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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1995
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow yesterday was a grind? We attempted to plow a road around the pressure ridge at 3 miles. 3 v plows running full tilt from 11 am to 11pm. The red baron went through her paces and I sweated that I would not burn up the tranny. Trying to push all the snow to the south east. As we piled up the snow it got to the point where we had to blast through it to make areas for the snow to go. I jerked both Buddy hillmen and Kelly the mechanic out of snow piles a couple times. Around 4pm I checked the houses as I came in for gas. I also had Jimbo try and retrieve the front driveshaft off of blue thunder 1. 3 bolts on the rear would not come loose so we oiled them down and will attempt today or tomorrow. Jimbo has other engagements so I'm on my own as I move North Dakota on to a new spot for John v and his crew. I'll be doing the no snow, snow dance when I step out the door but it worked twice at the beginning of the year and I may of used them up. Those were two big snows we did not need on the early ice so it worked out. Hunter and his crew did horrible in old Minnesota so I bumped them into north Dakota the last day. They did land a 32 inch pike but plowing all day yesterday not sure if they got any more walleyes. The hammer and her friend nancy fished for a couple hours sunday eve, in old Minnesota The hammer got a keeper and nancy had a big fish on when they first set up Plenty to do today and were hoping the hammers truck is done as we have no car to leave town. also any one out there want to drive a1990 chevy truck here from Colorado? We could barter for fishing if need be. So as The old Timer Dave told me "ITS A GRAND LAKE AND IT OWES ME NOTHING!!!! as I walk out the door to hit the ice
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cookie
Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1995
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow yesterday was a grind? We attempted to plow a road around the pressure ridge at 3 miles. 3 v plows running full tilt from 11 am to 11pm. The red baron went through her paces and I sweated that I would not burn up the tranny. Trying to push all the snow to the south east. As we piled up the snow it got to the point where we had to blast through it to make areas for the snow to go. I jerked both Buddy hillmen and Kelly the mechanic out of snow piles a couple times. Around 4pm I checked the houses as I came in for gas. I also had Jimbo try and retrieve the front driveshaft off of blue thunder 1. 3 bolts on the rear would not come loose so we oiled them down and will attempt today or tomorrow. Jimbo has other engagements so I'm on my own as I move North Dakota on to a new spot for John v and his crew. I'll be doing the no snow, snow dance when I step out the door but it worked twice at the beginning of the year and I may of used them up. Those were two big snows we did not need on the early ice so it worked out. Hunter and his crew did horrible in old Minnesota so I bumped them into north Dakota the last day. They did land a 32 inch pike but plowing all day yesterday not sure if they got any more walleyes. The hammer and her friend nancy fished for a couple hours sunday eve, in old Minnesota The hammer got a keeper and nancy had a big fish on when they first set up Plenty to do today and were hoping the hammers truck is done as we have no car to leave town. also any one out there want to drive a1990 chevy truck here from Colorado? We could barter for fishing if need be. So as The old Timer Dave told me "ITS A GRAND LAKE AND IT OWES ME NOTHING!!!! as I walk out the door to hit the ice
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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1995
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

21 days into another season here on the shores of upper red lake have been  a number of things.
Fun! Fun! Fun! Having my good friend Wayne come up is such a hoot. man do we laugh from all the shenanigans . One of our new sayings is "Here at cookies", "We do it right cause we do it twice" , its so funny how much it happens. Just a example put the shovel in the truck and take it out less then a minute later.
Playing Texas hold um or poker with the hammer! Not only can she fish but she can also put the hammer down playing poker. 
Brutal is a word I can use all most everyday as mother nature rears her ugly side at least once a week if not more. Two snow falls this week with brutal winds crearting white out conditions.
- 33 yesterday morning when I fired up the red baron. She has a small miss, I also noticed it does not run well if its cold? Going to call my good friend Tommy Short today. He owns Autocraft Specialty's.  He works on street rods, auto restoration with wiring one of his specialty's. He should be able to point me in the right direction as he is one of the best mechanics I know .
Blue thunder is down and is getting a new front u joint on the drive shaft. We were able to salvage  the old drive shaft from blue thunder 1 as number 2s was shot and almost beyond repair. It is also getting a right front u joint as that was also destroyed. Its just kills me when you junk out a car there like oh will give you 100 bucks that's all its worth in scrape. Then they have the gall to sell you one part for 300 bucks. If  I had the space I would own a junk yard in a hart beat.
A grind! Yes working on the lake is a grind, having a helper every year is huge. Even though my new guy Jimbo has other commitments some times. Its huge when he can help. He's a sharp kid, hard worker and seems to love working out on the lake.
A challenge! Keeping every thing running smoothly, helping fishermen! Anything from broken door handles, dead batteries, flat tires, stuck in snow banks, heaters not working, augurs not running, the list goes on and on.
One of the big ones," Finding fish" stupid fish!
That's about it for the day as that old timer Dave  told me. "ITS A Grand Lake and It owes me Nothing, Nothing" I have to agree 100%
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Joined: 21 Apr 2003
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Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here goes another long winded report.
John and his crew were in North Dakota 4 nights, They landed 22 walleye's, 2 pike, 5 perch and had a couple fish break there lines. Friday there 4rth night I offered to move them for the last night once I got all my new customers checked in? They decided they were good which was a relief as you will see.
