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Master Angler


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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well my no snow, snow dance did not work again. I guess I used it up earlier this year which was good as we did not need any snow while we were making our first ice. Monday we cleared the road after getting 5 inches of fresh powder. The it started to snow again Monday night and when it stopped yesterday we were looking at another4 inches. 
I had Mike and his crew arriving around noon so after prepping the house I was back to plowing. I plugged away helping with the first 1.5 miles and we had that whipped out in no time. then Jimbo showed up and we started cutting the next 4 miles of road as I needed to get out to florida and montana to get them moved onto fresh ice. I sure wanted to leave florida where it was just to see if the fishing stayed good. I do know the spot so may go back to it for sure. After getting both house moved and prepped we cut a new trail to the houses as The old road I had made has way to much banked snow and its easier to make a new road then to try and save whats there. After getting that done Jimbo and I started widing the road back to the bridge where I sent Jimbo home with blue thunder and I continued to plow in tell 5 pm. Buddy Hillmen arrived back from his bus driving job as I had to call it quits for I had pool last night.
I'm sure Buddy was worried about the wind ruining what we had got done. I told him I would hit it hard again this morning so that's the plan as I head out to auger montana, florida and north Carolina for Bobby and her crew.
When I came home from pool I noticed his vplow was running at the shop so he put in a long stint clearing the road.
Today were greeted with minus 17 so with the winds I will be warring a face mask when I'm outside. Mother nature just keeps on ticking. The Hillmen highway should be in great shape by the weekend. There got to be 15 miles of road so theres plenty of un fished areas to find the mother load.
Mike and his crew did have 3 keepers when I left the lake last night and I'm looking forward to hanging with them later tonight as the jam and sing some of there original songs. Gonna be a grind the next 18 days as the game fish season winds down.
I think I may of got my second wind I will know by dinner time tonight if I hit a wall after supper.
Last thing as I did have another cancelation for the weekend of the 17th. That two in less then a week
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so we had a couple cancelation for tomorrow and Saturday. Any body anybody
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Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I think I found my second wind but Mother nature was not kind this week that's for sure.
Buddy Hillmen's highway was in great shape when I came off the lake last night.
Wednesday morning we were greeted with 17 below with wind chills  around minus 30. Putting propane on montana with out my face mask and it was so cold it hurt my forehead..
Mike and his crew ended up with 5 fish Wednesday so another slow day of fishing. Bobby Joe, Darrel and her sister and brother inlaw ,Vickie and Paul rolled in around 2 pm Wednesday.
My new road  had all ready started to drift in as the wind was relentless this week and just keeps on blowing. I'm going to talk to Buddy Hillmen as I think I need to build my berms on my side roads to the east instead of the west?
The red baron  with its 454 finally runs like I expect it to and when I was going up to get gas Wednesday afternoon I swung into Joels driveway to break open a trail and darn if I did not have a major and I mean major break down. The red baron will be getting flat bedded to the transmission shop  today as I think I broke the transfer case? I'll know more when he digs into it next week . He said I may of stripped out the tail shaft and if I did the transmission will have to be rebuilt. Ouch bad timing. Its part of the business but still sucks when it happens. Then I'm coming off the lake last night after checking in on Bobby joe, Darrel and the others and I have a blow out on blue thunder. That's real bad timing as the winds  have been howling out of the south since last night.
I did stop and talk to Kevin who I call Neil and his crew Pete, Pete, Bob, David, Knoll who got a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie while I was there.  and Joe  Tom. I think I got them all. They were all in a 16 foot ice castle. Crazy! When I walked in a needed ear plugs it was so loud in there. What a great bunch of guys though. There headed to bowstring this morning to search for some crappies. I was hoping to get in a game of cribbage but that was not happening.
Justin and his buddy Casey? had pretty good fishing yesterday so it again comes down to location, location, location, you can not blame the weather as there always biting some where on such a grand lake. Casey landed a 37 inch pike 1/2 hour after dark last night. Crazy pike
Our very good friend Marty also rolled in Wednesday morning. I set him up in old Minnesota where he banged out 3 fish just after dark. Yesterday he helped me move north Dakota after Mike and his crew left. I never got to jam with them ,maybe when they come back up the last weekend of walleyes.
Well I guess that's about it. Old Minnesota , montana and North Carolina are all open for the weekend after 2 cancelations this week. That's a first all year and may be a blessing to give me time to regroup a bit.  Been humping on the lake since a week before Christmas not even sure how many days its been. That top bunk in old Minnesota does have my name all over it and this weekend you may find me napping in there.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another weekend has come and gone. 60 plus days on the lake and I have taken a nap in old Minnesota for about 10 minutes I think.
 Friday morning I headed out before light to wet a line with my good friend and helper from two years ago Marty. I had him staying in old Minnesota since it was open for the weekend. He had caught a few fish since he arrived but nothing to brag about.
