Classic Fishermen on White Bear Lake

Anglers have long been drawn to the waters of White Bear and Bald Eagle lakes.
The bountiful catch of White Bear Lake, circa 1900.

Fishing has always been able to pull visitors and residents to the waters of White Bear and Bald Eagle lakes. If we reach back to the days of the woodland Indians, we find references to the bounty of fish found in the lakes of our area. And today, even with water levels of concern, visitors still enjoy angling here.  
A century ago it was common to see boats returning to the docks with anglers showing off the day’s catch. Others preferred to fish straight from the dock (as would I, if ankle-length skirts and high collars were required!). No matter the method, the catch seemed to be plentiful.  
For those visiting the area, boat liveries and charter services dotted the shoreline and boasted rowboats for as little as 25 cents per hour. At Wildwood Amusement Park on the Mahtomedi shore, you could arrange for a daily rental with tackle provided free as long as you purchased your bait from the on-site boathouse.  
Today, the tradition of providing access to the water for visitors and residents alike continues at both Tally’s Dockside on White Bear Lake and the Bald Eagle boat rental on the north side of Bald Eagle Lake. Whether it’s walleye season in the summer or time to pull out the ice-fishing shanty, anglers can be found without too much trouble.

Sara Markoe Hanson is the executive director of the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society. She is one of a number of community representatives sharing history thoughts monthly on the back page of our magazine. 651.407.5327.