dec 18th 2017

Well well where to begin? The good night bite we had last weekend just disappeared as the traffic arrived on the shores of upper red lake. All our houses were moved 100 to 200 yards west to a few inches of deeper water .Lets juat say that did not pay off , in hindsight I should of stayed around old Minnesota depths and maybe went the other direction.
Jerry ,Bob and Zack arrived Thursday eve and did not fair to well the first night. They managed a true couple with a rattle wheel or two but sure was not what I expected.
Friday was again a busy day as I did final prep work and augured holes. Wayne arrived early for old Minnesota and missed one fish around 3 pm. That night we spent the evening hanging out and playing some cards with not a single nibble.
Larry arrived alone for montana as his other guy bailed on him. I’m not sure how all the house’s caught over 40 fish, not counting misses to next to nothing. I have a idea but will just keep that one to my self.
Saturday after a little recon and scouting a area, I had to make the decision to start the fleet out to deeper water. Old Minnesota was the first to move, in between I had to augur holes for Kevin and arrons arrivalin florida and prep north Carolina,for Bobs arrival .
Once old Minnesota was banked and augured I headed back to moved north Dakota, Larry came over and gave a helping hand as I would be moving montana also. plus I checked in Kevin and Arron into florida where they watched out the picture window as the whole fleet was leaving them for better waters. Oh! Oh!
After taking care of north Dakota I headed back to retrieve montana and was feeling the work load, the back is getting older every year. Larry chiseled out the blocks after I pulled out and followed me. Once Montana was blocked, banked, augured it was closing in on 4 pm and I was spent. About 4:30 the phone rings and Its Kevin in florida and he wants to know if I’m coming back to move them as they have not got a bite and they have been fishing on a new spot for 4 hours. Plus I had told them how the fishing had been the last 24 hours. I explained that my back was done and I do not move houses in the dark in less its a emergency. After a couple phone calls I could not find any one with a open house so I walked over to talk with Larry in Montana and ask if he would like some company for the evening as he had met them when he was waiting for me to come back and get his house. Larry has rented from me quite a few times and he had no problem helping me out, so every thing was set in motion as I went to escort them out to the house. Wow what a day.
The rest of the evening was spent playing cards with the hammer and our good friend Wayne catching a couple fish and missing a few fish with plenty of laughs to make us all a little younger. Chris stooped by to say hello, as well as gravy a previous customer and Travis the new kid on the block.
Around 9;30 pm I had to escort Kevin and Arron back to florida where I hoped they would get a few more fish like last weekend. Then it was back to old Minnesota to finish up our card game and head home to bed.
The fishing results, 8 for north Dakota, 7 for Minnesota, and 8 for montana plus numerous misses from all the houses.
Yesterday was again busy as I said goodbye to all, then prepped north Dakota for Craig and his family. I also got all 3 houses ready as we started putting new carpet in florida, montana and old Minnesota on the ice.
Lets just say the weekend was a grind, I loved all most every minute of it and after supper last night I was out like a baby at 7:35 pm. dreaming of such a grand lake that, as that old timer Dave Told me. “Its a Grand Lake” A Grand Lake” and it owes me Nothing! Nothing!

Dec 15th 2017

Here’s the scoop, Buddy Hillmen is now allowing 1/2 ton trucks with single axle wheel houses..
Also any size wheel house pulled by wheeler or side by side.
Drive slow there’s a bridge plate about a mile out. Do not try and cross berm to the south of road. I have all ready seen a couple tracks where they did not make it through.
be safe use commom sense and enjoy such a grand lake.
On a side note. Last weekend a small fish house was set up about 200 yards from me. Sunday I was driving by and noticed a plastic bag so I stopped to pick it up. It was pushed down into the augured hole and turned out to be a bag of poop. From now on I will be taking random pics of wheel houses and if I find that kind of crap again I will be reporting to dnr and expect a possible ticket in the mail.

