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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two days of grinding and last night I was beat. Having a cold has not helped. I hit the sack at 8pm as Brian and Stacy in old Minnesota said he would gas up the generator. At this time both have been running well with there blankets.
Jake arrived Tuesday and got his cold weather gear on and hit the lake looking for the mother load. Brian and Stacy tagged along. Jake found a spot that they were marking fish and saw a walleye and spot tail shiners on a camera. That was good enough for me and I started digging North Dakota and Montana out of there holes . While Jake headed off looking for another area to ruin, I plowed into the spot and hustled to get north Dakota set up for Leroy and his crew. After getting them set up I was off to retrieve montana as they would be together for the up and coming weekend. I then headed over to north Carolina and got her out of its perch. My arms were like rubber by then chopping out all the frozen blocks and shoveling all the snow. Around 4 pm I was headed out to see Lonnie in his wheel house when I realized I had pool? I turned around made a quick stop to check on Leroy and his crew and headed home. Jake would check on them later in the eve and top off the generator for the night. The last I heard Leroy and his crew had 4 in the bucket. Tuesday was one of those days where you just soaked in the beauty of red lake .With the sun shining brightly all day you could see for miles on a crisp minus 2 day with no wind.
Yesterday morning heading out to meet Jake and it had done a complete flip flop, Cloudy ,snow flurries and a little wind it was a struggle to see with every thing so white. After checking in with Lonnie and his poor fishing report I was off to meet Jake and do some scouting with him to find a new area for old Minnesota, florida and north carolina . Oh Lonnie's buddy 30 yards away did real well. Figure that one out. The first area we tried had fish and I measured 15 inches of ice. I did not expect that and thought for sure I would see 18? We again marked fish that refused to bite. The second area we tried was a little closer to the main road and again marked fish with no bites? Very frustrating to say the least. Jake headed off to North Dakota to finish off the trim work and add a few more touches to the house while I headed off to old Minnesota to talk to Brian and Stacy and come up with my plan for the rest of the day. Stacy caught a 24 inch pike while I was having a cup of coffee with them so in my eyes the area is still a fishy area. Jake would be heading home with his 3 fish while Brian would become my helper as we moved old Minnesota to give them a fresh spot to fish last night. I also got florida set up on fresh ice. Then it was off to check out buddies road as Jake said it looked like buddy was expending further out. The road now goes out 6.3 miles with cones set up some where around 4 or 5 miles as the road heals from a couple cracks. I then talked to Buddy as a wheel house coming from the south busted through the berm to the south. He hit some slush and barely made it through. Again I can not stress this enough. If you want to fish north of Hillmens road pay the 10 dollars to use his road. Once it cracks under that snow which it is doing. It happens every year and this year is no different The berm will sink and it will become a 3 foot slush hole and you will be getting tugged out from the way you came from.
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Master Angler


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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two days of grinding and last night I was beat. Having a cold has not helped. I hit the sack at 8pm as Brian and Stacy in old Minnesota said he would gas up the generator. At this time both have been running well with there blankets.
Jake arrived Tuesday and got his cold weather gear on and hit the lake looking for the mother load. Brian and Stacy tagged along. Jake found a spot that they were marking fish and saw a walleye and spot tail shiners on a camera. That was good enough for me and I started digging North Dakota and Montana out of there holes . While Jake headed off looking for another area to ruin, I plowed into the spot and hustled to get north Dakota set up for Leroy and his crew. After getting them set up I was off to retrieve montana as they would be together for the up and coming weekend. I then headed over to north Carolina and got her out of its perch. My arms were like rubber by then chopping out all the frozen blocks and shoveling all the snow. Around 4 pm I was headed out to see Lonnie in his wheel house when I realized I had pool? I turned around made a quick stop to check on Leroy and his crew and headed home. Jake would check on them later in the eve and top off the generator for the night. The last I heard Leroy and his crew had 4 in the bucket. Tuesday was one of those days where you just soaked in the beauty of red lake .With the sun shining brightly all day you could see for miles on a crisp minus 2 day with no wind.