Even though I had  2 houses open for the weekend I still had a busy day ahead.
I had a little final prep work in north Dakota before Bill and his crew arrived. I also had to go track down a tire for blue thunder. In my haste putting on the new tire chain before we pulled the red baron out of her predicament it looks like I may of had a twist in it and that's what caused the blow out. I was able to track down a tire and go to kellier to get it mounted. I arrived back just in time to check Bill, Tom, Mike and Joe into north Dakota.  I was then off to prep florida as my son John was heading up with his friend Joe..  I decided to leave it where Bobby joe and Darrel fished Wednesday Thursday.
The hammer and I also planned on wetting a line with Marty for a possible evening bite then. I would be making dinner at home. We did  manage to catch a couple fish. After dinner I decided to lay down on the couch and wait for john to arrive before I checked in on the guys in north Dakota. They had had some action starting around 3pm when I had swung in after  showing Boar where to park his ice castle as he would be fishing next to Bill has they had become friends on one of the fishing sites and had never met.
John and his friend rolled in around 9;30 and woke me up. Man was I groggy it took me  more then a few minutes to gather my bearings.  Once I got them checked in I was planning on stopping in at north Dakota. I had called Boar and he said they were all fine so I headed home for the evening.
I did do a little plowing along the southern berm along Buddy hillmen's highway on the way in and you could see where it has been flooding under all the weight of the snow so if you plan on heading north I would suggest using Hillmen's access rather then trying to cross from the south.
Saturday morning I again got out on the lake early to wet a line with Marty. I set one rattle wheel , poured a cup of coffee and started jigging a rattle flyer. I ask Marty if he had gassed up the generator and he said nope so I say Oh I will go gas it up. I come back in the house and there's Marty holding a fish he caught on the rattle wheel with my green glow genze worm.
I then checked in on Bill and his crew they had landed 9 fish I think and had eaten a few over night.
I then headed out to florida where I checked on john and joe. The dead sea. Stupid fish, so again the third night in a rental was no good. They ask if I would auger a couple holes for tip ups and I told them I would. and then I would be   moving old Minnesota after Marty left so they could have a fresh spot to fish, where the hammer and I would join them for the evening before having a fish fry. No sooner then I left and Joe landed a 37 inch pike on his tip up.
I knew it was a fishy spot.
Once I got them checked into old Minnesota I headed back out to move florida as Bob and Rick would be rolling in sunday.
I get back to old minnesota and the hammer says why did you move house if it was catching fish and Jonny says why did you not move over there. I told them the spot was great night spot. Wink. wink.
A hour later I go check on north Dakota and Joe catch's his first upper red lake walleye. . We then went home for a fish fry . We go back out and bam Joe gets his second and third walleye on the rattle wheel. The green genze worm comes through again.
They packed up yesterday with there 6 fish so that was nice to see. The guys in north Dakota ended up catching 20 or so.
Last night I headed out to check on bob and rick and again the dead sea.  Stupid fish. Around 10 pm rick got a keeper we lost at the hole and then another small scuffit was caught which is a good sign of a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie so I'm crossing my fingers they had a little action after I came home. Well it looks like a beautiful day to work on such a grand lake time to hit the ice for the 60th day in a row
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the rest of the season I will not get up in the morning thinking its going to be a easy , gravy day. There is no such thing when your battling mother nature, mechanical breakdowns, getting taxes done, etc.
Sunday morning getting reorganized and meeting Jimbo on the lake I had him do a couple propane's while I gathered all the things necessary to move montana over by florida. Not having the red baron I would have to give blue thunder a little bit more of a work out and utilize the road system I had created.
Sunday morning getting reorganized and meeting Jimbo on the lake I had him do a couple propane's while I gathered all the things necessary to move montana over by florida. Not having the red baron I would have to give blue thunder a little bit more of a work out and utilize the road system I had created.
Once we had montana dug out I had no choice but to pull it from one side as one of the hooks had broken off earlier this year. My weld job lasted over12 years and a new hook is on the summer project list. I headed north and looped around where the snow had drifted in a bit and tried to power through but there was just to much snow and I came to a stop. A little digging and we were on our way again.
The spot I picked looked very fishy and again because of the broken hook I put the house in a pickle that will have to be dealt with when we move again. I guess that's what happens when you try and speed up the process. Made me think of cousin Pete my mentor take your time slow and steady.
We fire up the auger and start to drill and the blades are dull again. ERR! Not sure what happen as they were less then a month old. We put a new set on and she now cuts like a butter knife through butter. I have 20 sets of strikmaster lazer blades. At 50 dollars a pop I have a 1000 dollars worth of blades and need to research how to get them re sharpened.
