Day 44 Jan 30, 2009

Yesterday I hit the lake a little earlier then usual as I wanted to do some fishing. After seeing how Jake and Andrew did I headed to New York. I got my first line down with the good old genz worm then set my old electric jig stick up with a smaller sized demon. After 15 minutes I marked a fish in the one corner but he did not hang around long. I then started the car thinking that may trigger a bite. Jake pulled in with his pick up and came into the house. While talking too him about our game plan I noticed my jig stick with the spring bobber was pegged? 
When I reached down and set the hook I looked at Jake and said were not landing this fish. I quickly started peeling out the 4 lb line and handed the rod to Jake and said get all the line out. Running 4 lb line through the fingers I had no real plan. He stopped just for a second as I pulled in line to see if I could make him come my way. With that little resistance he took off like a rocket. Jake did what he could do and followed the fish with the rod tip going towards the hole until the line was to taunt and snap he was gone. Got the heart pumping but I new from the get go that fish was taking my jig. Fun Fun Fun 
While Jake and his brother went looking for a hot bite I met Tonyboy to finish moving houses and prepping for the weekend. It did not take them long to find some fish in closer to shore. Just over a mile out they found a day bite and managed to have two keepers a couple of misses and a couple to big. We then hooked up for lunch and they all helped me move
Utah all the way out to the end of the road. Utah is now almost to the reservation line 9 miles out and Jake and Andrew were spending the night out there. 
We then got road passes at Hillmens and went in search of the elusive upper red lake crappie. I was amazed at how many fish we marked and managed to lose one fish and lip another. After two hours in a portable we threw in the towel and my vision of a bucket of crappies never materialized. Oh well we will get them next time as there are roads right to where we fished last year and had such great success. 
After coming home for dinner I ran out to check on Jeff and his family fishing
Montana. Kim, Zack and Tyler were having a good day and had 5 keepers and had released another 6. Jeff said they never had any runs but one fish here and one fish there were starting to add up. When I checked with them they had been fishing from around noon tell I stopped by at 7 pm. 
With Idaho still open it will become a house for other customers to try through out the weekend. I thought about offering it last minute for free. But have decided if it’s not rented all our other customers can have free use of it this weekend. Should be a fun weekend all the houses are in fishy areas lets hope they bite.

Day 43 Jan 28, 2009

Making the rounds last night was a little better then the last two nights. I usually do not blame the weather for the bite. About the time you blame the weather you here that someone hammered them. Talk to Pete and he said they had 7 in the bucket after getting none the day before. Westwind was shuffling some fishermen around and I had all my fishermen fishing in anyone of my houses trying to find some active fish. 
It was nice to see a couple of fish taken in every house.
Florida had 3 keepers, Utah had 3 keepers, Tony tried a new spot and got two, the girls had just started fishing in California. .Lee and Chris landed a 32 inch pike before dark. 
The next two days will be spent scouting and moving houses for the up and coming weekend. Jake and Andrew will be up this morning and will try a few areas. They sure would like to tag into a crappie or two as well as me. 
I will be hitting the lake this morning around
7:30 to say good bye to lee and Chris. It sure was nice having them up and visiting with them. I hope to go to the boundary waters with them next fall. They also want to come up in March and have me make them smothered burritos. I’m all for that and I hope that works out. I will be making them in three weeks for Bob and Jackie. Slow cooked in old Minnesota all day the aroma will drive Bob crazy. 
Mike and his wife have had the worst fishing in
Idaho. I sure hope when I head out there this morning they finally got some action. Yesterday we had a little more trouble with the generator and spent another hour taking it a part and getting all the oil out of the filter. What a mess not good when the generator tips over and runs on its side.