Yesterday morning heading out to meet Jake and it had done a complete flip flop, Cloudy ,snow flurries and a little wind it was a struggle to see with every thing so white. After checking in with Lonnie and his poor fishing report I was off to meet Jake and do some scouting with him to find a new area for old Minnesota, florida and north carolina . Oh Lonnie's buddy 30 yards away did real well. Figure that one out. The first area we tried had fish and I measured 15 inches of ice. I did not expect that and thought for sure I would see 18? We again marked fish that refused to bite. The second area we tried was a little closer to the main road and again marked fish with no bites? Very frustrating to say the least. Jake headed off to North Dakota to finish off the trim work and add a few more touches to the house while I headed off to old Minnesota to talk to Brian and Stacy and come up with my plan for the rest of the day. Stacy caught a 24 inch pike while I was having a cup of coffee with them so in my eyes the area is still a fishy area. Jake would be heading home with his 3 fish while Brian would become my helper as we moved old Minnesota to give them a fresh spot to fish last night. I also got florida set up on fresh ice. Then it was off to check out buddies road as Jake said it looked like buddy was expending further out. The road now goes out 6.3 miles with cones set up some where around 4 or 5 miles as the road heals from a couple cracks. I then talked to Buddy as a wheel house coming from the south busted through the berm to the south. He hit some slush and barely made it through. Again I can not stress this enough. If you want to fish north of Hillmens road pay the 10 dollars to use his road. Once it cracks under that snow which it is doing. It happens every year and this year is no different The berm will sink and it will become a 3 foot slush hole and you will be getting tugged out from the way you came from.



ozzie, gunner55, OLE77 and 1 other like this
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Master Angler


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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday was spent getting all the houses augured out for Bruce and his crew of 12 that were stopping by to fish from 1 to 5;30 pm. they would be fishing 4 of the 5 houses and this would give me a idea of how cooperative the fish would be? I hate to say it but it was not pretty. I always try and have the houses on fresh ice for the customers arriving on Fridays as they have made plans well in advance. If I'm in a fishy area it may only be a 50 yard move but its still clean and unfished. Its hard to say no when some one wants to fish Thursday and I thought what the heck it would tell me a lot. Bruce and his crew have done this before and it was not a issue. Every year is different .I was so upset about the out come of there fishing yesterday that I wanted to move the houses last night. I think its un safe and unwise to move houses and work out there at night especially with out a helper. Unless its a emergency . I have moved a house at night so it can be done but again I would rather be working in the day light. Montana and North Dakota will be moving this morning at the crack of dawn. Followed by old Minnesota and north Carolina with florida bringing up the rear. I not sure if I can get them all moved and 3 of the five augured and prepped but I'am about to give it the old collage try as both the areas I have the houses are not even worth ruining. There's a good chance a customer or two may have to wait if they show up before 2 . I guess that's why we have a 2pm check in to give me time to make moves. The other problem is this is going to be a bigger move so you loose a lot of time traveling and prepping the new areas. The good thing is I have a plan. I have done this before when I have had a turn over on a sunday so it can be done. The one good thing is all the houses were wiped down and prepped last night so that will save a little bit of time. I also like to tow the houses nice and slow . I have seen other outfitters flying down the road with houses in tow. I just can not do it. I would guess our houses are pressing 6000 lbs. If for some reason I have to come to a stop the house would smash into the truck as they do not stop on a dime. I have learned this the hard way and its not pretty. I smashed montana the second year we had it and had to use a handy man jack and 2x4s on the floor to push the wall and counter back into place. I also had the greek tow montana the first year when we were bringing the houses to shore. The greek hit the gas when he came up the landing, then hit the breaks and the house just kept on coming and smashed into the truck. The tire on the rear helped but not much.
