feb 23rd 2017

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.

Feb 21 2017

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?

feb 16th 2017

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.

feb 13th 2017

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

feb 10th 2017

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.

feb 7th 2017

Not much of a fishing report today. Yesterday I spent most of the day plowing. Started at the gas station where the hammer works . North country food and fuel. Knocked out our driveway.
Then I headed over to Buddy Hillmen’s highway to cut the north edge with blue thunder. Got out to the bridge at 1.5 miles  and helped Buddy clear snow away from the area.
Then back home where I fired up the red baron and v plowed 5 hours. We cleared  the main road all the way to the end about 7 miles?
A few mishaps but nothing major. Lost the two tires, chained to the back of the red baron and with all the snow packed in them I could not even lift them. I spent a few minutes digging out all the snow and was able to prop one tire on my generator and then man handle them back on.
Hit a good bumped and knocked the v plow off its chain so I could not lift the plow  untell some one could hold the button while I pushed it back down. 
Pulled off the lake at 5 pm, gas upped, cleaned all the door jams of ice and snow with a hammer and parked the red baron.  I
Then headed back out to move north Dakota to its fishy spot where I banked it for Mike and his crew coming today. 
There all musicians so hope to play a little harmonica with them tonight or tomorrow.
Bobby and her crew come up tomorrow so florida and montana need to be moved and reset. Hoping for a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake  crappies.
Montana is still open for the weekend at this time? Not sure what happen there other then Feb 10th 11th is not a popular weekend for fishing.

feb 6th 2017

So here goes, very frustrating on such a grand lake. I love doing this and every year is different. This year no exception. I do every thing possible to have the houses on fresh fishy spots. I also spend maybe way to much time prepping the houses before the customers arrival . Then throw in mother nature and it becomes quite the grind.
Checking on everyone Friday night  and Saturday morning and I basically got down a  little bit  about finding the stupid fish. Its so frustrating .I expected montana with Eric and Alec to do real well as the spot was very fishy. I also had super high hopes for florida with Rollie and Kevin. I also expected great fishing for Wayne and I as it was a lot of extra work getting old Minnesota on the spot.
  Back in the crappie boom the saying was if your not breaking equipment your not on the spot. Augering the holes were a bear, banking the house was a bear, plus I needed the extension which of course was at home. I was really hoping and expecting  for the mother load of the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. If we landed on them I knew Wayne would only keep 1 or two.
I could not have a better friend to fish and hang out with as the hammer was in the cities. The laughing and yuks never stop when he is here and they always say laughter is the best medicine and I would have to agree, Man did we laugh.  We even laughed about the lack of fish. I did get Wayne 1 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie and 1 walleye. That was the whole take for 2 hard days of fishing out of old Minnesota.
  I managed to rent north Dakota to Mark, Collet,, Sharon and Al for Saturday night and they did go home with some fish.
Florida ended up doing really well during the day Saturday? Which totally made sense as It was also a hard place to set up. They did land a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie to boot.
Montana was 150 feet and caught enough for a good fish fry and went home sunday morning with no fish.
I also had a free night I had given away, They fished north Carolina and got there 6 so that felt good.
Another busy week is ahead as mother nature is ready to say “Take This’. Batten down the hatches its going to be a long week prepping. We have 4 fresh inches of snow this morning with high winds and more snow predicted. I’m going to head out and do a little no snow snow dance and also a no wind wind dance but I’m afraid its not going to help.