Glen arrived thrusday morning in white out conditions for one night in old Minnesota. ZOIKS!! As I escorted him out there going up the old road was not a option as it was gone. I decided the best plan would be not to plow but cross country the mile off the main road with the v-plow up. That did not work out and I buried the red baron 50 yards off the main road. Glen backed up to me and a quick jerk and I was able to back out and switch to plan b. Cut a new trail which would fill in before I came back out. We arrived at old Minnesota with no other adventures. I had not punched out the holes so that was in order before Glen could start fishing. The hammer had taken the generator to Bemidji so he would be fishing with the gas lights un tell she got back..
Due to the white out conditions florida and montana would have to wait un tell Friday morning to move to there new spots. We had pulled them out of there nests Wednesday eve, so they only needed to be moved a couple hundred yards ,blocked, banked and augured Friday morning.
The wind laid down around 4 pm to a slight breeze of lets say 15 after blowing around 40 all day. With 4 foot drifts around the house moving snow would also come into the equation Friday.
I arrived back to old Minnesota well after dark with the generator in tow. 40 dollars later and they said the problem was I over filled the oil? Glen had two in the bucket and said he should of had five but he could not see down the hole.
A big day was coming up again as Jimbo my helper was gone.
Friday morning and I was greeted with 33 below. I thought please red baron do not let me down as I hit the key. vroom she fired up. She still had that miss but runs a little better once its warmed up. I would get ahold of Tommy 250 miles away and have him figure out what I could do to correct the problem. Very irritating to say the least. Plan A was to baby her as much as possible as blue thunder was still at Toms getting u joint work done.
Arriving to the houses I felt I had plenty of time to grind it out. Glen was all ready gone with his 3 fish. A quick call, he had great action and pulled up the rattle wheels at some point. At 24 below and a slight breeze a face mask was in order. I dug out montana ,moved her to her new spot and before I could get the holes augured Berry and his crew called. "I need to make a adjustment as my web sight says check in is at 2pm" I'm some what flexible with check ins but I can not predict what mother nature throws at me. I finished up ,got them checked in and headed over to florida to do it all over again.
Prepping a area for florida and the phone rings. Its Ken and Middison there at hillmens. I get them in old Minnesota after punching out three more holes. About the time I started to move florida the phone rings again and its Steve and his crew, there at Hillmen's. Err there also early. They to would have to wait a bit. I bang out florida and go to greet them and its 1:38pm. If every one showed up after 2pm all would of been ready. Oh well maybe next time.
I then take a break to scout out a area as I have to move california and block and bank for Tony's friend Bob and Brenett. The timing works out perfect as Buddy hillmen calls and want 's me to clean off the bridge at 1.5 mile. I knock that out and head back where the phone rings . Its the general and Doug from mno .
I escort them out to area I scouted earlier and plow them a trail so they can get set up with there wheel houses where boar would be arriving later. I finish California around 4 pm and head to shore. I get gas and supply's pull in the driveway to take a break. Around 5:30pm and bob calls 1 1/2 hour late. I go meet them escort them to California and its time to have some dinner.
After dinner I make the rounds and call it a night.
Saturday morning I make the rounds where Florida got 5, Montana got 5 old Minnesota had 3 with 8 misses. Boar and his crew did not do well, with boars house having the most action. They decided they were going to move further out as that's part of the adventure of fishing such a grand lake.
I prepped north Carolina for Sparky and Trent and headed home to address the red barons miss as I had talked to Tommy and he gave me a few things to take a look at. The tips Tommy gave me help tremendously.
Saturday eve making the rounds and it was a little slow for every body. "Stupid fish"
Sunday morning and the guys in north Dakota were packing up and had two more over night. We said our good byes as Jimbo came out to help me prep and move north Dakota for Scott and his crew.
Ken and Maddison were gone so not sure how they finished.
Steve and his crew were gone to LOW for the day.
Barry and his crew had slower fishing and I told them I would move them if they were game.
Scott and his crew had terrible fishing in north Dakota
Boar and his crew from mno did not fair well in there new location, all though all of boars rattle wheels were spun out and he sent me a pic of the rats nest it had created."TO FUNNY"
Sparky and Trent had there 6 from north Carolina.
We said our goodbyes and got a few pics.
I then moved Montana for Berry and his crew. They helped and we had them set up on new ice in no time. I also checked in Jason and Reed in north Carolina to see if we could have good fishing in there again. I will move them to day depending on how they did. The plan is also to move north Dakota again as last night it was still dead on that new spot. Berry and his crew had 3 more when I checked in with them last night
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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1995
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another sunrise and another sunset made my day yesterday as I enjoyed a day on such a grand lake. I spent part of the morning in old Minnesota making some phone calls, planning my day and even wetting a line.
Berry and his crew Ted, Mike and Scott had left early do to the weather conditions in southern Minnesota. They only managed 3 more fish after the move. "Stupid fish".
I hung out in old minnesota until the generator ran out of gas so I could figure out how long it ran on a tank. !0 1/2 hours as she quit running at 8:30 am. Sure would be nice to have that burg system? Oh that's right its in the snow bank . "Stupid thing" not sure why it fails.
