A View from the Lake

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 8/18/98.

One of the many stories told at a recent family reunion involved fishing. My great aunt, Laura Hille, recounted one of her fishing days on Lake Koronis in about 1910. She had set out in her row boat by herself. Tying the fishing line to her foot, she began to row at the perfect speed. By going too fast the lure would rise to the surface; by rowing too slow the lure would sink. Just as one of the oars broke a Northern Pike took the bait. Luckily, the wind was blowing in the direction of home and Laura made it to shore with fish for dinner.

In old editions of The New Paynesville/Paynesville Press other fish stories have been told. The ďAt the LakeĒ column of June 20, 1901, summarized a few of the stories. ďSaturdayís storm caught several parties of fisherman on the troubled waters, but no accidents have been reported. Some of them found refuge on the islands.Ē ďThe fish are biting quite freely and good strings are brought in everyday.Ē ďA party of about a dozen Lintonville people came down to enjoy the fishing and a picnic dinner Saturday.Ē

The size and numbers of fish taken from Lake Koronis in the late 1800s and early 1900s was significant. In 1895 ďMrs. J.C. Haines caught a fish that measured three feet. Professor J.W. Ferree caught one the same length last week. Fish of that length usually weigh twelve to fourteen pounds.Ē ďLittle Chloe Gagstetter hooked the best pickerel that has been caught in Koronis thus far this season. It tipped the beam at eight pounds in its fighting clothes and the little lady had to call for help before it could be landed.Ē ďH.H. Rappe and Phil Henk captured the finest string of black bass that has been taken from the lake this season. The total catch was 22 and their combined weight was 73 pounds. They were taken in the rushes at the lower end of the lake with frog bait.Ē

August 1901 was a good month for fishing, according to The Paynesville Press. ďW.A. Huntington, while fishing in Koronis the first of the week, was successful in capturing two mammoth pickerel, one weighing eight and the other nine pounds.Ē ďMiss Gladys Elliott is said to be the only member of the Elliott family able to catch fish. She was out on the lake the other evening with her father and grandfather. The sum total of the fish caught that evening was three, a pike, a pickerel and a bass, and Miss Gladys had caught all of the three.Ē ďCashier Hanson and H.H. Rappe claim to have captured the finest string of bass taken in Lake Koronis this season. There were but eight fish in the string, but each fish was a beauty. Four of the bass after being dressed weighing eighteen pounds.

Ira Bennet, in August 1901, summed up the early centuryís fishing when he said, ď...fishing is fairly good at Lake Koronis.Ē He had just been fishing for 30 minutes and landed 17 pike. Bennet, along with other fisher persons of long ago, were blessed with a bountiful view from the lake.

Information for this column was taken from the following issues of The New Paynesville/Paynesville Press: August 15, 1895; July 12, 1900; June 20, 1901; June 27, 1901; August 15, 1901; August 22, 1901; and August 27, 1901.

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