We then jumped over to florida and popped out those holes into the dirty, rough ice which is probably why my blades get dull so fast.
Bob and Rick rolled in I got them checked in and headed over to old Minnesota where a little prep work needed to be done for Ole arrival on Monday.
Jimbo would be checking in Jason and Whitney Monday as I had a appointment in Bemidji.
Its soo crazy that I have run out of time to finish my report as I have to race to Bemidji to pick up a gas tank for blue thunder this morning so this is all for today as I'm out of time to be continued......
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All right I thick I have a window to finish this long winded fishing /work report.
Sunday evening when I got home from pool I headed out to check on Rick and Bob in florida. Here I expected a great fishing report only to be disappointed again, Stupid fish,
Monday morning I headed out again to check on the guys and get what I could get done before we had to go to the tax man.
Ole would be arriving later in the day and fishing in old Minnesota where rick, bob and I would join him to visit and wet a line. Rick said they were marking fish all the time but they just refuse to bite in florida.
We ended up catching 2 16 inch keepers with ole and headed back to florida with the hammer meeting me so we could go play a little poker with bob and rick. Rick lost one at the hole while we were there, then about 10 oclock I hit that wall and called it quits for the night.
I did check in on Jason and Whitney where it was slow all though she did get too battle and land a mid 30s pike. They come back next week so lets hope the fishing is better for them.
Tuesday morning when I hit the lake the winds were just howling out of the north north west. And I mean howling. I had taken the hammers trail blazer out as I had found a major gas leak on blue thunder. The road to florida and montana was fine but the turn was filling in. Then where I put montana the drifting in front of the house was piling up which would make extra work when I went to move it yesterday. I knew I created a pickle when I put it there.
Rick and Bob are old hunting high school buddies and are plans were to meet at my place around noon to go check out a hunting spot. Bob called and said the turn in the road was bad. I told them just kick the snow around and barrel threw? OOPS. The winds were blowing so hard that the snow drifts had all ready become rock hard and you could walk right over the top of them and a very fine snow to boot. mean while I'm here at the house pulling out the gas tank on blue thunder. I went up to North Country food and fuel where I barrowed Franks plow so I could go open the corner and get Bobs car un stuck.
We got back home where I sent bob and rick to check out the hunting spot while I continued to rip out the tank on blue thunder.
Ole pulled in to say he was headed home with two fish. stupid fish
  Bob and Rick  also only had two and two nice perch. They also decided to head home.
I headed back out around 4 to check on Jason and Whitney and clean old Minnesota and florida.  I get to florida just as the sun is setting and catch 2 walleyes back to back while Jason also landed one in montana  just as it was getting dark.
  Yesterday I was off to Bemidji too get new gas tank so I did not get to say good by to Jason and Whitney . I arrived back home and with Jimbos help we got the new tank in with only a couple slight problems.
Then off we went to move old minesota, north Dakota, florida and montana. The first two went real well but when we got to montana I had to cut a trail in front of the house. I decide to drive off in the distance where my old road was to check it out for the move and hit a few frozen ruts under the snow from when we had the January thaw. We had removed one of the tire chains as it had broken on the way out. Blue thunder needs new shocks as every bump you feel. After over 60 days on the ice i'm sick of feeling them so I was going slow and ended up putting my front wheels in a refrozen rut and at the same time my rear wheels and just like that I was stuck. ERRR!  Jimbo had to bah haw over to me and give me a tug. We then got back to work and after plowing a trail to turn around we had both house on the road and out of there perches.
I headed home with the plow down and a spectacular upper red lake sunset in my rear view window. Insert picture?
Today I have a ton of work to do so no dilly dallying for me.
Casey and his crew arrive for north Dakota and Warren arrives for old Minnesota. Tomorrow Jim has Florida and they are bringing friends with a wheel house to fish by them Vance is alos doing the same thing but they have a couple wheel house coming with them. HMMM?" I see a pattern here".
Sunday we have family coming. Shell chick and her crew.
Then Dave rolls in Monday.
Jason and his family come Tuesday, Wednesday for florida and montana .
Mike the musician comes wed ,Thursday and I'm going to do my best to play a little harmonica with them this time.
Then just like that and its the final weekend of game fish and I head off in the sunset to look for the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie on the grandest lake of all lakes, that just keeps pumping out fantastic memories ,laughter, shenanigans, adventures, good friends new and old.