I did have a couple wheel houses set up yesterday in new uncharted waters and they did well so that makes me feel better then going to a area with a lot of lookers and sniffers. It will be interesting to see how Randy and his buddy did last night. I hope they call me because I will be way to busy to stop in and talk to them. Same with Ken and his crew as they were also checking out a area for me to ruin. Looking at the weather forecast it looks like I will be working in all most ideal conditions. I will take a moment when the sunrises to soak it all in on such a grand lake that owes me nothing as that old timer Dave told me years ago. Should be a fun day wish me luck
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Master Angler


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

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday was spent getting all the houses augured out for Bruce and his crew of 12 that were stopping by to fish from 1 to 5;30 pm. they would be fishing 4 of the 5 houses and this would give me a idea of how cooperative the fish would be? I hate to say it but it was not pretty. I always try and have the houses on fresh ice for the customers arriving on Fridays as they have made plans well in advance. If I'm in a fishy area it may only be a 50 yard move but its still clean and unfished. Its hard to say no when some one wants to fish Thursday and I thought what the heck it would tell me a lot. Bruce and his crew have done this before and it was not a issue. Every year is different .I was so upset about the out come of there fishing yesterday that I wanted to move the houses last night. I think its un safe and unwise to move houses and work out there at night especially with out a helper. Unless its a emergency . I have moved a house at night so it can be done but again I would rather be working in the day light. Montana and North Dakota will be moving this morning at the crack of dawn. Followed by old Minnesota and north Carolina with florida bringing up the rear. I not sure if I can get them all moved and 3 of the five augured and prepped but I'am about to give it the old collage try as both the areas I have the houses are not even worth ruining. There's a good chance a customer or two may have to wait if they show up before 2 . I guess that's why we have a 2pm check in to give me time to make moves. The other problem is this is going to be a bigger move so you loose a lot of time traveling and prepping the new areas. The good thing is I have a plan. I have done this before when I have had a turn over on a sunday so it can be done. The one good thing is all the houses were wiped down and prepped last night so that will save a little bit of time. I also like to tow the houses nice and slow . I have seen other outfitters flying down the road with houses in tow. I just can not do it. I would guess our houses are pressing 6000 lbs. If for some reason I have to come to a stop the house would smash into the truck as they do not stop on a dime. I have learned this the hard way and its not pretty. I smashed montana the second year we had it and had to use a handy man jack and 2x4s on the floor to push the wall and counter back into place. I also had the greek tow montana the first year when we were bringing the houses to shore. The greek hit the gas when he came up the landing, then hit the breaks and the house just kept on coming and smashed into the truck. The tire on the rear helped but not much.
I did have a couple wheel houses set up yesterday in new uncharted waters and they did well so that makes me feel better then going to a area with a lot of lookers and sniffers. It will be interesting to see how Randy and his buddy did last night. I hope they call me because I will be way to busy to stop in and talk to them. Same with Ken and his crew as they were also checking out a area for me to ruin. Looking at the weather forecast it looks like I will be working in all most ideal conditions. I will take a moment when the sunrises to soak it all in on such a grand lake that owes me nothing as that old timer Dave told me years ago. Should be
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Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man oh man that was a lot of work. I did not sleep good Thursday night thinking about what I was going to do. It all worked out in the long run though. Nothing broken and no stitches just a lot of hard work. I got out on the lake at the crack of dawn as planned. I was surprised to see 3 wheel houses just behind the houses. Not that I care but one could of plugged right in to my generator he was so close. Imagine there surprise when they came out of there shack and north Dakota and Montana were gone. Both houses were taken up the road to the new area I would be ruining. I mean fishing. I then cut a new trail hooked up north Dakota and off I went. Don and his crew would be bringing there own generator so that meant I could cover a little more ice and spread out a bit more then usual. Once north Dakota was completely prepped holes augured ,house banked,etc I was off to do the same with montana. again same procedure . By then I had worked up a good sweat at it always amazes me that working in the cold you can sweat so much. Old Minnesota was next on the list. I had a completely different area picked for Minnesota. Glen and Sue had a group of friends from Minnesota outdoorsman with wheel houses that would be fishing by them. The area I picked Marlo had done well last week and Lonnie had one of two good nights Monday and Tuesday. Glen and Sue had to wait a bit as they arrived while I was still towing old Minnesota. In