Note the comments about the "hotel" and that it "accommodes fifty." Also the description of the island and its ownership by Mr. Williams of Williams and Salsich.
- Bookwood Historical Collection, Star Lake
BLACK BASS FISHING. Pointers for Fishermen and Others by Edward G. Taylor.
Star Lake Wis. Aug 24.- Special Correspondence. The crisp. frosty September nights are almost upon us, and the days are not far distant when the song of the reel will be heard along the red and lily bordered shores of many a hill-crowned lake. Why. and wherefore? Because, after the first few frosts the finny king of our lakes and rivers is ripe. ripe for a long. hard gamy fight, and many expert anglers for this splendid fish are now oiling their reels and preparing to start for some favorite lake or stream. Men, women. and children have been fishing at many different waters for bass all through the summer. Yet this cannot really be called genuine bass fishing. During July and August the waters of most lakes become warm, and Mr. Bass and family move out into deep water. there to remain until the autumn leaves begin to fall. The frosty nights chill the water, and then it is that the black bass suddenly awakens to life and energy again. During the hot months of July and August I have taken many large bass in thirty to forty feet of water by sinking a live minnow; but they did not have much life or fight in them, and soon gave up. But when the pumpkin commences to ripen and the days to shorten, when the leaves upon the trees turn from bright green to golden and russet and brown and when nature spreads her beautiful colors with a lavish hand; when the corn is all stacked and the squirrels are laying in a stock of nuts for the long winter so near at hand, when the night air is keen and frosty and the day is turning slowly from Indian summer to winter, then is this monarch of fresh waters in his prime of strength and glory. He roves the shore waters of lake and river seeking for what be may devour and, as he is ravenously hungry, nothing is too good for him, and anything in the shape of small perch, sunfish, minnow, frog or even a strip of whitefish bait.
Just move about with some caution, cast your bait carefully over toward the edge of some weed bed or fringe of water lilies and if Mr. Bass is anywhere in that vicinity, sees the bait and does not know that you threw it in there, he is “onto it,” and you will have trouble immediately.
September and October are the best months of the year for bass fishing. One can find a place to board at near almost any lake or stream nowadays, but, if you would extract the utmost of health and happiness resulting form an outing with nature, go and live in a tent. How independent it makes one! If the first chosen locality fails to suit, it is very easy to move to some other more favorable site; and what scope for exploring new scenes and strange waters! Any one can live in a hotel or a boarding place, but the change from city life to life in a tent makes it all the more charming, if only the contrast thus offered. Migratory camping has been tried by many and, like the bicycle, it has come to stay.
Many families have their own tents, boat and camp outfit, and each season finds them spending the summer beside some favorite lake or stream. It is astonishing to realize how skillful some ladies are becoming with the bass and trout rod. I spent one week fishing on Cedar Lake, Minnesota, and Dr. Hamm and his wife fished this lake daily. Mrs. Hamm catching almost as many bass as her husband.
Most lovers of bass fishing re constantly on the lookout to discover some new waters which have just been opened up by some news railroad, and I will tell you just such a place. The Chicago, Milwaukee, St., Paul Railway Company has just recently extended its line from Minocqua, Wis., to Star Lake, Wis., and the lakes reached by this new extension are practically unfished. From Star Lake one can reach Plum Lake, Black Razor [sic] Lake, Rice Lake, Ballard Lake, Irving, Little Muskellunge Lake, and Partridge Lake. Star Lake is situated on the Valley division of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St., Paul Railway and within twelve miles are thirty beautiful lakes, containing muskellunge, bass, pickerel, and a beautiful new pine log hotel, large enough to accommodate fifty people, and boats, bait, guides, and prompt service made us very comfortable. Many of these lakes contain the famous small-mouthed black bass and in some of the lakes no large-mouthed bass are caught. The camping grounds in this region are simply unequaled by any country the writer has ever visited, all ground being high and dry. In rowing around these lakes I noticed that their bed near the shore was composed of sand and rocks, and, from a very fringe of bowlders [sic] in many places, the trees grew close to the water’s edge, leaning out over the water. I ate a noonday lunch in the shade of one of these trees while sitting in my boat, and he boat would drift up alongside of he rocks, allowing a person to step out of the boat with ease and comfort and explore the woods.
A party of five–Mr. and Mrs. Washington Taylor of Chicago; Mr. E. F. Steele, Mr. J. D. Wilber, also of Chicago, and myself–started yesterday morning to explore Fishtrap and High Lakes, the head waters of the Manitowish. Mr. Reynolds secured an engine and the crew of a logging road and had our party conveyed to these lakes, eighteen miles distant. The wind blew a gale almost the entire two days our party had to spend on these beautiful lakes. Yet we caught small-mouthed bass, pike, and saved two muskellunge, losing two. Mrs. Taylor saved on muskellunge weighing about fourteen pounds, and I had a steel rod broken in two places by a beauty, and which escaped.
In most of the lakes are islands, and on Star Lake, not far from the hotel, is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen. Its shores rise abruptly from the lake on three sides, and camping grounds fifty feet about the lake are numerous. This island is owned by Mr. Williams of Williams, Salsich & Co., who have immense lumber interests in this vicinity, and they are always doing something to make visitors happy.
Last night our party camped in a log cabin on the shore of High Lake, and, after a hearty supper of many good things, not the least of which was some nicely cooked fresh bass and pike, we placed pine log upon pine log and se fire to the monument, and around this immense camp fire we sat and recounted the adventures of the day, discussed the virtues of the glorious scenery, and the fresh air, the starry sky, and the wonderful appetites enjoyed by the entire party., Then we slept the sleep of the just.
Edward G. Taylor