I truly love this lake and it really makes me miss my grandma Olga today." Insert picture of here" feeding the bear cubs in her yard. I can here her now EWWWI "Imagine That"
One last thought . When Liam our great grandson comes up here this year it will be 7 generations fishing here. I think grandma would be so proud.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casey , Dave, Andrew and Josh rolled in Thursday and wasted no time getting unloaded and heading out to look for the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. They would be hitting some areas that we have done well in the past and in turn may help me  get a starting point on my quest to find the mother load. I'm kinda old school and still go by land marks and depths more then gps spots. From there you have to look for other things as they never seem to stay in one spot as they are on a quest to fatten up for the spawn. Its all about survival for fish as its eat or be eaten and make more fish. Mother nature is a amazing thing. A couple things I have noticed over the years, when you catch little walleye 8 to 10 inches that has always been a good starting point. It may have something to do with the food chain I imagine. We also seem to tie in to big pike on crappie jigs?
My brother from Chicago also arrived Thursday eve so I would be hosting him for a few days as he was in old Minnesota. It was great having him here. We were able to fish together Thursday eve and also sunday evening . I even caught a couple fish for a fish fry Saturday as my good friend Boar can attest to. Warren also got to land two nice pike both on the tried and true Genze worm. Not sure why they like that little snowman shaped lure but they sure do like them tipped with a minnow. He headed home yesterday with there 6 fish so that was nice.
Jim and Jake rolled into florida  Friday . They also had some friends with a wheel house Eric, Jennifer and Rick so I had a spot all plowed for them. It started off very slow for them but Saturday night sunday morning did pick up and they managed to catch a few fish. Jennifer was on fire and even landed a goldeneye that Eric would be smoking.
Lance had Monatna reserved for a couple friends and they also had two wheel houses with them. Grant, Mary, Donna and  Lee. They were old friends and customers of Spider Johnsons. Lance had a 21 foot ice castle that they had stained a dark chocolate color and I really liked how it turned out.  I also killed the exterior blue of lee's house, a midnight blue. I was so disappointed in the fishing in that spot and just do not understand how 20 fish can be caught 150 feet away and narly a bite where they were. Stupid fish. 
Casey and his crew did find a couple elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies and got stuck on that area and never explored any other spots that I know of. They also managed to get plenty of walleyes in that area so were able to have a fish fry both Friday and Saturday night.
The dnr were out and about both Friday and Saturday night. They come in like gang busters? I guess it makes sense to catch people cheating with unattended lines, or fishing with to many lines. I know if I see something my customers are doing wrong I do speak up. I just assume they have there licenses and always try and explain the eating fish on the lake rules.
Sunday was a day to say goodbye and hustle to get Montana and florida moved and reset for Shell chick, Jeff, Marty and Shell.  My good friend boar was helping me out this weekend so we had them fishing in no time even after a 3 mile move.
The hammer would be joining here sister shell chick to fish sunday eve while I would be spending time in old minesota with me brother. The hammer was up to her old tricks and landed a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Shell chick got in to the action and also landed one, plus they also landed a few keeper walleyes.
Mean while Marty and Shell less then 150 feet away could not buy a fish? Stupid fish.
Mother nature turned her ugly side again sunday eve into all day yesterday except this time it was warm and rain. It was enough to spook Shell chick and Jeff to head home a day early while my good friend and ex helper Marty would stick it out there and keep a eye on the conditions and the houses.
I scrambled with Jimbo"s help to get old Minnesota, north Dakota and North Carolina moved as water was starting to go down the holes making them bigger. I also had Dave and his crew coming for north Dakota. I was amazed when I went onto the lake as 99 percent of the snow was gone, yes gone, all turned to water in less then 12 hours. I'll know a lot more today as I came off the lake at 3.
I did talk to Marty a couple time and every thing seems ok .Dave has not called so they also must be ok.
I'll try and give a lake up date later today. I expect a lot of water has drained under the ice after seeing that water draining down the holes like a toilet being flushed. One year I came out the next day and all the water was gone in 12 hours?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well its been a interesting few days to say the least. The main thing were all the fishermen and customers were safe as well as the houses The standing water on the lake started to find more areas to drain causing a fishing frenzy for Marty and his wife shelly Monday night. The mother load swam right under marty and shell and boy did they have fun. They caught more then a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
Mean while Dave and his crew stood outside and managed to land 11 yes 11 elusive upper red lake crappies fishing in the rain. They also did real well on the walleye fishing with Kyle landing his first ever walleye.
Tuesday morning I was off to the dentist early then arrived back home to say good by to marty and shell. I was going crazy to get back on the lake and see what the conditions were like.
Closer to shore and most of the water has had drained down the cracks and holes. The biggest hole I have found so far   was where old minnesota was and is about 20 inches wide.
Driving out to Montana and Florida I stayed to the right of the road to conserve the road. I have a hard time driving by liter so a couple stops were made . I few wood blocks, a couple pop cans, a beer bottle. All and all not to bad as I have seen a lot worse over the years.
Buddy Hillmens bridge is in good shape.