Day 42 Tue Jan 27, 2009

Well, it’s been an interesting year to say the least. 
Last night Kellie and I spent part of the evening fishing and having dinner with Lee and Chris in old
Minnesota. They have become great friends and lee is a hoot with his acting background. We have already made plans to go to his Mystery Cafe Theatre this spring. I highly recommend going to one of there shows as I have always enjoyed dinner theatre and plays. 
After dinner I had a call from Mike in
Idaho Shocked it seems they were having generator trouble. I left Kellie with Chris and Lee and raced out to Idaho to find oil all over the top of the unit Sad Dale and his wife were in Florida and had his own generator so he was fine. I brought the unit home and went to work cleaning up the mess as oil was in the cylinder and carb. Were not sure what happen but I was able to clean it out, change the oil, reinstall the carb and get her going again. It seems it some how ended up on its side Mike in Idaho was not happy and felt Dale had caused the problem. I guess we will never know what happened but its up and running and that’s all that matters. 
All 5 sleepers have had horrible fishing?
Idaho, Florida were on fresh spots. Minnesota and Montana were only fished last weekend with good results so we wanted to see if good fishing would continue. California did yield a couple of fish Sunday eve but nothing to brag about. 
Steve, Zack, Gene had a pike under there hard house that they had on twice. Steve decided to tie a chisel on a rope and drop it under the house the next time that pike marked on the vex. 
8:30 pm they marked the fish and dropped the chisel. The pike took off and on its way took the jig and minnow in the far corner of the house .There was no way of stopping it as it spooled out the line until it broke. 
The young guys in
Utah had car trouble and we spent a little time getting there vehicle running yesterday. They also had poor fishing. I all most want to blame the weather on this one as you would think 5 houses someone would catch some fish. Tony scouted a new area last night and only marked 2 fish. He felt one may have been a crappie? All the houses were seeing some fish but they were tight to the bottom and had no intention on taking any of there offerings. 
The little red truck that could lost a bearing coming off the lake yesterday. We got lucky as it did not break the serpentine belt but needs to get a new part 60 miles away. 
The red baron is at the tranny shop and we hope to have it back by the weekend. The cold weather has taken its toll on the equipment but that’s the nature of the beast and you just deal with it. It makes it quite the challenge but very rewarding .You have to be a janitor, mechanic, truck driver, plower, guide, labor, carpenter, electrician, fishermen, gas man for the heaters, and whatever I’m forgetting. Time to go check my fishermen as it looks like it could be a beautiful sunrise.

Day 41 Mon Jan 26, 2009

That makes a lot of sense so if I fish with you two days and I do the work of half a man. I might land one or two.
Leave the cold weather at home.
I will let you know if we need anything midweek.
Hers a break down of all the houses did on the new fishing spots this last weekend.
Florida. Mark and Sandy rolled in Thursday afternoon and it was nice being able to visit with them off an on all weekend. They have been great customers over the years and had some sad news as Mark’s fishing buddy passed away. The fishing started off real good with them landing a dozen fish the first day , They were having a little trouble getting a couple for a fish fry at Westwind though. They did manage to get a couple of keepers and were delighted to have Westwind cook them to perfection.
Idaho. I feel bad for these guys while Mark and Sandy had good fishing they had horrible fishing. A bad spot I guess as they were less then 200 feet from Florida. Will get them next time Ken
Montana and old Minnesota had a blast with Jill, Sandy, Kirk, two kids Grandpa Willard, Uncle Glen and Jeff with his ice castle. They caught fish all weekend and ate like kings and queens. Not sure how many fish they took home but they sure had a good time and sandy will be back in a couple of weeks with another group.
California also did decent and I let the guys use New York. They caught 4 keepers out of New York and marked a ton of fish that would not bite.
Sergio, Allen and the other guys used Utah and had the cabin. Sergio landed a pike just under 40 inches on a tip up and with no gaff outside he had to reach down the hole and grab it. They released the fish in the house and the fishing just died after that.
Alaska was just rented for the day on Saturday. They landed a keeper right away .They also had two hard houses with them. I never got to see them as the pulled out that evening so not sure how they did. I was able to have a bloody Mary with them and man was that good. They had like 4 or five girls with them and had quite the spread of food. They also had a girl that was a game warden that was very nice and I wish her all the luck with her job.
I also punched a spot for Steve and his crew of four they had pretty good fishing until last night when a big pike decided to camp under there house. They were eating fish when I stopped by last night and will be pulling out today
Ryan and his buddies are in Utah and only caught one fish when I talked to them last night. Rob and his crew are in Montana and got a keeper right when they arrived. Lee and Chris also checked in yesterday and landed a keeper right away. Lee also had a mishap and when he leaned on the table it broke and he landed on Chris’s lap. Too funny but he was ok. Kellie and I will be having dinner with them tonight in old Minnesota.
Update on the red baron. Ken the transmission guy told me to drive the snot out of it but that did not work out as it would not even go into gear Saturday morning. After warming it up for over an hour it did go into gear but cutting a new trail was working the motor too hard and it does not make sense to beat on the truck so it is out of commission at this time. I hope to have it at the tranny shop by noon today.
As always the best fishing seemed to be the first day of arrival and tapered off after that. All the houses will be moved this week with some moved twice as we have guest through out the week. Tony boy is doing a great job helping me out. We may have to add another few states /fish houses next year so he can make a bigger pay check.