dec. 14th 2017

Mother nature is all ready taking its toll on my equipment, Plowing, plowing, plowing. 2 plow lites,3 wiper blades, small radiator leak that I need to keep a eye on, 3 bolts on plow that need to be replaced asap. I will have to limp blue thunder for a couple days un tell they can be addressed. I was able to tighten two of the 4 bolts but I Imagine they will come loose rather quickly. Blue thunder is my work horse , I like banking my house’s, un banking them with out blue thunder is quite the chore.
Buddy Hillmen’s road is now in great shape. The berm did collapse as I anticipated so if you decide to cross it good luck. I saw where two vehicle’s have all ready been pulled out.
I can not say what Hillmen’s are allowing out at this time so you would need to call the store. 218 647 8504.
Yesterday more time was spent cleaning up the main road which goes out around 3 miles. Buddy Hillmen had about twenty stakes across the road shaped as x’s. You would think that means do not go further? There were at least 5 houses beyond that area so Buddy just shook his head.
Snowbead Josh says he has been doing really well with his guiding operation.
My guys in florida. Rob and Dave only managed 3 keepers. They went in for dinner at prime time, dusk, the bewitching hour Tuesday night. Wednesday they awoke with all there lines tangled. I guess they did not hear the rattle wheels, Boar had said Saturday night at midnight he caught 6 fish, then had another run around 4 30 am.
Between plowing yesterday I was able to dig out and move montana and North Dakota. Old Minnesota will be moved today . Florida will need to be cleaned and vacuumed. Vacuuming the houses never get old. I just get a kick that I’m vacuuming a fish house. Then florida will also need to be moved again before the weekend. I have no idea if I can keep up this pace. I need mother nature to settle down a bit that’s for sure.
Jake and his crew arrived last night late in the cabin so I’m not sure where there going to fish.
Most of my phone calls as of late have been about ice conditions, Buddy hillmens road is in great shape, any where to the north seems to be pretty safe as we never had all the open water. My houses are sitting on 18 inches of ice and last I heard a mile or two out was pushing 14.
Be safe ,use common sense, keep the speed down on the ice road, and stay away from the berm to the south. The lake does have some snow with bare spots here and there. Watch for old spots where houses have been, that’s where there’s going to be lots of snow from the drifting. Have a grand time on a grand lake. As Dave the old timer told me when I took him fishing years ago. “ITS A GRAND LAKE AND IT OWES ME NOTHING! NOTHING!

Dec 12th 2017

brrrr making more ice -1 here in waskish this morning.
Today will be day 6 working on the lake, Yesterday was the second day spent plowing most of the day which is never in the plans, Mother nature always rules here and always will. What I thought was 1 inch of snow was closer to 3 and with the winds again howling out of the nw it was pretty much impossible to maintain the ice road. The first mile was in good shape when I came off the lake last night but there all most 2 more miles that will need to be cleared.
We pushed a lot of snow to the south that first mile so I expect that berm to collapse and sink soon? After that do not try and cross it ,I have way to much to do this winter to pull trucks out .
Now there talking some high winds tomorrow after a front comes threw so if your going on the lake hold on to your hats.
Not much for a fishing report today snowbear Johse’s customers were getting a couple I guess. I have a crew coming in today so I have some prep work to knock out right away before blue thunder gets another full day workout. Devon and Ashly our granddaughter installed I lite bar they gave me before they left and did that come in handy as blue thunder lost its other head lite yesterday. Thanks Devon and Ashly.
Right now the plans are to plug away and get all the houses moved and reset by Thursday so I can auger all the holes Friday morning so we will see how that pans out.
I’ll know more today of what Buddy Hillmen’s plans on letting on the lake, but it sounds like Rodgers will be letting 1/2 tons out by this weekend. I usually start at 9 but today its 7am instead