Getting the skid houses over the pressure ridge is still possible and Buddy has started bringing some of his customers house's home as well as one or two of his own. He has a special way of towing them over and was nice enough to call me when they were in the process of bringing one across so I could observe there system compared to how I got old Minnesota and north Dakota across two weeks ago. Man did that way work well as I pulled  a old house from the past over with his system with no problems.
 Trying to bring north Dakota and old Minnesota back out may not be a option though .
Every year I chase the mother load of the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie but this year I may have to get montana and florida back over the pressure ridge rather then taking the whole fleet back out there. Common sense needs to prevail on this decision . I was planning on spending some quality time napping and fishing in old Minnesota but time and mother nature will tell how it pans out.
Jake and his crew are still planning on coming in march and I see no reason we will have any problems looking for the mother load as there's still plenty of ice out there.
Out where montana and florida are there's still some standing water but nothing like it was on Tuesday. With the cold temps coming back every thing should tighten back up in the next day or two.
I have a big crew with my son John coming today for the final weekend of game fish season. They have florida, montana and North Carolina plus the cabin.
I was in the process of hauling north Carolina out there yesterday when I remembered Jeff mentioned the ceiling fan was loose . I stopped to check it out and its hanging by one wire? For some reason I have 4 screw drivers in my tool box and not one of them is a phillip's so I had to leave the house where it was  un tell I can get out there this morning and secure it.
As The temps drop we should be in good shape for the final weekend. Buddy hillmens road withstood what mother nature had to offer .
The good news is the red baron is repaired. Its just 50 miles away and I will not be able to go pick it up un tell some time  tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well its been a interesting few days to say the least. The main thing were all the fishermen and customers were safe as well as the houses The standing water on the lake started to find more areas to drain causing a fishing frenzy for Marty and his wife shelly Monday night. The mother load swam right under marty and shell and boy did they have fun. They caught more then a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
Mean while Dave and his crew stood outside and managed to land 11 yes 11 elusive upper red lake crappies fishing in the rain. They also did real well on the walleye fishing with Kyle landing his first ever walleye.
Tuesday morning I was off to the dentist early then arrived back home to say good by to marty and shell. I was going crazy to get back on the lake and see what the conditions were like.
Closer to shore and most of the water has had drained down the cracks and holes. The biggest hole I have found so far   was where old minnesota was and is about 20 inches wide.
Driving out to Montana and Florida I stayed to the right of the road to conserve the road. I have a hard time driving by liter so a couple stops were made . I few wood blocks, a couple pop cans, a beer bottle. All and all not to bad as I have seen a lot worse over the years.
Buddy Hillmens bridge is in good shape.
Getting the skid houses over the pressure ridge is still possible and Buddy has started bringing some of his customers house's home as well as one or two of his own. He has a special way of towing them over and was nice enough to call me when they were in the process of bringing one across so I could observe there system compared to how I got old Minnesota and north Dakota across two weeks ago. Man did that way work well as I pulled  a old house from the past over with his system with no problems.
 Trying to bring north Dakota and old Minnesota back out may not be a option though .
Every year I chase the mother load of the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie but this year I may have to get montana and florida back over the pressure ridge rather then taking the whole fleet back out there. Common sense needs to prevail on this decision . I was planning on spending some quality time napping and fishing in old Minnesota but time and mother nature will tell how it pans out.
Jake and his crew are still planning on coming in march and I see no reason we will have any problems looking for the mother load as there's still plenty of ice out there.
Out where montana and florida are there's still some standing water but nothing like it was on Tuesday. With the cold temps coming back every thing should tighten back up in the next day or two.
I have a big crew with my son John coming today for the final weekend of game fish season. They have florida, montana and North Carolina plus the cabin.
I was in the process of hauling north Carolina out there yesterday when I remembered Jeff mentioned the ceiling fan was loose . I stopped to check it out and its hanging by one wire? For some reason I have 4 screw drivers in my tool box and not one of them is a phillip's so I had to leave the house where it was  un tell I can get out there this morning and secure it.
As The temps drop we should be in good shape for the final weekend. Buddy hillmens road withstood what mother nature had to offer .
The good news is the red baron is repaired. Its just 50 miles away and I will not be able to go pick it up un tell some time  tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well another game fish season has came to a end. The dnr will be having a meeting this week in Kellier to discuss the up and coming open water season.. I be leave our cabins are wide open with narly a date penciled in this summer including opener?
Grab a cup of java because this is going to be a long blog.
The first thing is what a great ending to another game fish season .
The biggest thing and this come from my heart is" Thank you" to all my new and repeat customers . With out all of you I would not be able to enjoy working on such a grand lake. When that old timer Dave shared that with me I was in Awe. "Its a grand lake and it owes me nothing, nothing was his quote and boy did that stick.
The walleye fishing this year could of been better. I'm all most to the point of calling them the elusive upper red lake walleye?