After fueling up the generator I made the morning rounds to be a little disappointed with the fishing report "Stupid fish" Oh well as Wayne always says if we caught them all there would not be any to catch.
I then went over to clean and prep Montana for Brian and Stacy as they were coming up for there 25th anniversary.
I also gave Reid and Jason a couple tips as they were off to find the very elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. They only caught one walleye in North Carolina so I told them when they came back it would be in a new spot.
I then said goodbye to Steve from Michigan and his crew in Florida. They did horrible on low and did not fair much better in florida the third night. They did have some action on tip ups though just outside the house.
Then over to north Dakota where again no fish "stupid fish" what a horrible spot that turned out to be. We talked and I told them I would be back at 10:30 to move the house. Arriving back at 10:38 we were on the move. I told them if all went well they would be wetting a line again by noon. I also said if they wanted they could ride in north Dakota. Scott ask if I had any more shovels and I said sure do I have 3 so they all pitched in to dig her out. The move went well and just like I promised they were wetting a line by noon. Cory said the ride was way smoother then he expected.
The phone rings and its Stacy and Brian 2 hours early, perfect as the house is ready to go. At the same time Buddy Hillmen calls and says he is over the pressure ridge and were going to open another mile of road. OH! Oh! plan A is now switched to plan B. I get them checked in and I'm off to help with the new road.
It did not take long to burn up a 1/2 tank of gas. I checked in with Buddy Hillmen and headed home to gas up, check the fluids and get back out to the houses as I still had more work there. Moving north Carolina went well other then a few issues with the extension cords. As my very good pal Wayne says. "Here at Cookies we do it right cause we do it Twice"
Once North Carolina was all set I was back out to Hillmen's highway where we would keep plugging away on the new mile of road. 2 hours later and I was heading home for a quick bite before making the evening rounds.
Stacy and Brian were the first stop where Stacy had lost 5 fish at the hole. I gave her a tip on landing them so we will see if that pans out.
Reid and Jason found north Carolina and had a blast fishing outside all day. They landed a few walleyes but no" elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie". I guess that's why I call them elusive.
Last stop was at North Dakota ! I had played a round of Texas Hold um with them the night before and wanted another shot.
Scott did not play, he sure deserves to catch a few fish as he was always holding his fishing rod and jigging when I stopped in. One fish was all they caught on the new spot "stupid fish".
I lost a second time in hold um and headed home where I ran into a local Dave him and his son had set up just to the north east of us where they landed 3 nice fish.
Well back to the grind again today. we have mike coming for north Dakota and Kieth and his kids coming for florida. I told both them that check in was at 2pm.
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Joined: 21 Apr 2003
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Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sure can get a lot done when your not battling mother nature. Buddy Hillmen and I punched out another mile of highway Tuesday so that was two miles in two days. Wow talk about a lot of snow to move.
Wednesday morning making the rounds to say good bye to Brian and Stacy and check in on the Mike and his crew in North Dakota.
Brian and Stacy were able to land a few fish after my tip and were packing up when I arrived. They plan on coming next year around the last weekend of walleye.
Mike and his crew went to westwind around 8pm where they brought there guitars and played music tell closing. They said they had a hoot. I had billiards tuesday night or I sure would of joined them.
They only landed a few walleyes but one of the guys landed a 26 1/2 inch walleye at 630 am. My plans were to  start the big migration out further and I explained what they had to do for the big move. I told them my plans and I would be back at noon .
I then cleaned up old Minnesota as Darrel, Bobby Joe  and Ron  had called Tuesday to see if I had a opening for one night.
Then I was off to meet Jimbo as he would be helping me. With two more miles of Buddy Hillmens highway done this has opened up a huge area of fishing for us. Finally getting blue thunder back on the ice was strange. With no clunks it feels like something is wrong? It did feel good to be taking both trucks back out onto the ice at the same time. We worked our butts off getting north Dakota and North Carolina prepped for the move. More training for Jimbo as he would be towing a house with the red baron.
Darrel ,Bobby Joe and Ron arrived just in time as I got them checked in before we pulled out. Every thing went well, but Darrel gave me the puppy eyes, wondering why all the house were going out deeper but them. 
 Arriving at the new area.  I made a new road going north  where we brought north Dakota to its new spot and prepped it for Mike and his crew. Then we were off to retrieve Montana and Florida, Old Minnesota would wait tell Thursday to be moved.
The next two houses were florida and montana. I was a little nervous letting Jimbo tow montana but it had to be done and he is a sharp kid. Plus he had one under his belt. Arriving to the new area and we towed florida down by north Dakota where I decided we would prep it for fishing and if Darrel and the crew were game they could move there gear and fish in florida  instead.  
Arriving back at old Minnesota to surprise Darrel about the move and they were kinda like. What should we do? perfect I love when a plan comes together. They decided to move.
As the sun was setting Jimbo and I headed home where we needed to get a flat tire off of Jimbo's daily driver so we could get it fixed on Thursday.