Day 39 Sat Jan 24, 2009

After making the rounds last night everyone had a little action. Catching 50 fish a night does not seem like it’s in the cards. 10 is more realistic. Then there’s always the chance of a big pike or a bonus crappie. Jeff from Agassiz has punched his road all the way to the reservation line and again moved his houses out further. I was not able to talk to the guys in Utah as they are also staying in the cabin. Florida was probably the slowest house with Mark and Sandy but they are not complaining as they are enjoying the peace and quite. Every house was on a new spot this weekend and the way it looks will all be moved again starting Sunday. Maybe I will rent a ditch witch and we can cut a line in the ice and troll to our next destination. Fishing out further has not produced the great fishing even though the pre fishing has produced it seems to slow down as soon as I move into areas. I have all the houses spread out from 1.7 mile all the way to 5 miles out. The better fishing has been at dusk and dawn as they move through or under the houses. The good news as I talked to the guy that rebuilt my transmission in the red baron and he assured me if I burn it out he will take care of me so he said run the snot out of it and that’s what I intend to do. Should be fun as I love cutting a new trail. Jake will be up Wednesday and we will again pre fish new areas and spend some time looking for the famous, very elusive red lake crappie. It would be interesting to know how all the outfitters are doing but they are quite tight lipped and you never know if there telling the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Day 38 January 23, 2009

Yesterday was another awesome day on the lake. The red baron’s tranny is hurting which is not good news considering it has less then 300 miles on it. It will be interesting to see what the tranny guy will do for me?
Mark and Sandy rolled in yesterday. They hope to eat fish at least twice. When I checked on them last night we had a nice visit and they landed two walleyes while I was there a small one and an 18 1/4. They were up to 8 fish either to small or to big which was good as they were getting action.
Zack and his friends rolled in last night and have a huge group rolling in today. I prepped 7 or 8 driveways for them yesterday as there bringing up 7 hard houses today.
Minnesota and Montana are set up next to each other for Jill plus they are also bring up a hard house.
Kellie and I fished Idaho in its new spot and each landed a walleye while we were trying to eat supper.
I have plenty of holes to auger this morning. Some repair work to do to a couple of our houses, bank Minnesota a little better, make sure all the house have a full propane, meet customers as they roll in, plow another spot or two for hard houses.
Utah is on a new spot and it will be interesting to see how that area does as I’m always looking for an area to ruin? Or fish the snot out of. I may leave Alaska right where it is as the fishing has been decent in that area,.
Let’s hope we have some great fishing this weekend.

Day 37 January 22, 2009

Today and only today will be the 37th day I work on the lake. Just like every other year plans change on the fly due to mother nature, mechanical breakdowns etc.
Yesterday the plan was to prep a couple of new areas I have had my eyes on. The fog that rolled in was thick as pea soup and made it a little tough to see where you were going. Buy mid afternoon it was a little better. With no wind and the temps in the 20s it was a spectacular day to be on the lake. The day before I got some great pics of a sunrise. Yesterday while banking Idaho and Florida in there new spots the quietness in the air was so peaceful. Tony and I sure enjoyed the day as we spent the day on the lake.
Dave and Dallas headed home. They fished with suckers and did decent until I made them release a fish that was just over 17. Dave said they never caught another fish after that.
Scott and his brother, nephew and niece had decent fishing after we moved Montana. They had 8 walleyes and landed a 41 inch pike yesterday.They also partied hard with Brian, Ron, Mike and Jack in Idaho.
I over heated the rebuilt tranny in the red baron twice trying to move to much snow. The v is not cutting the way its spose too and we are still trying to address that problem. I added a transmission cooler and will be changing some of the fluid as the sun comes up this morning. Tony fished a new spot for me the night before last and landed 3 walleye and a bonus crappie.
We start to fill the houses today as we have another busy day.
Idaho is still open for next weekend, 30th, 31rst and if you stay Sunday you can fish and watch the super bowl on the two TVs and satellite dish. Old Minnesota is open the last weekend of walleye and we now have are budget sleeper on the lake, Alaska, which has a few weekends open.
I better get busy as it’s getting light out.

Day 35 January 20, 2009

Yesterday was one of those days. It started off plowing out 8 miles just in case the road was drifted in a bit. Nancy, Kevin and Max were packing up and had 8 keepers. They fished from 4 pm tell 9am and managed 14 eyes and one small pike.
Heading back in I met Phil to plow him a spot and overworked the red Baron as I overheated the tranny?
After letting it cool down and talking to the tranny guy that rebuilt it I took it easy back to Idaho to meet Tonyboy and investigate a little further. Everything seemed ok as I checked on Brian and his crew and Tony checked on Dallas and Dave.
Dallas and Dave were managing about one fish an hour and were fine. Brian and the boys had a little slower fishing. They did manage to catch a 31 inch pike that had one of Jordon’s lures from the day before.
I then started to make a new area for houses when I again over heated the tranny on the red baron. Darn the luck if it’s not Mother Nature kicking you a$$ its mechanical failure.
I then got a call from Kellie the wife. Her car was dead. Now the winds picked up and just like that I’m dealing with two major problems? Now let’s throw in some snow flurries and a little extra wind gusts to make the day. After getting her car up and running it was time to install a tranny cooler in the red baron. Installation time said 1/2 hour and I spent twice that time reading and rereading the instructions. After smashing out the grill “who needs a grill” and removing the electric fan Tonyboy and I were able to install the tranny cooler and put here all back together minus one grill. The last hour was spent working in the dark all though the wind did die down as the temps dropped. Installation time just under 3 hours. They need to reprint there instructions. Oh well its water under the bridge and we will try and get back on track today.