Just like every season for 14 years now we have had great fishing, good fishing and poor fishing. I guess its the luck of the draw when you come up. We caught a couple,, we caught some and we caught a few over the season. The fishermen have become a little more tight lip about there walleye catches over the last couple years. Its so funny when You ask a fishermen how they did. The ponder and say oh we got a few? I've always been like how many is a few? Its always well we got 18? To me a few is 3, a couple is two and some can be 1 or more.
The dnr will be releasing a summery of what's happening on the lake in the next upper red lake association news letter. If your interested in joining and becoming a member its 25 dollars a year or 50 if you want your business listed on there web site.
I have a few gripes I want to share also. Some you will have to read between the lines.
The first thing is Saturday night I was coming off of the lake on Hillmens highway. Buddy Hillmen is so dedicated to his road and there is no one prouder when it comes to maintaining a ice road.
As I was coming on to the landing a big wheel house turned off the highway. I new right away they did not pay 10 dollars and there's a sign right there that says 10 dollars. I rolled down my window and he was like wow I did not know where to pay. Where do you pay? He had no problem finding the access but did not see the lights on in the bar with a few vehicles there? Give me a break.
Kelly, Buddy Hillmens mechanic got 3 Thursday night pulling in. If you can not afford 10 dollars a day for your wheel house ? I personally think wheel houses should have to pay more?
I also had a few customers that tried to slide by this year and its very frustrating . The deal I have with buddy hillmen is I can use his access and in turn my customers have to pay 10 dollars a day. I'm on call 24 hours a day for any ice road work ,plowing, bridging, etc.
Over the years I have been accused of fishing where some one was going to go? fishing on some ones way points? Cutting someone off. Every year its something and again this year was no exception?
Any side roads I personally plow to my houses are always open. Do I want fishermen by my houses? Nope. My customers pay good money and I do not want them looking out the picture windows and seeing a wheel house 30 yards away. There is always plenty of room where I plow as I'm the rouge plower. I have no problem plowing out a driveway for a wheel house as it helps pay for my equipment as it takes a beating out there.
Its been a crazy season and its not over for me as I again chase the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. to be continued
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Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

day 2.
75 days on the lake and I'm still not ready to throw in the towel.
Jake and his crew will be coming again this year and he is pumped to chase the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.
Yesterday the hammer and I picked up the red baron so she/he is safely at home. I will attempt to put the v plow back on but since Barny redesigned it I have had trouble in the past putting it back on by my self.
Now for the last 6 days fishing report.
Mike and his crew rolled in Wednesday for there third trip of the season. I never got a g harmonica and Mike forgot his. Oh well always next year.  They managed to get a few fish with most being caught early morning and evening.
Thursday I spent a good part of the day prepping Montana, Florida ,and north Carolina for my son Johnny boy and the people he works with . I was hoping they would arrive before dark. as its a long drive out where they would be fishing.
I also had some issues at home as Our pressure pump had rusted out. David was kind enough to come over and help as I had called around and they charge 98 dollars a hour plus 50 cents a mile to come from Bemidji.
I came off the lake around 4 pm and jumped in helping David. un tell the crew arrived.
They started to trickle in and by 6 30 pm as it was  getting dark. 9 of them had arrived so we headed out for there fishing adventure. Driving blue thunder they followed me as it is close to a 30 minute drive. No sooner then I had them all checked in and Charlie and his family had arrived. There was no way I could give them directions so I headed home to escort them out. 1 hour later give or take a few minutes and I arrive back out there. There all ready having a grand time on a grand lake Joe, John and Sarha were in montana and had all ready caught a couple, 4 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. Joe ran over to florida to give the guys a couple tips and now they had some, 2. I checked Charlie into north Carolina ,walked back over to montana and Johnny says Dana and Dan our here and also want to come out.
 Back to shore I go but this time I'm done with blue thunder and take honey bunny/the hammers truck backout. I arrive out there and there still catching when Charlie comes over and says there up to a few, 7 with his 5 year old daughter getting 5 in a row.
Then Randy comes over. Him and Tammy are up to 9 catching them on plastics.
Man were they all having a blast. So again the magic of upper red lake happens and a dozen people get to see and  have the best fishing of there lives. I can see why David said it is a grand lake .
I said good night and rolled into bed just after midnight. Wow was that ever a long day.
Friday morning it was off to say good bye to Mike and his crew and move north Dakota on to fresh Ice for Don and his crews arrival. I also had to move old Minnesota and set up as Wayne ,The hammer and I had reserved it for the final weekend of game fish season. It took quite a bit of time trying to gather snow and in hindsight I should of just came to shore and piled some into the truck.