The hammer and I headed out around 8pm to check on everyone and visit with Bobby Joe and the crew. We arrive to Florida where Mike and 2 of his crew from north dakota are all partying with Darrel ,Bobby Jo and Ron. Bobby Jo was fishing hard and had caught a couple. Mike said the fishing was way better in north Dakota also. I love it when a plan comes together. I even caught a fish on Darrel's rattle wheel while we were there. I missed him, then Darrel missed him. I then got him on the third try.
Mike and his crew headed back to north dakata. Ron, Darrel and I joined them while they played and sang some original songs they had wrote. I even joined in with the harmonic for a tune. Its been a long times since I played . The hammer and I called it a night as she was working Thursday morning at the gas station/North country food and fuel.
Yesterday was another beautiful day out on such a grand  lake, as we worked in tee shirts as the temps hit 41 degrees. We got Montana on its new spot and also moved old Minnesota to its new location. We also squeezed in time to go get Jimbo a new used tire. I had him drive while I took a nap as I was worn out.
The red baron has been running rough and missing. While Jimbo did the tire I did some maintenance  trying to track down the miss that has been driving me crazy. I want the red baron to perform like a race car coming out of a corner. Hard on the gas and accelerating  un tell you let off for the next corner. I may of tracked down the problem as I just came back in the house after misting water on all the plug wires. It looked like the 4th of July with all the sparks. There Zipped tied for now and I'm going to have Wayne pick me up a high performance set on the way up today.
Speaking of Wayne, he is pumped coming up today. With the mild temps we are going to get all the picture windows washed inside and out . Nothing like enjoying the sunrises and sunsets and all the other shenanigans   looking out a perfectly  clean window.
He is also bringing his sister and husband for there first trip ever on upper red lake. He is so excited he probably did not sleep good last night.
Well that's about it for today. I have 20 holes to augur, more roads to clean up, greet the customers when they arrive, place the generators with there new boxes. Block, bank north Carolina, wash windows, get fuel, and the most important thing of all.
Have a grand day, on a grand lake that as Dave the old timer told me. It's  a Grand Lake and it owes me NOTHING! NOTHING
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Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1995
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well well where to begin. This past Friday went a little smoother checking in our customers, all though I still had a few other issues?
You can never totally go with the plan and I'm constantly improvising something .This time it was the red baron.
Farting around with the spark plug wires I was confident I had my missing problem solved. I head up to North country food fuel gas, up and I'm still not happy with the red baron so I pop the hood and start messing with the wires again. I hit the lake and now its running worse then ever? Oh well new wires are coming so I forge my way out too finish prepping.
My timing is perfect all day long as I get every one checked in as they arrive.
Of course mother nature now does a flip flop and there's standing water around the houses with the warm temps. Oh Well the January thaw! its better then 40 below,
  Dan and Dave/Gravy" great nick name', checked into north Carolina, What a great couple of guys. Gravy was like having a helper out there as he was all over gassing up the generator and meeting the neighbors after I checked them in.
 Justin and Megan arrived for north Dakota with Ron and Caroline arriving later in the day. Ken ,Carl, Terry and Sarah arrived  for florida right on time. They have ben here before and know the routine . 
After taking care of them I was off to old Minnesota to prep for Wayne's arrival. Jarrod and Jeromy would not be arriving tell after 10 pm. for montana. After finishing up I headed to shore with the red baron running like crap.
 Arriving back on shore I decide to again look at the plug wires and discover number 2 plug wire is not even on? To funny I guess! As my good friend wayne says, here at Cookie's we do it right cause we do it twice and some times even Thrice.  Plugging the wire in and just like that after all the fooling around re routing the wires  she running 80 % better . Man am I looking forward to installing them new wires today.
Making the rounds later that evening and every one was having a grand time,
Saturday morning and all the house's had some fish and fish stories to tell. How sweet a feeling that is!
Saturday evening and again making the rounds we were starting to see a lot of standing water in the roads and around the houses. You can not beat mother nature out there no mater how hard you try.
  We fished with Wayne and his sister Kathy where again the hammer was up to here old tricks landing a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. I even got in on the action and landed a nice keeper walleye.
Sunday morning  making the rounds and saying good by,  Gravy Dave and as Carolina  said" Dan was biscuit were headed home with only 5? I'm not sure if they ate any.
Ken, Carl Sarah and Terry? in florida had a great time. They were going home with a few nice perch and 7 keepers walleyes plus a number of misses and a couple of pike released. A good fishy area in my book.
North dakoata was the hot house. They were going home with 12 and also ate 6 . Megan cooked them up with a honey crust, drizzled with honey. Sounded great and there going to send me the receipt.
Then as they were packing Justin landed a elusive yes elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Man that house seems to catch fish. Saturday night they were playing a drinking game .Man were they having fun.
Jarrod and Jeromy in montana also had some fish to take home so all in all every one had a grand time on a grand lake.
Hillmens Highway should be in great shape once the cold air comes back.  The road is 7 miles out and as always you could land a 747 on it. There is a bridge around 1.7 miles. out., There's  a curve about 3.5 to the left then right. There's cones around 6 miles for now to let the new mile of road firm up. That's about it today. Busy day ahead but looking forward to hiitting the lake with my good friend Marty as he arrived early this morning with a buddy.
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Joined: 21 Apr 2003
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Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little testy yesterday? yes its true. Another busy day for me yesterday. Marty and his buddy headed out to see Wayne while I wrote my fishing report.
