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November 30th 2017 here we go

 
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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1989
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: November 30th 2017 here we go Reply with quote

Not even sure where to start? As quite a few fishermen may know we had a tragedy here on upper red lake this past weekend. A young couple Zeth and Melissa lost there lifes doing what it looked like they loved to do from pictures and comments I have seen and heard of the couple.
I’m a little different then most guys and I can become a little more emotional then others and I will flat out say I have shed a few tears and am choking up right now as it breaks my heart. I have read a couple of post out loud to the hammer My wife and can not get them out with out tearing up..
Facebooks Ice Fishing Minnesota has a post where you can post a fishing picture in there honor. what a beautiful tribute in my opinion.
It turns out that Zeth was from Stacy Minnesota. My wife’s sister shell chick lives in Stacy. I raised our family in Wyoming Minnesota just down the road from there. My helper from years ago Tony had played softball with Zeth as a team mate and against him. Mark works with his dad. Renea son was best friends with him, Bob’s daughter’s boyfriend was a friend . Paul had just talked to him. Its such a small world sometimes.
Melissa brother posted a story about spotting a couple dark objects on the lake that led him to the recovery site. The dark spot were two eagles, When we had my grandma Olga’s funeral here in waskish there were eagles flying over the church.
The hammer does not want me going on the lake at this time, I feel very confident to venture out but just like every year I stay back un tell I can drive blue thunder on the ice. Once I’m on the lake I could possible be out there close to 100 days in a row so I’m never in that big of a hurry ,plus my mentor, cousin Pete who has lived here all his life and was best friends with my dad has always said slow and patient, don’t be in a hurry, that how things get broken. By the way my father died in a car accident heading home from waskish in 1978. I never got to here all the stories he had of his stomping grounds up here as a teenager. I can only imagine as he was a daredevil as he raced figure 8s in Colorado when I was a kid. I know they use to water ski up and down the tamarac river and try and sling shot each other into the reeds. I have also heard a few car stories but will not share as I do not want to give any one any ideas.
I had a close call or two on this lake . When I was 6 I was on the lake with my cousin Stan and my sister when we ran out of gas and a storm blew in. We lost both oars and were at the mercy of the wind and the waves. We had no clue we were in danger un tell a rescue boat retrieved us.
Mother nature can be extra wicked up here as I have blogged over the years as well as summer,
I try and request a prayer every year in church that all the fishermen and workers on the lake have a safe season. Do to the circumstances of what happen I would rather not share any fishing reports for a few days. I’m not even sure how I’m going to feel when I do get on the lake. As Dave the old timer told me ITS A GRAND LAKE AND IT OWES ME NOTHING NOTHING
May you rest in peace Zeth and Mellisa, and I’m so so sorry
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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1989
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:53 am    Post subject: nov 2nd 2017 Reply with quote

Here at my place I'm making progress for the up and coming ice fishing season. Slow and steady. The fleet keeps getting bigger .We now have the red baron running great "Knock on wood" all though it does need a couple parts. He does not go on the lake right away so were good for now.