When Wayne is here boy to we have the yuks. He will sometimes give me some kind of advise and I will come back with hey this is not my first rodeo? Now he has commented that I may want a stool so I can see what's going on looking out of the barrel . So funny
Don and his crew arrived and had some lunch at westwind before met them on the ice. I got them checked in and headed home again to help our good friend david with the pressure tank. Wayne rolled in just about the time we got her buttoned up. Wayne and I headed out to fish in old Minnesota and have some more yuks. The hammer decided to stay home as it was all ready getting late. We managed to get two nice keepers while playing cards ,watching movies, etc..
Saturday morning I arranged to take a small wheel house out so I could let Don and his crew have a chance at a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. I also hooked up with the wife cousin Rob to point him in the right direction.
Rob took directions well and landed on the mother load. Him and Corey said they were like school boys as the laughed and giggled and caught and released one after the other of these world class trophy fish. Rob said they kept 11 with a couple for the wall.
Saturday eve the hammer and I headed out to visit and fish with our son. Johnny boy said it was much slower and no more then 3 minutes there the hammer had a 14 incher with my fishing rod, custom built from my good friend Jake when he worked at thorn brothers.
While the hammer fished and visited I made the rounds. North Carolina was still catching fish with Maddison the 5 year old landing two trophies back to back right before I walked in.
Don,Troy and Travis? had caught a couple, 4 with  a couple more lost at the hole.
We them headed back to Old Minnesota with Wayne to have steaks on the grill and more cards, fishing and again plenty of yuks.
Sunday morning I got out early as Wayne and I landed two more keeper walleyes and missed two fish working rattling raps dead sticking slick jigs.
Don and his crew headed home with 5 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies and a few walleyes.
Johnnny boy, Joe and Sarha took home 9 crappies and a couple walleyes.
Not sure how many Zak and Riely, Eric and Steph kept,
Charlie had a pale full and also had a couple his daughter caught that are going on the wall.
Randy and tammy did well,
Dana and Dan were staying in the cabin. I think Dana and Dan did get to catch at least one.
So wow what a ending to the game fish season. I warned you this would be a long one as this year I have been so crazy busy I have not been able to stay on top of my reports.

Funny story when we got back yesterday I went out on the lake towards evening .I planned on just taWell another game fish season has came to a end. The dnr will be having a meeting this week in Kellier to discuss the up and coming open water season.. I be leave our cabins are wide open with narly a date penciled in this summer including opener?
Grab a cup of java because this is going to be a long blog.
The first thing is what a great ending to another game fish season .
The biggest thing and this come from my heart is" Thank you" to all my new and repeat customers . With out all of you I would not be able to enjoy working on such a grand lake. When that old timer Dave shared that with me I was in Awe. "Its a grand lake and it owes me nothing, nothing was his quote and boy did that stick.
The walleye fishing this year could of been better. I'm all most to the point of calling them the elusive upper red lake walleye?
Just like every season for 14 years now we have had great fishing, good fishing and poor fishing. I guess its the luck of the draw when you come up. We caught a couple,, we caught some and we caught a few over the season. The fishermen have become a little more tight lip about there walleye catches over the last couple years. Its so funny when You ask a fishermen how they did. The ponder and say oh we got a few? I've always been like how many is a few? Its always well we got 18? To me a few is 3, a couple is two and some can be 1 or more.
The dnr will be releasing a summery of what's happening on the lake in the next upper red lake association news letter. If your interested in joining and becoming a member its 25 dollars a year or 50 if you want your business listed on there web site.
I have a few gripes I want to share also. Some you will have to read between the lines.
The first thing is Saturday night I was coming off of the lake on Hillmens highway. Buddy Hillmen is so dedicated to his road and there is no one prouder when it comes to maintaining a ice road.
As I was coming on to the landing a big wheel house turned off the highway. I new right away they did not pay 10 dollars and there's a sign right there that says 10 dollars. I rolled down my window and he was like wow I did not know where to pay. Where do you pay? He had no problem finding the access but did not see the lights on in the bar with a few vehicles there? Give me a break.
Kelly, Buddy Hillmens mechanic got 3 Thursday night pulling in. If you can not afford 10 dollars a day for your wheel house ? I personally think wheel houses should have to pay more?
I also had a few customers that tried to slide by this year and its very frustrating . The deal I have with buddy hillmen is I can use his access and in turn my customers have to pay 10 dollars a day. I'm on call 24 hours a day for any ice road work ,plowing, bridging, etc.
Over the years I have been accused of fishing where some one was going to go? fishing on some ones way points? Cutting someone off. Every year its something and again this year was no exception?
Any side roads I personally plow to my houses are always open. Do I want fishermen by my houses? Nope. My customers pay good money and I do not want them looking out the picture windows and seeing a wheel house 30 yards away. There is always plenty of room where I plow as I'm the rouge plower. I have no problem plowing out a driveway for a wheel house as it helps pay for my equipment as it takes a beating out there.