Wayne text yesterday morning that we were having generator trouble? We worked on it through the phone and wayne was able to get it running better at half choke. We discovered that the foam air filter was breaking down and I think the jet/ needle and seat may be clogged. So this morning I'm headed out to the shop . Laundry room to remove and clean the carb.
Yesterday with Wayne's help, we putt he new plug wires on the red baron. Wow what a difference. Knock on wood she /he now runs like I want  it to.
After saying good by to wayne I was off to get North Dakota on a new spot and out of the standing water. Then I dug florida out of its spot and got that on dry ice? Dave Rohde arrives today so I will get north Dakota all blocked banked and ready fro there arrival. I also plan on moving old Minnesota to that area. Then florida needs to travel over by montana for the weekend.
All that nice weather  we had , and even though it was warm yesterday the wind had picked up a bit and it was a little chilly while I was working out there. II'll make sure I dress better for it this morning.
I did make the rounds last night around 8pm. I did not expect Marty and his buddy to have much action and I was right. 4th night on the same spot.
Keith and Tesa  had 3 nice fish yesterday morning and had missed a few. The lights were dim when I arrived out there so I will see how they did today. A wheel house parked right behind north dakata where I had it so I'm curious to see how they did. My friend Lee set up 100 yards to the west of old Minnesota so we will also see how he did.
Looking at the weather the winds are going to be out of the west for some time so all the houses will be facing east by the weekend.
Well time to get to work. Hillmen's highway should be in great shape by the weekend as the cold weather freezes up the standiing water
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mother nature rules again. So we have a beautiful weekend with temps in the 40s. All The houses have fairly good action. The warm weather caused a huge mess with melted snow making water puddles ever where. We easily lost half our snow cover.
The banking on the houses turned to rock hard snow. Not whining as its part of the job.
A lot of vehicles were pretty much driving any where they wanted as the snow was like mashed potato's driving through it. Now all those tracks have collected water and froze so there's frozen ruts all over the place. Any where there still a foot of snow there 1 inch of wet snow that will not freeze because its insulated. V plowing into that makes giant snow balls that then freeze into ice chunks. As always its quite the challenge taking on good old mother nature.
Then there's the stupid fish. We moved old Minnesota on Tuesday as well as north Dakota for Dave ,Patty and Dave's dad Jim. Checking in on them yesterday morning and they did terrible "Stupid fish". I set it up to move them around 1pm to hopefully give them a better chance.
Marty and Shane were to the south of them and only managed three . They did kinda tie one on and may of missed a few rattle wheels?
My friend Lee was to the west of them about 300 yards and managed to land 5.
I got Dave and his family all reset around 2 :15 so it took a little over a hour to get them moved, not including the prep time for the new spot. Stooping in last night and they had way better action. Dave said they had a run where they missed five They did have two in the bucket so maybe this morning they had a good run or two last night.
Andy arrives today and I have montana all set up off by itself as he requested. They are bringing there own generator so I can have them off by them self . John rolls in for North Carolina so will be setting that up this morning also. Old Minnesota, North Dakota and North Carolina all need to be in there own little group.
A very busy day, and as always, mother nature has thrown a wrench in things. I will power through it. Even as Wayne says" Here at Cookie"s we do it right cause we do it twice and some times thrice".
The warm weather made Buddy Hillmen's highway a little rougher then he would like. I be leave as we travel on it with the plows it should smooth out a bit. Remember they would like the traffic to keep under 15 mph while on the Highway. It pushes out around 6 to 7 miles with a curve around 3 miles.
As always I'm about ready to head out and have a grand day on a grand lake. Who knows maybe Dave and his crew landed a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie plus a couple limits of walleyes. "Stupid fish"
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only 31 nights of the 2017 walleye/pike season left to go. As always I plan on grinding it out looking for the very elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. We have the same crew coming up again this year as we search for these highly prized fish. My good buddy Jake who built our north Dakota house and owns it, is possessed with these fish. He  has not even planned to fish his house un tell we have our get together in march. I have never gave up on these fish as they are truly trophies. The hammer would rather eat them then walleyes? If we get a few, we will eat a couple and the rest will be released to educate all the others? Of course they will tell the others what the houses are like and they take pictures of you and then let you go?
Yesterday  went pretty smooth, I said goodbye to Dave, Jim and Patty. Patty loved the house. They only managed to take home five fish but Dave said they should of had more so the move paid off.
I started the day prepping montana for Andy. He has been coming for years and montana is his house of choice. He really digs the lights under the house. He had requested the house be off by it self  if he brings his own generators .He feels that is the key to have some of the epic fishing they have had over the years, plus it has been written for years that's the key to catching fish on upper red lake is being off by your self. His good buddy Sam arrives later today for florida and it is also off by itself just out of walking distance from montana. Sam landed a 27 1/2 walleye a couple years ago.
  After prepping montana I was off to retrieve north Carolina for John and his buddy. They would also be arriving at 2pm. Just as I was ready to fire up the augur they called to say they had arrived. About a hour early. I was polite as I told them I needed a little more time before the house was ready. I gave them directions to where I was and they were going to dilly dally on there way out. They have friends and relatives that are here for the big ice castle gathering out of Rodgers and wanted to know if they could get there form  the house. I said it would sure be nice if all the roads interlocked but more them likely they were better off going around then trying to cross country with out a second truck with them just in case.