feb 3rd 2017

Wow where did the week go?  Mother nature sure can raise hel when she wants. My no wind  no snow dance never had a chance. Tuesday night  the winds picked up out of the north west and has not stopped since, throw in  dropping temps and it has been brutal out there.
Tim and his son in laws were able to have a big fish fry and even got to know Ole a bit. They were nice enough to share some of there fish fry with Ole and Greg. Ole sure appreciated that.
He is quite the character. He has been a trophy hunter  as long as I have known him 39 years.  He use to go up to low chasing pike in march as he wanted a 25 pound pike for his wall. Well he finally got that fish but he got it here years ago. When he landed it he threw it on the seat of his jeep and came off the lake to get it weighed. Who puts a 25 pound live fish in the passenger seat of your vehicle? Only Ole I think.
Another quick story about Ole, I was bow hunting years ago. I was walking out to my stand when a beautiful 10 pointer walked right in front of me. I never got a shot and he walked away. I told Ole about this deer when he arrived. It was a very dry year and I ask him where would that deer go to get water?  he did a little scouting and found  the spot he figured he would get him. It was about a mile from where I saw this deer. He set up a ground blind then paced off the distance he could see down the trail. Then he came back to town and went to the gravel pit where he shot a couple rounds just to make sure every thing was good. The next morning  with the temps close to zero he settled in to his ground blind. He looked at all his bullet’s and picked out the smoothest one. Two hours later he got him in one shot. He then confessed that the first night he saw a doe when he  had told me he did not see any thing that night. He said he new that buck would show himself. Totally impressed even though he got that deer I had been chasing for a couple years.
Any way back to the fishing and mother nature. I headed out Wednesday morning to say good bye and see how everyone did. Very slow. Tim did get a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie plus a couple more walleyes. Ole also ended up getting a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.
I set Van and his two buddies up in florida. I set Glens buddies up in old Minnesota they are from Oklahoma and drove 11 hundred miles to catch some fish. I was visiting Wednesday eve just before dark when Glen set the hook on the first fish. Yep another elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. Then the rattle wheel went off and glen said grab it. Swing and a miss as I lipped him darn paper mouths.
yesterday   I headed out to say good bye to van and they only landed 3 walleyes.
The guys from Oklahoma got one walleye and another elusive yet still catchable upper reed lake crappie. They wanted to know if I could move them. I explained that mother natures winds have been making a mess of things and if I moved them I would more the likely have to move old Minnesota again today so its on fresh ice for the weekend plus all my other houses need to be on fresh ice for today.  Busting butt , Joe said they would help so I prepped a new area back  a half mile and rickety split had them moved and set up in no time.
Then my helper Jimbo showed up and we proceeded to get Florida, Montana and north Dakota all on fresh ice in what I would say brutal conditions minus 8 with 15 to 20 miles an hour nw winds . It was only the second time this year I had to where a face mask out there while working.
  I come off the lake last night after spending 10 hours out there and get the phone call that Adam  he will not be coming for north Dakota this weekend. Ouch, Oh well!  Do I have a surprise for Jerry” allis Dakidd ” on Saturday, as I plan on bumping them in to north Dakota from north Carolina. I then plan on using north Carolina as a day house the rest of the season. Again plan a has changed to plan b
Buddy Hillmen’s highway is in great shape .We have plowed the crap out of it the last 3 days plus Buddy some how found time to add two more miles of road? I’m not sure how he does it as I was busy prepping houses for today. I would say there’s 12 miles or more of hillmens highway. I will be widening  it  everyday as I come and go off the lake, plus cleaning up all the drifting snow.
Remember the secret to upper red lake is distance from others and with all that open space out there you should have no problem finding your own private piece on such a grand lake

Stupid fish?
Well the snow  came and went. I would say we got about 5 inches of the white fluffy stuff.
Its been a busy few days for me but still enjoying the time I get to spend out there on as David  the old timer told me a Grand lake.
Tim ,Dan and Pete did not fair so well in north Dakota so the plan was to move them . As the snow was coming down with narly a wisp of wind I got to work. Since the area has been pretty fishy I would hop scotch around montana  to the north east. With every thing so white it was tough seeing as I pulled the house around the back side of montana where my good friend Ole and his to buddies Gale and Greg would be fishing. I pulled up to the spot I thought I prepped, Delete repeated word out, unhooked, blocked it up and started to bank it when I realized I was only about 100 feet from montana. OOPS!
Tim ,Dan and Pete did not fair so well in north Dakota so the plan was to move them . As the snow was coming down with nairly a wisp of wind I got to work. Since the area has been pretty fishy I would hop scotch around montana  to the north east. With every thing so white it was tough seeing as I pulled the house around the back side of montana where my good friend Ole and his to buddies Gale and Greg would be fishing. I pulled up to the spot I thought I prepped. I got out unhooked, blocked it up and started to bank it when I realized I was only about 100 feet from montana. OOPS!
Once I had them all moved in  The phone rang and Ole had arrived. I gave him direction out to the area and double checked to make sure montana was all ready. Its so funny when you give fishermen direction out onto the lake. It must be the excitement of arriving as a lot of them do not listen. After I gave Ole directions, he says meet you at the junction? I never said anything about a junction. To funny.
Any way it has been a tough bite since they arrived .Tim and his son inlaws were up to 7 fish yesterday and Ole and  his crew were up to 3 walleyes, 1 32 inch pike, 1 smaller pike and 1 very elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. 
There all leaving today and we have Glen arriving for florida and van and his two buddies will be fishing old Minnesota. 
Yesterday was a very long day as we reopened 10  miles of road. There’s still a little bit left but you could land a 747 on most of Buddy Hillmens highway. 
I talked to Marlow and his buddy. They found a hot spot and in two days between the two ice castle caught around 60 fish. 
Kim and Tim went home with there 6 and figured they caught 20 with some misses.
Looking at the calendar and florida and montana are open the 10th and 11th at this time. Time to hit the lake, hoping the winds to not blow to hard. I may have to do the no wind. no snow snow dance