between these moves I had checked in Don and his crew in north Dakota and Doug and his crew in montana. After getting every one settled in it was off to get the things I left behind ,blocks that needed to be chiseled out of the ice, boxes for generator, gas can etc. By then blue thunder was running on fumes and pushing 4 pm I headed to shore . Florida and north Carolina would have to wait un tell Saturday which worked out fine as they were not arriving un tell Saturday. Saturday morning upper red lake showed a little of her ugly side as the wind was howling out of the south, I got a call from Glen around 5am the new generator had stopped running EEERRR. I quick trip out there in my tennis shoe was not the best idea as I took the bravado. Luckily I was able to power though the drifts and deal with the generator issue. Not quite sure what happen but oil was good and she fired right back up. With snow drifting across the berm I would be plowing while I attempted moving florida and north Carolina to new fishing grounds. Plus old minnesota's spot was a strike out and I promised Glen I would also move them to better fishing once the other two houses were set up. My good friend Randy who was out fishing with his family was nice enough to come help me move old Minnesota and prep florida . and north caroilina. Thanks buddy. All that worked payed off and all the houses started catching a few fish Friday evening. Making the rounds Friday night I was able to swing in to Randy's shack and play a game of cribbage with him and Chuck. They had got the 6 in the area I had sent them and had moved to a new location looking for better fishing. My new friends Tim ,lance and kimmy also had good fishing when I stopped in to see them. We are all going to go to church this morning as I ask david if he would play his saw fro them. It sure was nice seeing all the houses catching a few fish again as last weekend was brutal to say the least. I have a nice break coming this week with only one house rented starting Monday to Dave and Sarah . Bob and his crew are here another day in florida and from the looks of it I will not have to offer them a new location. This has been a crazy 72 hours and I hope to watch a little of the Denver game today. Well its time to hit the lake .I want to top off the generators and catch the sunrise on such a grand lake.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I have been a busy little beaver. Not sure where Monday and Tuesday even went. Monday morning I headed out to say good by to Bob and his crew in florida. They did all right fishing wise but sure did not pound them by any means. I then started cleaning up the road system I have created as I went from house to house cleaning and prepping for there next moves. Monatana needed to be put on fresh ice for Dave and sarahs arrival later in the day. They have been coming for years and Dave use to work at market barbeque in mpls. My favorite. He jumped ship a year or two ago and now works at rudolfs barbeque. quite a few years ago they arrived during a blizzard and the road system out of westwind was closed so the greek and I took them out to montana with all there gear on sleds. They hunkered down for two days of wicked weather. When the storm cleared it took the greek and I half a day to plow out to them. All the snow and wind had created giant drifts 4 to 5 feet high around all the houses. The weight of the snow had flooded all the houses. After the storm the temps dropped like a rock and froze all my houses into the lake. Man was that some hard work as the greek and I chiseled out every house. If I remember right it took us 3 or 4 days to get them all moved. Idaho at the time are heaviest house 8700 pounds was the toughest to move and we had to hook up the red baron pulling blue thunder pulling the house as it had sunk into a big bowl. All the houses had the heat on and holes augured during the storm and was part of the reason they flooded so bad. Tough lesson to learn that's for sure. dave called Monday eve on the way up this week and the roads were so bad they spent the night in deer river and did not arrive un till yesterday. To my great surprise they brought me market barbeque. How sweet was that . Kellie, Marty and I had a meal fit for a king last night. thanks again dave and sarah it was delicious. We also had some high winds Monday into Monday night and yesterday morning there was some drifting on the berm on buddy hillmens road. Heading out onto the lake with blue thunder yesterday I dropped the plow and pushed the drifts to the south. Buddy's berm has started to flood and crack with the weight of the snow and if you want to fish north of Hillmens road I would highly suggest you spend the 10 dollars to access the lake from hillmens. Going through that berm is a super bad idea. Once I plowed to the end of the road to the orange cones I headed back to meet marty and we had a glorious day working on the lake. It was a little breezy and chilly but not bad. We worked like a well oiled machine and moved florida, north dakoata and old minnesota all together for Tony and his crew that arrive Friday . We then moved north carolina up by montana as Brett and his crew arrive Thursday. All the house are ready to be augured tomorrow morning. Coming off the lake I again dropped the plow and pushed more snow to the south. There were many spots where the water is oozing out onto the road as the berm slowly sinks and floods. Today the hammer and I need to make a trip to bemidji to get my stitches out of my hand and pick up much needed supply's including new plow lites for the red baron as they got destroyed last year.