Andy also arrived about the same time so I got all checked in and I was off to move old Minnesota . I have a great system and all went smooth as I got old Minnesota on its new spot for Rick, Mike and Matt.
This morning I'm off to augur both florida and old Minnesota, a little other prep time and if all goes well all three houses should be ready a round noon 2 hours before check in time.
When I came off the lake last night I was spent. The hammer had a nice home cooked meal cooking when I walked in. That was good because I was beat and did not feel like cooking. After dinner I laid down for a bit and I was done. I did not make it out to check on Andy and his buddies Andy and Blake. I'm sure they will all understand. Andy has been coming for so long he knows I'm only a phone call away. John and his buddy planned on hooking up with there relatives and it sounds like the house is more of a place to sleep as it was a last minute deal. no phone calls so all must be good. I did run into Cliff when I came off the lake .He was fishing 8 feet of water and only landed two.
Randy and Tammy also arrived while I was coming off the lake. I sent them to a new area to pre fish/ scout and if they did good I will move the whole fleet out there if need be.
My part time helper Jimbo was missing in action this week. He headed home for a few days so we will see if he is available this up and coming week.
I'm still trying to get the new/used truck from Colorado. Its a chevy so that's good,
Well its time to hit the lake, I'm hoping the good nights sleep gives me a second wind as I seem to hit a wall every night. Some times at 8pm, sometimes at 9 pm, some time not tell 11pm. I'm thinking I need to sneak in a nap in old Minnesota once in a while the rest of the season,with out the rattle wheels down.
Heading out in a bit on as we all know by now. Its a grand lake that owes us nothing.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A rare occurrence as we saw the sun this weekend. Seems it was cloudy for at least 10 days so it was nice getting to see a classic upper red lake sunset.
Friday morning  heading out all rested, ready for another day on such a grand lake.  Just like always I had plenty to do but would not be battling mother nature. A quick check with Andy, Andy and Blake and they had some action and had 8 in there fish bag.
John and Mike in north Carolina did not fair as well and only had 3. They did find Johns cousin . Turns out they had rented from alpine and were not involved in the icog get together out of Rodgers.
I banged out florida as Sam would be arriving  around 10 am. Then off to north Dakota to prep.. I decided to leave it after only being fished less the 20 hours for Early and his crew Darrel ,Tom and Jason. Again the timing was perfect as they arrived just as I button it up. I explained that Dave and his wife and dad had some decent action and depending how they did we would move them Saturday if need be.
I  then went  over to old Minnesota on its new spot. I dilly dallied, cleaning, prepping and auguring for there arrival at 2. Again the phone rang just as I was finishing up. I gave Rick direction out to where we were as I button her up.  She looked great in all her glory. Old Minnesota is well over 35 years old. I'm still looking forward to the new carpet as I did not care for the indoor outdoor carpet that Dan installed a few years ago. I want real house hold carpet as there nothing better then landing fish in your slippers or socks. After checking them in it was off to say hi to Sam as he had arrived and andy had directed him out there. Sam was pumped as he said he was going to get a bigger walleye then his 27 1/2 a few years ago. I bit my lip as I really did not expect him to get a bigger fish, All though I thought maybe they would get lucky and land a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie as the house was about 300 yards from where the hammer got one a couple weeks ago.
Tammy and Randy had set up after dark Thursday eve and they never marked a fish so Randy was on the move and heading to a area they had done well last year. I stopped to say hello and visit for a bit before I headed off the lake as the sun was setting on such a beautiful afternoon. They did invite the hammer and I out for some chili so that was the plan Friday eve when I would be making the rounds. The area Randy moved to had some good action before dark but after that they would come look and swim away. 
Rick and his crew texted to say they were hitting the sack early as they had driven most of the night to arrive. 
North Dakota was way slow and only had 1 perch and a walleye lost at the hole. I guess I new what I was doing Saturday morning.
Andy, Blake, Sam and Andy were having a hoot in florida and montana and darn if Sam did not catch a very elusive but still catchable upper red lake crappie. A beautiful 14 1/2 incher. Both house were also catching a few walleyes so that felt good to see. I now new where north Dakota would be moving too.
Saturday  morning I headed out and told the guys in North Dakota what had to be done for the move, I went to pick and prep a area and when I got back they had landed two keeper walleyes at 10 am? Stupid fish. The move went well and I had them fishing in less then a hour after pulling up there lines.
Saturday eve making the rounds and again the action was fair for all the houses. Every one had a few fish and were all having a great time.
The hammer and I headed over to Rodgers to go see Lonnie , Lisa and there new Ice castle out at the get together. Very beautiful house and huge. 
What a spectacle it was out there, with all the flashing lights, it looked like a airport from a distance. It would of been nice to cut over after making the rounds but we took the highway. We visited for a bit and checked out the tent with the live band. Heading home I again hit the wall and turned in for the night,
Sunday morning and Early called to say they had no power? I arrived out there to find the plug had just vibrated loose.  They were getting ready to pack it in. They only managed to catch a few more fish but said they missed a bunch,
Andy and Andy were also packing up with there fish, Sam and Blake were also heading out with there 6 keepers. Rick in old Minnesota had all ready left and only took home 7 . I also never got to see John and Mike but I know they had a few.