Dec 11th 2017

Wow day 6 coming up of having the potential of being on the lake for a 102 days in a row. “ZOIKS”
I thought it was interesting to see I have been blogging for over 14 years on some fishing sights.
here goes it was a great start to the 2017 2018 season. Getting things prepped on Friday was a grind to say the least. I think I got on the lake at 9 am and when Ashly our granddaughter and Devon her guy plus our great grandson Bently, 9 months old this past weekend, It was 11pm.
It has become official as Saturday bently set on his dads lap holding a fishing rod and jigging. 7 generations have wet a line on such a grand lake. I find that amazing. Grandpa Norman homesteaded here, They had Grama Olga who was raised on the Tamarac river with her brothers and sisters jalmer drowned up by moose bank. My dad and his brother and sister ran the streets of waskish, I fished the lake when I was 6, Our kids came up her since they were babies. Our daughter kids same thing. Matty being born up here, well bemidji now Liam and bently coming here. I guess it paid off and the kids were the last ones to check in and did the best of all 4 houses. We could not figure out if they could have a limit for bently so they went home with 8.
Jamie and Dustin were in montana, the closest house to shore. They only landed 5 walleyes and two smaller pike, plus all the swings and a miss. The ice was a 17 inches where the house is. They stop flooding around 19 so that will be sweet. You can get away with out blocking them after 20 inches but you need to keep a good eye on them as if you get some big drift s from snow they will freeze in.
Jeff and Beth were in florida for one night, There friends with my friend Jeff aka boar and his wife Lorie they were in north Dakota for the weekend. They hung out in florida tell late into the evening/morning and only caught a couple fish. Boar said I had his house in 5 feet of water? I showed him it was 7’11” They did real good Saturday night in North Dakota. I’m not even sure how many they caught other then the rattle wheels kept them entertained and they took home 8 fish.
Saturday I would be fishing with Scott who lives in florida in our florida fish house. He was in mpls for work. He was opening up a new dunken dounuts. If I would of know I would of had him bring be a bakers dozen.
He had never ice fished, we got two rattle wheels set up and a vexlar, where we fished and visited from sunset tell about 8pm with a very slow bite . Scott did get to catch two keepers walleyes. So he was pleased that it was a catching trip and not a fishing trip. He spent the night on the lake. I came home and fried up his catch then brought him some fresh walleye as he had never tasted them.
Yesterday I headed out to move florida as that area has now been burned out. There were 5 pop ups just a little west of north Dakota. I talk to them briefly and they said it was slow but they were in the same spot Saturday and sunday ?
I timed it from when I stepped out the door and raised the step. It took me 40 minutes to dig out and move the house. So feasibly I could move 4 houses in 4 hours if everything clicks.
Buddy Hillmen’s highway is performing just like it was designed. We had a squall of snow Friday afternoon and it was minimum plowing even though we got a inch of snow coming down sideways with 30 miles a hour NW winds most of the evening.
Scott, Bob and Pete? were in the cabin and they almost lost the portable out there when that weather picked up. They did well Saturday and went right back to where they fished the first night.
We have one house rented tomorrow so at this time I have plenty of time to get re positioned for the next weekend.
We did get another inch of snow last night so there some snow to plow this morning. 3 miles I think of super highway. Buddy Hillmens still has plenty of opening for the 2017 2018 fish season 218 647 8504. There plans sounds like the double decker will go out after xmas

got a kick out of this

City: waskish
Remote Name: 209.191.208.74
Date: 03/11/2003
Time: 11:30:31 AM

Upper_Red_Lake

To all fishermen, If you spend 1/2 hour reading the past reports on here you should have all the knowledge you need to find those elusive crappies. Come and enjoy the lake , give every one plenty of room, Please bring your garbage home. Who ever left the 12 pack of empty bud cans I picked them up for you. Where do you think this garbage goes?I will tell you it ends up on the bottom of the lake or on shore so please take it home with you.This lake is pristine lets all keep it that way. THANKS COOKIE

Dec 8th 2017

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!

dec 7th 2017

so here’s the scoop, Buddy Hillmen and I started the super highway yesterday. We made about a mile of road with the berm to the south . Crossing the berm would be a bad idea. Hillmens is allowing any size wheel house out to less then a mile with wheelers or side by sides. Any other question you can call the store 218 647 8504.
He also has some open rental on the lake at this time.
I have a very busy day ahead as the fleet is coming out of the woods today,

dec 5th 2017

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!

December 4th 2017

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.