A rare occurrence as we saw the sun this weekend. Seems it was cloudy for at least 10 days so it was nice getting to see a classic upper red lake sunset.
Friday morning  heading out all rested, ready for another day on such a grand lake.  Just like always I had plenty to do but would not be battling mother nature. A quick check with Andy, Andy and Blake and they had some action and had 8 in there fish bag.
John and Mike in north Carolina did not fair as well and only had 3. They did find Johns cousin . Turns out they had rented from alpine and were not involved in the icog get together out of Rodgers.
I banged out florida as Sam would be arriving  around 10 am. Then off to north Dakota to prep.. I decided to leave it after only being fished less the 20 hours for Early and his crew Darrel ,Tom and Jason. Again the timing was perfect as they arrived just as I button it up. I explained that Dave and his wife and dad had some decent action and depending how they did we would move them Saturday if need be.
I  then went  over to old Minnesota on its new spot. I dilly dallied, cleaning, prepping and auguring for there arrival at 2. Again the phone rang just as I was finishing up. I gave Rick direction out to where we were as I button her up.  She looked great in all her glory. Old Minnesota is well over 35 years old. I’m still looking forward to the new carpet as I did not care for the indoor outdoor carpet that Dan installed a few years ago. I want real house hold carpet as there nothing better then landing fish in your slippers or socks. After checking them in it was off to say hi to Sam as he had arrived and andy had directed him out there. Sam was pumped as he said he was going to get a bigger walleye then his 27 1/2 a few years ago. I bit my lip as I really did not expect him to get a bigger fish, All though I thought maybe they would get lucky and land a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie as the house was about 300 yards from where the hammer got one a couple weeks ago.
Tammy and Randy had set up after dark Thursday eve and they never marked a fish so Randy was on the move and heading to a area they had done well last year. I stopped to say hello and visit for a bit before I headed off the lake as the sun was setting on such a beautiful afternoon. They did invite the hammer and I out for some chili so that was the plan Friday eve when I would be making the rounds. The area Randy moved to had some good action before dark but after that they would come look and swim away. 
Rick and his crew texted to say they were hitting the sack early as they had driven most of the night to arrive. 
North Dakota was way slow and only had 1 perch and a walleye lost at the hole. I guess I new what I was doing Saturday morning.
Andy, Blake, Sam and Andy were having a hoot in florida and montana and darn if Sam did not catch a very elusive but still catchable upper red lake crappie. A beautiful 14 1/2 incher. Both house were also catching a few walleyes so that felt good to see. I now new where north Dakota would be moving too.
Saturday  morning I headed out and told the guys in North Dakota what had to be done for the move, I went to pick and prep a area and when I got back they had landed two keeper walleyes at 10 am? Stupid fish. The move went well and I had them fishing in less then a hour after pulling up there lines.
Saturday eve making the rounds and again the action was fair for all the houses. Every one had a few fish and were all having a great time.
The hammer and I headed over to Rodgers to go see Lonnie , Lisa and there new Ice castle out at the get together. Very beautiful house and huge. 
What a spectacle it was out there, with all the flashing lights, it looked like a airport from a distance. It would of been nice to cut over after making the rounds but we took the highway. We visited for a bit and checked out the tent with the live band. Heading home I again hit the wall and turned in for the night,
Sunday morning and Early called to say they had no power? I arrived out there to find the plug had just vibrated loose.  They were getting ready to pack it in. They only managed to catch a few more fish but said they missed a bunch,
Andy and Andy were also packing up with there fish, Sam and Blake were also heading out with there 6 keepers. Rick in old Minnesota had all ready left and only took home 7 . I also never got to see John and Mike but I know they had a few.
I then spent the rest of the day cleaning the houses and getting north Dakota ready for Tim, Pete and Danny’s arrival for north Dakota. The same deal, the house had not been fished 24 hours so they were there for one night and we /I will move them to a fresh spot today if need be.
I also moved Old Minnesota out to that area and plan on getting north Dakota over there so I’m only maintaining one road off the main road as we have some snow and wind coming starting today.
After getting old Minnesota set up the hammer met me out there where we enjoyed a chicken dinner and I out fished the hammer for once,  as I landed 3  with a couple misses and the hammer could not get them to bite, I did use a vex so I was on even playing field with her.
I’m hoping they did good in north Dakota last night? I have a feeling we will be putting the house on fresh ice today as the second night hardly ever is better then the first.
Time to head out as Ole is bringing a couple friends up to fish montana and I need to get north carolina over with the fleet as I have officially ruined another area. I  also can abandon that road system before mother nature rears her ugly side today.