I then spent the rest of the day cleaning the houses and getting north Dakota ready for Tim, Pete and Danny's arrival for north Dakota. The same deal, the house had not been fished 24 hours so they were there for one night and we /I will move them to a fresh spot today if need be.
I also moved Old Minnesota out to that area and plan on getting north Dakota over there so I'm only maintaining one road off the main road as we have some snow and wind coming starting today.
After getting old Minnesota set up the hammer met me out there where we enjoyed a chicken dinner and I out fished the hammer for once,  as I landed 3  with a couple misses and the hammer could not get them to bite, I did use a vex so I was on even playing field with her.
I'm hoping they did good in north Dakota last night? I have a feeling we will be putting the house on fresh ice today as the second night hardly ever is better then the first.
Time to head out as Ole is bringing a couple friends up to fish montana and I need to get north carolina over with the fleet as I have officially ruined another area. I  also can abandon that road system before mother nature rears her ugly side today.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stupid fish?
Well the snow  came and went. I would say we got about 5 inches of the white fluffy stuff.
Its been a busy few days for me but still enjoying the time I get to spend out there on as David  the old timer told me a Grand lake.
Tim ,Dan and Pete did not fair so well in north Dakota so the plan was to move them . As the snow was coming down with narly a wisp of wind I got to work. Since the area has been pretty fishy I would hop scotch around montana  to the north east. With every thing so white it was tough seeing as I pulled the house around the back side of montana where my good friend Ole and his to buddies Gale and Greg would be fishing. I pulled up to the spot I thought I prepped, Delete repeated word out, unhooked, blocked it up and started to bank it when I realized I was only about 100 feet from montana. OOPS!
Tim ,Dan and Pete did not fair so well in north Dakota so the plan was to move them . As the snow was coming down with nairly a wisp of wind I got to work. Since the area has been pretty fishy I would hop scotch around montana  to the north east. With every thing so white it was tough seeing as I pulled the house around the back side of montana where my good friend Ole and his to buddies Gale and Greg would be fishing. I pulled up to the spot I thought I prepped. I got out unhooked, blocked it up and started to bank it when I realized I was only about 100 feet from montana. OOPS!
Once I had them all moved in  The phone rang and Ole had arrived. I gave him direction out to the area and double checked to make sure montana was all ready. Its so funny when you give fishermen direction out onto the lake. It must be the excitement of arriving as a lot of them do not listen. After I gave Ole directions, he says meet you at the junction? I never said anything about a junction. To funny.
Any way it has been a tough bite since they arrived .Tim and his son inlaws were up to 7 fish yesterday and Ole and  his crew were up to 3 walleyes, 1 32 inch pike, 1 smaller pike and 1 very elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. 
There all leaving today and we have Glen arriving for florida and van and his two buddies will be fishing old Minnesota. 
Yesterday was a very long day as we reopened 10  miles of road. There's still a little bit left but you could land a 747 on most of Buddy Hillmens highway. 
I talked to Marlow and his buddy. They found a hot spot and in two days between the two ice castle caught around 60 fish. 
Kim and Tim went home with there 6 and figured they caught 20 with some misses.
Looking at the calendar and florida and montana are open the 10th and 11th at this time. Time to hit the lake, hoping the winds to not blow to hard. I may have to do the no wind. no snow snow dance
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow where did the week go?  Mother nature sure can raise hel when she wants. My no wind  no snow dance never had a chance. Tuesday night  the winds picked up out of the north west and has not stopped since, throw in  dropping temps and it has been brutal out there.
Tim and his son in laws were able to have a big fish fry and even got to know Ole a bit. They were nice enough to share some of there fish fry with Ole and Greg. Ole sure appreciated that.
He is quite the character. He has been a trophy hunter  as long as I have known him 39 years.  He use to go up to low chasing pike in march as he wanted a 25 pound pike for his wall. Well he finally got that fish but he got it here years ago. When he landed it he threw it on the seat of his jeep and came off the lake to get it weighed. Who puts a 25 pound live fish in the passenger seat of your vehicle? Only Ole I think.
Another quick story about Ole, I was bow hunting years ago. I was walking out to my stand when a beautiful 10 pointer walked right in front of me. I never got a shot and he walked away. I told Ole about this deer when he arrived. It was a very dry year and I ask him where would that deer go to get water?  he did a little scouting and found  the spot he figured he would get him. It was about a mile from where I saw this deer. He set up a ground blind then paced off the distance he could see down the trail. Then he came back to town and went to the gravel pit where he shot a couple rounds just to make sure every thing was good. The next morning  with the temps close to zero he settled in to his ground blind. He looked at all his bullet's and picked out the smoothest one. Two hours later he got him in one shot. He then confessed that the first night he saw a doe when he  had told me he did not see any thing that night. He said he new that buck would show himself. Totally impressed even though he got that deer I had been chasing for a couple years.