Day 34 January 19, 2009

With a busy weekend behind us its time to concentrate on the up and coming weekend.
Dave and Dallas checked in yesterday and had caught two fish when I checked in with them. Pat and Todd were in old Minnesota and head out today. They caught a total of 20 fish plus anything they caught last night. Todd flies in from San Francisco every year and they have become one of my best customers. I even let Pat beat me in a game of cribbage. How’s that for customer service?
The guys from Morton were quite the crew and I sure like them. Very fun loving with lots of ribbing. Always laughing. The young boys fished a tow behind and did well. Rodny, Dennis and the other two were a different story. They always seemed to be gone prime time either eating, drinking or showering at Westwind. I stopped in Friday night and two were passed out with one two many. With 8 holes in the house they had one line down and I’m not sure if they even had that set up properly. Oh well they will get them next time.
Suzy, Wayne and there boys Matt and Kale had good fishing in Florida.
Matt and Kale manned tip ups both days with little success. When I saw them last they had 10 keepers and were hoping for two more before they headed home. The guys in Utah were a no show and his name was Ben so if you call and your name is Ben I may be a little suspicious.
Tony and Nells fished California it started off slow 8 miles out but they managed to get there 6 for the trip home.
Jordon and Sherry were here Saturday and Sunday and head home today, they have caught a few walleyes and yesterday had some major excitement as they tagged into a big pike. After 5 runs Jordan attempted to reach down and grab the fish as he could not get it turned up the hole. After two attempts it got away to fight another day. They spent the next hour untangling all the lines that were down and retrieved the rod that went down a hole during the battle. Not sure where the gaff disappeared to in that house. I guess I may have to put my name on them from now on.
Kevin, Nancy and Max spent the night in Utah and we will see how they did today.
Josh brought his family up to fish in there house. When I stopped in Josh told me I was in the house of missed opportunity. As he was telling me about all the fish they had not landed he lost a fish on a rattle wheel. When another fish hit another rattle wheel I jumped into action to show him how it’s done. As I lifted the fish out of the hole the line broke and the fish got away with his lure. I am now convinced it is the house of missed opportunity.
Even though I have not been able to fish where I want it has been an awesome season so far. It’s great to spend some time with new and old customers. Working on the lake is a passion and makes the job a joy. I may cuss once in a while but most of the time it’s at myself for doing something that was avoidable in the first place.

Day 32 January 17, 2009

Day 32,
Jake headed home Thursday morning with his three walleyes. We moved California twice looking for a hot bite. Jake liked the new spot so we will see how Tony and Nells do this weekend.
Dale, Elaine, Tammy and Zorro fished Montana 3 nights with very limited success. We eve moved Montana the third day. Florida was also on a new spot for Jr and his two buddies. They caught over 25 fish and went home with there 3 a piece.
Dennis and his crew arrived early yesterday morning. They did not mention they were also bringing a wheel house so we had to wait until later in the day to plow them a spot.
When I checked in with them last night they had just got back from Westwind. Two were passed out and they had one line in at prime time? I wonder how many fish they will catch.
Susy, Wayne and their two boys had all caught one fish and had two in the bucket when I stopped in last night. Pat and Todd two of my best customers had landed four. Todd has graphs and charts of all the fish they have caught over the years and it is quite interesting to see the trends. They plan on taking advantage of Westwind deal on cooking fish and plan on going in for a fresh fish fry today.
Bummer the guys in Utah never showed what a shame as we had many calls for this weekend. Jordon and his crew roll in for Montana and Tony was going to pre-fish it last night on its new spot. We are fishing in an area that has small rocks and boulders
it seems if you get to far away from them the fishing really slows down. Tony is out 8 miles and we will see how they do in the muck bottom later today.
It’s nice to wake up with the temps above 0 but now we will be dealing with snow and wind. It’s amazing how much another person helping makes things run smoother. I will be scouting out a few new areas where they may be a crappie or two hiding so we will see if that pans out. The guys in the cabin may need a fish house if the weather turns bad. So we will move New York our day house further out. Mike and his crew will be rolling in at 7 and I have an area all picked out for them. Then John and his family will also be rolling in and need a spot plowed. Another busy day ahead.