Blue thunder went from what I assumed was a little job to remove and replacing the whole front differential, We were able to remove a different one from the original blue thunder 1. Blue thunder 1 was a heavy duty 3/4 ton and even though we thought it was the same one major part was different. The steering arm was shaped just a little different . It took 5 saw blades and a small tank of acetylene to remove it. Then we realized the u-joint was shot so that had to be replaced and the left axle had to come out. He is all put back together now . I also picked up a new set of rear shocks to match the new front ones. Looks like there will be some more torching to remove them, but that's to be expected when your dealing with a 33 year old truck.
The new edition is another chevy we nick named White lightning aka Cheyanne. He is a she and needs a new radiator . Then once she is on the road we will deal with any other issues that may arrive.
The old dodge prospector is in the woods for now .It may be time to say goodbye but will see.
There may also be a runner vehicle in the future but we will know more later on.
We did have a couple cancelation for this weekend due to the tragedy last week which I completely understand as no ice is completely safe. Buddy Hillmen has been on the ice every day since she locked up and has traveled around quite a bit watching and keeping notes of any thing that may concern him. He has his road staked out to about 3 miles where he does not recommend any one traveling past the pressure ridge that formed. It heads to the north where it turns and heads west north west. I did venture out on the ice yesterday just to check where I would like to start the season and found 12 inches with a little less the further you go west where I never found any ice under 10. I also talk to a few fishermen and they were catching a couple that's slang for more then two .
Mike and his crew had a few, again slang for over 3.
The other Mike in the cabin with his two buddies did not fair as well and got a honest few 3.
The to do list has been shrinking as we get closer to hauling the houses out of the woods. A little snow would help that progress but good old mother nature will make that decision unless I have to do a snow dance and I sure do not want a lot of snow so it may have to be a modified slow snow dance. Its 25 here this morning so that's good.
Buddy is allowing wheelers, sleds, side by side off his access and asking not to venture past the pressure ridge at about 3 miles. Please remember to use common sense if your coming up.
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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1989
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well yesterday was a very busy and productive day to say the least. All our guest caught a few fish through out the day and came off the lake just after or before sunset to be on the safer side.. everyone reported 10 to 12 inches of ice. on our end of the lake. Buddy Hillmen was planning on letting single axel wheel house 16 feet and under out with wheelers. There phone number is 218 647 8504.
Its so nice to have close friends. Chris came up and we went for a walk in the woods hoping to spook up a grouse and also look for a flu flu arrow I lost when I missed a grouse this fall. We did see one bird but he was out of range. when we got back Chris was kind enough to help me button up old Minnesota's project.
The guys in the cabin struggled finding fish, but yesterday stumbled onto the mother load and I was able to visit them and have a couple pieces of fresh fish last night.
Deb and Jim are coming up to give it a shot today while everyone else here will be packing up this morning.
I was hoping to make it to church for advent but saying goodbye too our guest may throw off the timing.
Today I need to spend the time picking up any thing on the ground lying around as snow is predicted starting Monday afternoon.
I would also like to take chris to my honey hole for grouse as it was huge for him to take the time to help me yesterday.
The vexlars are charged and tonight the rods and reels will be prepped for the up and coming ice season.
All the vehicles are starting and will see what this cold does to them. They still have a few small issue but they always do. I'm going to do a no snow, snow dance today and tomorrow but not sure if its going to work. Mother nature is getting ready to show her nasty side with snow and high winds out of the north then nw.
Well its getting lite and I have ton of things to do. I can not empathize enough if your fishing on upper red lake please use common sense , Talk to the resort before you go on the lake. Be safe and have a buddy fishing with you. There's plenty of good fishing with in the first mile or two. We have all season to work our way out further as the season progresses.
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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1989
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My no snow slow snow dance started off as rain? Guess I made a mistake and did a rain dance. Cleaning off the trucks last night I would say we got 3 inches far less then they predicted 9 to 11. The winds picked up last night and are howling right now. The snow was wet and heavy to start so I'm hoping its not blow in my landing to bad.
Barny from Kellier is coming up today to do a little welding for us before we pull the house's off the shore line. Montana needs a hook re welded and the metal grade step repaired, Florida also need some work on the step.
I got the radiator ordered for white Lightning aka Cheyanne. I'm hoping it arrives before Saturday and I can get Devon to install it while there here. We also have a lite bar for blue thunder that Devon gave me this summer. I noticed the wipers quit working on the red baron and we will have to check that out as there kinda important out there on the lake.
Josh from Annandale is running a snowbear out there this year. He has a helper Travis that was out there yesterday guiding some customers. I talk to him briefly before the rain and snow started and he landed a 16 incher while I was talking to him, kinda curious how he did after that.
I expect quite a few rentals will be working there way out on the lake starting Wednesday, my plans are to check my area one more time before I make the move onto the lake. I'm hoping to find 14 inches of ice the whole route so will see how that goes.
I'm sure Buddy Hillmen will start dragging his road this morning if there's good visibility. He like to get that snow off asap to make the ice thicker on the road. Plus with a good wind a lot of it catches the air and its much less plowing.
I know I have said it many times but it is one heck of a road and he takes a tremendous amount of pride in building it. Its a lot of work, a lot of ware and tare on the trucks, but I also enjoy being part of his operation.
Crazy but I have heard and saw pics of a few. " More then 3" elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies this year. Deb and Jim did not fair to well sunday fishing. I think it was there first time on red lake. They did manage to get two in the time they fished and also missed a couple. They came off the lake before dark to be on the safe side.
If you decide to come fish upper red lake in the near future please check in with the access resorts. With the snow cover they will have information Of any areas to avoid since they have all been checking condition daily. Remember common sense and if it does not look right it is probably not. Do not try and go to saved waypoints un tell we have weeks of ice making temps. Its just a fish. There's plenty of fishable ice that's average 10 inches. And the last Thing is remember as the old timer Dave told me" ITS A GRAND LAKE AND IT OWES US NOTHING!, NOTHING!
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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 1989
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow was I pooped last night. Here I thought buddy hillmen would be dragging the road. I headed down to the lake after the big blow Wednesday morning to find like always 3 to 4 feet of snow in our yard. Mean while Hank next door to us to the north, you could drive a car off there landing? WTf .To funny it must just make the perfect whirlpool. After spending a hour clearing our yard I headed over to hillmens to do the same thing. Buddy hillmen showed up with the drag and headed out while I worked on the landing. After he made two trips out he left and came back with his brown ford straight blade and we finished up the landing. then just like that we were making the super highway,pushing all the snow to the south. Jst as it was getting dark I headed to North country food and fuel to check the fluids and get gas. The right back out for another hour as we buttoned it up. Over a mile of the super highway done. Blue thunder got a work out , other then one wiper broken and one headlight burned out she came threw with flying colors, gotta love that truck.
Yesterday was another busy day as everything on the list for Wednesday now had to be done yesterday plus getting all 6 houses out of the woods and on to the lake to kick off the 2017 2018 season. I had dropped the ball on sunday and forgot too gather all the extension cords out of the woods . Luckily I had pulled them out of all the summer growth so it was just a mater of pulling them out of 4 foot drifts as they were not tangled in the underbrush, still a chore though.
Each house had to be secured, then broken loose before they could be tugged out of there resting places. Again blue thunder preformed flawlessly. Man I love that truck.lol. One by one I towed them out to the fishing grounds, 6 houses in all are now positioned on the north side of hillmens highway with 4 ready to block, bank and auger for todays first crews. Did I say I was pooped? Came in the house last night well after dark worn out. I need a second wind all ready and I have only been on the lake 2 days OH! OH! There was know 3 course meal last night it was a frozen pizza ,hot shower, a couple phone calls" more then 2" and bed by 930.
Day 3 on the lake begins with gathering any blocks left down at the lake before the next snow fall. 3 propane's and gathering all the extension cords. Then Its time to prep as 24 holes have to be augered before 2pm. I'll just plug away and remember what That old timer Dave told me "ITS A GRAND LAKE AND IT OWES ME NOTHING NOTHING!
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