Any way back to the fishing and mother nature. I headed out Wednesday morning to say good bye and see how everyone did. Very slow. Tim did get a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie plus a couple more walleyes. Ole also ended up getting a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.
I set Van and his two buddies up in florida. I set Glens buddies up in old Minnesota they are from Oklahoma and drove 11 hundred miles to catch some fish. I was visiting Wednesday eve just before dark when Glen set the hook on the first fish. Yep another elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. Then the rattle wheel went off and glen said grab it. Swing and a miss as I lipped him darn paper mouths.
yesterday   I headed out to say good bye to van and they only landed 3 walleyes.
The guys from Oklahoma got one walleye and another elusive yet still catchable upper reed lake crappie. They wanted to know if I could move them. I explained that mother natures winds have been making a mess of things and if I moved them I would more the likely have to move old Minnesota again today so its on fresh ice for the weekend plus all my other houses need to be on fresh ice for today.  Busting butt , Joe said they would help so I prepped a new area back  a half mile and rickety split had them moved and set up in no time.
Then my helper Jimbo showed up and we proceeded to get Florida, Montana and north Dakota all on fresh ice in what I would say brutal conditions minus 8 with 15 to 20 miles an hour nw winds . It was only the second time this year I had to where a face mask out there while working.
  I come off the lake last night after spending 10 hours out there and get the phone call that Adam  he will not be coming for north Dakota this weekend. Ouch, Oh well!  Do I have a surprise for Jerry" allis Dakidd " on Saturday, as I plan on bumping them in to north Dakota from north Carolina. I then plan on using north Carolina as a day house the rest of the season. Again plan a has changed to plan b
Buddy Hillmen's highway is in great shape .We have plowed the crap out of it the last 3 days plus Buddy some how found time to add two more miles of road? I'm not sure how he does it as I was busy prepping houses for today. I would say there's 12 miles or more of hillmens highway. I will be widening  it  everyday as I come and go off the lake, plus cleaning up all the drifting snow.
Remember the secret to upper red lake is distance from others and with all that open space out there you should have no problem finding your own private piece on such a grand lake
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So here goes, very frustrating on such a grand lake. I love doing this and every year is different. This year no exception. I do every thing possible to have the houses on fresh fishy spots. I also spend maybe way to much time prepping the houses before the customers arrival . Then throw in mother nature and it becomes quite the grind.
Checking on everyone Friday night  and Saturday morning and I basically got down a  little bit  about finding the stupid fish. Its so frustrating .I expected montana with Eric and Alec to do real well as the spot was very fishy. I also had super high hopes for florida with Rollie and Kevin. I also expected great fishing for Wayne and I as it was a lot of extra work getting old Minnesota on the spot.
  Back in the crappie boom the saying was if your not breaking equipment your not on the spot. Augering the holes were a bear, banking the house was a bear, plus I needed the extension which of course was at home. I was really hoping and expecting  for the mother load of the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. If we landed on them I knew Wayne would only keep 1 or two.
I could not have a better friend to fish and hang out with as the hammer was in the cities. The laughing and yuks never stop when he is here and they always say laughter is the best medicine and I would have to agree, Man did we laugh.  We even laughed about the lack of fish. I did get Wayne 1 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie and 1 walleye. That was the whole take for 2 hard days of fishing out of old Minnesota.
  I managed to rent north Dakota to Mark, Collet,, Sharon and Al for Saturday night and they did go home with some fish.
Florida ended up doing really well during the day Saturday? Which totally made sense as It was also a hard place to set up. They did land a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie to boot.
Montana was 150 feet and caught enough for a good fish fry and went home sunday morning with no fish.
I also had a free night I had given away, They fished north Carolina and got there 6 so that felt good.
Another busy week is ahead as mother nature is ready to say "Take This'. Batten down the hatches its going to be a long week prepping. We have 4 fresh inches of snow this morning with high winds and more snow predicted. I'm going to head out and do a little no snow snow dance and also a no wind wind dance but I'm afraid its not going to help.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much of a fishing report today. Yesterday I spent most of the day plowing. Started at the gas station where the hammer works . North country food and fuel. Knocked out our driveway.
Then I headed over to Buddy Hillmen's highway to cut the north edge with blue thunder. Got out to the bridge at 1.5 miles  and helped Buddy clear snow away from the area.
Then back home where I fired up the red baron and v plowed 5 hours. We cleared  the main road all the way to the end about 7 miles?
A few mishaps but nothing major. Lost the two tires, chained to the back of the red baron and with all the snow packed in them I could not even lift them. I spent a few minutes digging out all the snow and was able to prop one tire on my generator and then man handle them back on.
Hit a good bumped and knocked the v plow off its chain so I could not lift the plow  untell some one could hold the button while I pushed it back down. 
Pulled off the lake at 5 pm, gas upped, cleaned all the door jams of ice and snow with a hammer and parked the red baron.  I
Then headed back out to move north Dakota to its fishy spot where I banked it for Mike and his crew coming today. 
There all musicians so hope to play a little harmonica with them tonight or tomorrow.
Bobby and her crew come up tomorrow so florida and montana need to be moved and reset. Hoping for a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake  crappies.
Montana is still open for the weekend at this time? Not sure what happen there other then Feb 10th 11th is not a popular weekend for fishing.
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