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Woman Lake Chronicles

Prolog

My grandfather purchased approximately one quarter mile of shoreline on Broadwater Bay of Woman Lake in 1952, for $10,000. The lot housed a 30’ by 20’ cabin with a screened in porch. The cabin had a hand pump, out house, kerosene lamps and a wood burning stove. It was several years later before he and his son, Ted, built, by hand, another more modern cabin. I remember my first trip “up north” riding in a 1952 ford with two of my brothers.  I thought the trip would never end. The only paved road was 371 north. All the rest were dirt and gravel. I just couldn’t get over watching the billowing clouds rising miles behind us and occasionally making their way into the back seat cough, cough. We stayed in the new cabin which had electricity, running water, an indoor toilet and propane stove.

Every evening Grandpa would take my dad, Ted and I out fishing in an old wooden boat outfitted with a 10hp Johnson. Grandpa would cast for Northerns with a Red Eye or Dare Devil, while we fished for Sonnies and Crappies. I accidentally caught several on my first outing. I was hooked for life and looked forward to every summer vacation at the cabin since then. Even back then walleyes were hard to catch. Not sure that I caught one. But loved to cast for Northerns in the weed bed in front of the cabin.

Eventually Grandpa gave each of his two daughters a parcel of shoreline, one of which my dad built a cabin with the help of one of our Golden Valley neighbors who just happen to be a carpenter. Being an EE major, I wired the cabin.

After 10 years of working in California, the smog, traffic, fires (Tujunga Canyon 1973), earth quakes (Sylmar, 1971) and hoards of people brought me back to Minnesota and Control Data, Aerospace Division, System Engineering Dept. in 1977. Juris arrived a year later and we became friends and fishing buddies, with jaunts to Lake Riley in Juris’ 6–foot fiberglass sail boat complete with a 1½ HP motor.

Introduction

Welcome to the Oldest Established Walleye Blog in the world.

Minnesota Map showing Location of Woman Lake

 

In the spring of 1982  Jerry Peters organized a “Fishing Opener” trip to his cabin on Broadwater Bay of Woman Lake for me and a bunch of our colleagues at Control Data. We didn’t know much about fishing walleyes, back then.  But we were young and we fished a lot on that Opener weekend. We actually caught a handful of modest size fish.  And it was fun!

We went back the next year, Fishing Opener, and caught a few more walleyes. We kept going back every year. We kept catching more and more walleyes every year. That is, until some years we didn’t catch as many even though we knew a lot more.  Mysterious stuff then, as it is to this day. Somewhere in there it turned into an annual tradition.

The early years we kept every walleye, ate some, took some home. Then we also got into Muskie fishing, see the other stories here. The “Catch and Release” ethic of Muskies Inc. also spread to our walleyes. Eventually we starting releasing every walleye we caught.  That’s part of our tradition too.

At the turn of the millennium the Internet revolution had been on for a while.  We started recording our exploits in the “Woman Lake Chronicles” on Jerry’s web site.  We also started sending out nightly email “Woman Lake Reports” to friends and even strangers. Many of them enjoyed it, and most seemed to tolerate it, so we’ve kept on doing it every year – another tradition.

And in 1992 we started yet one more tradition, that of measuring and recording the length of every walleye and northern pike caught and released.  We now have a database of statistics on 1062 walleyes and 585 northerns covering 22 years. Can anybody else match that?

Things have changed. The fishing has gotten tougher on Woman Lake in the last decade or so.  Why?  Well we have some ideas and go into that later on here. Also, some of us have gotten a few years older and don’t move as fast or fish as seriously. Sadly, three of our friends who fished with us over the years have also moved on to that big walleye lake in the sky. They are missed…

Okay, what we have for you here are links to our annual Reports since the year 2000.  Wander through them, take a look at the photos, and you’ll see what all this is about. We invite your comments, and if you’re in the vicinity of Woman Lake in the spring, stop by and we’ll take you out on our boats and then you can be a part of the Woman Lake Chronicles too.

This year, the fishing starts Thursday, the 19th, and we’ll be on Woman Lake until the middle of the next week. Or until we catch a Walleye. The fishing has been slow the last few years, and if we catch one we just might celebrate and call it quits. But other years we’ve had much better luck, with over a hundred fish during the trip a few times. Note that all of the walleyes we catch, for well over a decade now, have been and will be released.
We’ll send out nightly email updates during the week to the “Woman Lake Reports” list. We’ve been doing that every year, and have some 150 subscribers. Many of them enjoy it, and most seem to tolerate it. If you’d like those nightly bits of Walleye stories, drop us a line with your email and we’ll get you on our list.


And then we’ll post the entire story. Stay tuned.



The links below give you the pictures and stories for the past fourteen years.
Take a look and you’ll see what this is about.

Links to the Chronicles


| Spring Trip Year 2000 | Spring Trip Year 2001 | Spring Trip Year 2002 |

| Spring Trip Year 2003 | Spring Trip Year 2004 | Spring Trip Year 2005 |

| Spring Trip Year 2006 | Spring Trip Year 2007 | Spring Trip Year 2008 |

| Spring Trip Year 2009 | Spring Trip Year 2010 | Spring Trip Year 2011 |

| Spring Trip Year 2012 | Spring Trip Year 2013 |

 

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Date Created: June 12, 2000
Last Modified: July 23, 2013
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