Its been a crazy season and its not over for me as I again chase the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. to be continuedking a quick look see . I ended up helping Buddy Hillmen as he wanted to move  the bridge a couple feet forward. As we worked my toes got colder and colder as I was out there in tennis shoes and as wayne says. this ain't your first rodeo, you might want to get a stool so you can see out of that barrel
.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well again plan A turned into plan B.
After a disappointing weekend looking for the mother load of the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies the plan was to move the fleet to the south east for Jake and his crew. Two days of 50 degree weather with winds had melted quite a bit of the snow and Sunday caused the pressure ridge to expand taking out the bridge in the process. 
I had scouted out a plan B escape route just incase of this situation. All the wheel houses had gotten over the bridge but one so I escorted him on a long journey to the south only to discover that the area I had been crossing was broken on both side with open water 30 yards wide 6 feet deep. Zoiks!!!
We headed back to the bridge while Jimbo followed the pressure ridge to the north looking for a place we could safely cross. I was defiantly a little worried having all the houses still out there.
Jim ended up driving all the way to the north shore where he found a place to drive across. We headed that way to take a look. After getting the last wheel house safely across we took a good look at what was happening and I felt that this area was not going to move and we would be all right keeping the houses out . I then headed out  and talked to a couple trucks that were still on the ice to let them know how to get off the lake.
As you followed the pressure ridge to the north it was quite the sight to see but it slowly fizzled out to just a crack with a little bump real close to the north shore where it fed into another ice heave that had expanded and runs along the north shore east and west. That also was very active..
Every where around the pressure ridges there was open water. Some areas the water was 8 feet deep with open water 20 feet from the pressure ridge. Now with the crazy winds and snow, plus the cold temps these areas may refreeze. I would say these spots are very dangerous to say the least.
Monday morning seeing the predicted weather forecast I made the decision we needed to come home.
Man that was the right call as the warm weather and winds sunday eve had melted and pushed gallons and gallons of water across the lake to the south east into the pressure ridge.All of the old roads were completely filled with standing water. I would say some areas the water had to be 14 to 16 inches deep. There were also areas that had to be 40 acers of water if not more.
We grinded away and slowly made our way back home with each house. There was one spot where a small stream of water was flowing under the ice heave.
The last trip out  I wanted to pull  Buddy hillmens bridge out of the water so it would not freeze. There was also another  bridge that needed to be pulled home so we would have to make the long journey around to retrieve that one. We decided we would go get Jimbo's house then come back on Hillmens road where we could collect stakes ,orange cones, liter etc.
Well again plan A turned into plan B. Here comes a Toyota truck with two guys. They want to know how to get to there wheel house  still on the lake.  The only option they had was to follows us. I could then escort them to the corner at 4 miles where they could drive up that old road . When we arrived at that corner it was a lake on a lake. I stayed there while they went to retrieve the house. After a bit I could tell they were having trouble and I headed over to help them. I quick jerk with blue thunder and we were on our way . Once we got back on Hillmen's road where it was running east and west there was not much water on the road as the berm to the south was holding it back.. Once we crossed the crack for the last time it was a huge relief as who knows what that wind and snow may have done out there.
As we were traveling towards shore the sky to the west was the most spectacular grey/ blue I have ever seen. Mother nature at her finest  My phone was dead so I could not try and capture it but Jimbo also noticed it. It only lasted a couple of minutes but I will always hold a vivid image of that in my mind. Again a spectacular sight on such a grand lake.
Monday evening and man did things change. The winds picked up, the temps dropped and it was a full blown blizzard out there all day Tuesday right into the evening and right into yesterday for a better part of the day. The 3 to 6 inches of snow never happened but what snow we did get is piled into the shore lines. There were a few locals  that live on the lake and had to be plowed out. Jana's daughter cars is completely buried as the snow came around there house and made the perfect drift. Marks wheeler was also buried. Our lake shore has some impressive drifts going through the woods.
Last weekends fishing report? There were a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies caught. My Two houses florida  with old friends Joe and Brian and montana  with Rick and Bobby were not so lucky. All though Bobby did loose one at the hole.
I heard of 30 caught but that was a group of 8 guys for 3 days, Randy and Tammy  had the kids up. Travis, Taylor and Heather. They managed to get 7 for 3 days  with one move. Another guy got two . A local set up about 50 yards from me to the north east and they got 4 Saturday night. His name was Bruce. Very nice guy. He has a cabin up here and plans on retiring here in a couple more years'
Well that's about it for now. I expect I will be taking a look around the next week or two but have no plans of chasing the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie unless I'm very confident that its safe.
 I know one thing as you do not want to get even any where close to any of those pressure ridges that rest of the year. There was also areas of standing water. The temps have glazed them over and when you break though them you are hung up with no way of digging out of ice chunks and knee deep water with out a tow.
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