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trying to beat mother nature at her own game. Knowing we had some high wind predicted for Wednesday marty and I busted butt Tuesday moving all the houses into position for the up and coming weekend. Time ,gas, and where and tare on blue thunder as I tried to make sure the plowed road into the area we are fishing was nice smooth ice with the berms all to the south. The generator box for north Dakota, florida and old Minnesota would be set up when Dave and Connie arrived Wednesday. Any object on the lake would be getting some drifting and I tried to plan for that with a nice wide trail/ice road.
I knew the wind was howling out of the south and I expected some snow to be drifting across Buddy Hillmens plowed road but most just sliding across the smooth ice heading north. With the plow down I clipped the edges of the snow drifts and let the wind take it away. Arriving at our turn and darn even with all the snow built up on the east side and nearly none on the west side the snow was still building up . Oh well so much for that plan. Every ware you disturbed the snow the rest of the day was going to catch more snow. We headed down the trail to augur out a couple holes in florida so marty could relax and fish while kellie and I were in Bemidji. We set up the generator box and extension cords and powered up all three house's. I plowed away the major drifts around the three houses pushing all the snow to the east of the houses. I checked on dave and sarah in montana and marked th etrail with tree branches to prepare for whiteout condition. Heading to shore around 12;30 to meet Coonie and Dave from Ill. and that crazy mother nature had done a complete flip flop and was now howling out of the north west? Didn't see that coming. Now all that snow that had been swept to the north was coming back in force across the road the other way. Plus now it started to snow and it was a wet heavey snow to boot. I again dropped the straight blade on blue thunder and clipped the edges of the drifts to let mother nature carry the snow to the south. The berm has now collected quite a bit of snow. Busting through that berm is no longer a option and any fishermen that tries will be getting towed from the same way the came from or doing a lot of digging so bring a number two shovel if you decide to save 10 dollars to access the north side. I greeted Dave and Connie at Hillmens where they got there pass for 4 days and bait. Heading back out to old minnesota and the wind and snow were starting to create white out conditions just like I expected. After checking them in and going over a few rules I stopped to check in on dave and sarah and told them I would be gone the rest of the day and marty would be fishing in florida if any thing came up while I was gone. I was a little concerned or should I say a lot as Marty would be heading back out in the worst of it after he gathered his gear and I don't think he has experienced what mother nature had in order. I did have him call me when he arrived and just as I again expected it was a eye opener for Marty.
Arriving back home around 8 pm I headed out to check on every one and see if marty caught a couple fish. first stop was at Montana where the fishing report was not what I expected. Slow with only a couple big perch and one walleye caught. Sarah said when the wind would lighten up they would get a couple nibbles through out the day. I was excited to see how Connie and Dave were doing in old Minnesota as I expected they would have a couple fresh walleyes on the ice. To my surprise they had only landed one little scuffit walleye and lost one on a rattle wheel that broke the line. They also had caught one nice perch and had a few nibbles through out the day. Oh well I guess if we catch them all there will not be any left. I then went over to check on Marty and see how he did. He had the best action and had two nice keepers and yes. One elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. He told me the bite was so very light that if the line moved across the hole you tried to set the hook as they were not even pulling the rattle wheel line down. Marty does not use any electronics as he is kinda old school like me. All though I do use a vexlar when the hammer is not fishing with me. Oh forgot to mention the new generator stopped running for no apparent reason again and I call will be made To acme in Bemidji and a little bithing will be in order as I again demand a new unit as that piece is a lemon as far as I'm concerned. They can not blame the cold as it was above 32 degrees. Buddy's road was in pretty good shape but the red baron will be hitting the lake this morning to give the newly re built v-plow a good work out and a taste of what she was built for. Brett and his crew roll inn around 10am today.
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