feb 28th 2017

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