer

Crystal-Pierz Marine, in conjunction with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Maynard's and Zorbaz Restaurants, Tagalong Golf Resort, Minnesota Frogmen Dive Club, and the Lake Minnetonka Association announce the 2003 Crystal-Pierz Marine Lake Cleanup, a statewide lake cleanup effort, to take place Saturday, June 21 ­ the first day of summer.

The cleanup effort will include volunteers, lake residents, and water enthusiasts joining forces across the state to help keep area lakes clean.

In addition, scuba divers from various dive clubs will descend on lakes around the state, searching for both treasures and trash from the lake bottoms.

"A great success in 2002, we are convinced this is a great way for Crystal-Pierz Marine to give back to the lake community while urging the people who use these resources for recreation purposes to get involved in the cleanup of area lakes," commented Luke Kujawa, Crystal-Pierz Marine vice-president.

"We're very committed to educating the public about issues surrounding the health of these 10,000 treasures we often take for granted. This is the start of a long-term commitment to a program developed to grow throughout the state in years to come," Kujawa said.

While Lake Minnetonka (Maynard's) was the site for the inaugural 2002 event, the expanded 2003 campaign reaches statewide and includes western Wisconsin, while enlisting Pelican Lake (Zorbaz), Gull Lake (Zorbaz), and Red Cedar Lake (Tagalong Golf Resort ­ Wis.) as official cleanup "host sites."

The goal of the campaign is to ultimately enlist all major area lakes in the clean-up effort in years to come. Additionally, in some areas, local lake associations will be on hand to educate lake users about the environmental concerns pertaining to the spread of exotic species such as Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels.

Host site hospitality times:

Lake Minnetonka ­ Maynard's, 7 to 11 a.m.

Gull Lake/Brainerd ­ Zorbaz, 7 to 11 a.m.

Pelican Lake/Pelican Rapids ­ Zorbaz, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Red Cedar Lake/Rice Lake, Wis. ­ Tagalong Golf Resort,7 to 11 a.m.

For information about the LMA and its activities, contact Dick Osgood, executive director, at (952) 470-4449. Also visit the LMA's web site at www.mnlakes.org/Minnetonka.

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, established in 1967, provides funding for various area water quality protection programs. For more information, call (952) 471-0590 or access www.minnehahacreek.org

Outdoor notes

­ Joe's Sportshop and Hardware in Howard Lake reported that the action on Howard Lake has picked up quite a bit in the last week. Anglers are catching bass, northern pike, sunfish and small walleyes at a good rate.

­ The sunfish have moved off spawning beds on most lakes in our area. Now, look for the sunnies in six to 10 feet of water on the inside or shore side of weed lines.

­ The bugs are in full force. When you're heading out, make sure you're prepared; bug repellent and longsleeve shirts do help.

­ Don't blow your grass clippings onto the street or sidewalk. You may not beleive it, many of those clippings will end up in a local lake or river.

­ The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's club is in the discussion phase of possible plans to remodel and upgrade its clubhouse facilities.

­ The first day of summer and longest day of the year is Sat., June 21.

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

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