Not a good way to have the season coming to a end. When we hit the lake Friday to move Montana and north Carolina I noticed the plow seemed to be acting kinda different. It seemed the plow was scraping away the banks from the house but it just seemed like it was not turning or going up and down the same. I asked Marty to see if he noticed anything when I crept along the house but he got side tracked with the number two shovel and I was trying to get done and basically made a bone head move and did not get out to see if any thing was up? After moving both houses and getting them set up I parked blue thunder next to montana for the weekend and went to meet Stacy and Brian as they would be celebrating there anniversary in Florida. After checking them in I set up a couple wheel houses to the west of me and settled down in Minnesota to kick back rest and wait for the hammer to come out and fish with me. We had a frozen pizza for dinner and came off the lake around 9pm with not a single elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Darn the luck. Saturday was just a take it easy day enjoy mother nature and good company Marty and Shelly and checking in on Stacy and Bryan. They did not catch a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie and neither did the three wheel houses I set up. I counted 25 trucks on the lake Saturday with a mixture of portables and wheel houses on the lake. After coming in for dinner Saturday eve, Kellie and I headed out to old Minnesota where we would be spending the night hoping to tie into the mother load. Marty and Shelly joined us as we had a couple cocktails ,visited and fished for the very very elusive upper red lake crappie. Sunday morning I awoke to a beautiful upper red lake sunrise and not a crappie to be had. I had a call from a gentlemen from Bemidji that was up Saturday and they landed 22 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. Darn the luck. I guess its like throwing dice out there as I lost them .They must of went east, south, or north. After a harty breakfast of eggs and bacon we packed things up and I warmed up blue thunder as she had spent the last two nights sleeping on the ice. Driving in I heard a bang sound like something was bottoming out I stopped got out of the truck, walked around to the front and to my disbelief half the frame work on the plow was broken and destroyed, bent into a mangled mess. The left ram was dripping fluid and I may of also damaged that. Wow what a bone head mistake I have made. I guess that happens when the season stretches out and you get a little worn out. At this time I’m not even sure if it can be repaired. I’m 85 percent sure that it will not be in operation the rest of the season and the red baron will have to carry me through . My plans are to move all 4 houses one more time before Friday to a completely different area . Jake will be up Thursday to help bank the houses as there will be a lot of work with a number two spade shovel with out blue thunders straight blade. Jake is pumped to get up here and has all ready packed all his gear 4 days in advance. He has new auger blades and a extension . His passion for fishing is incredible, if its for upper red lake crappies, walleyes or sheep head. Sturgeon on the rainy or musky in the fall. If it swims in the water he wants to catch it. I on the other hand. I like fishing with friends and enjoying the comradery . I love seeing people’s eyes light up when they have a big fish on the line and the excitement in there voices. Kellie the hammer is so funny. When she has a fish on she never says I got one! She just reels it in and says crappie, perch, walleye or big northen. Its to funny. This coming up weekend should be a gas as we spend two and half days searching for the mother load with good friends and new friends

My guess would be Montana is burned out after Ole nabbed a limit of elusive upper red lake crappies from underneath her. Marty and Rick did not have much action . They did lose a couple fish that may of been crappies. I had to run to Kellier yesterday morning and Marty met me at the town and country around 11am where we gassed up and made our plans for the day. We also had to get 3 propane’s as I still have a issue turning the heat off the houses. Kellie the hammer would be coming out later to fish old Minnesota with me and have dinner with Marty and Rick. I saw in the distance Buddy and his mechanic were also fishing last night. Buddy Hillmen had set up 4 or 5 wheel houses for the day that were here filming a show for national geograpfhic. That is going to air some time in the future. Last night episode featured Hiem’s Log Homes out of Kellier. Kinda cool. The hammer showed up around 4 after we had moved Minnesota and Florida. We got our lines down and there is something about Old Minnesota as we put in a movie and I was asleep in minutes lying on the bed. The hammer was marking fish right from the get go . After dinner another movie a full stomch and I again fell asleep on the bed. Opps sorry honey. I was awakened a bit later with the hammer dangling a elusive upper red lake in front of me. She was using the vex and may have lost a couple in the next couple hours. I had two rattle wheels down and missed a couple fish on them. One had a small jig with waxie’s. When it went off I thought for sure I had a elusive upper red lake crappie but instead caught a nice walleye. The hammer out fished me again and I may have to take away her vexlar to give the fish a chance and maybe I can use it. My plans right now are to enjoy old Minnesota and keep looking for the mother load. Thnaks for letting me nap sweety. Today I have a couple wheel houses I’m going to point in the right direction . We will move Montana and north Carolina and then be spending another evening fishing old Minnesota and who know maybe I will be able to stay awake and fish

Mart took the auger to Northolm and it turned out auger # 1 had bad gas and were thinking Number 2 also has bad gas. OOps 30 bucks for that. Blue thunder went to work around 930 plowing Buddy Hillmens road. Tom brought over the red baron with a expensive tune up of 473.00 Ouch. Marty headed out and arrived around 12 30 to help with the road. by 230 we were done with 10 miles of road. and We then cut a new trail to the fish houses. Just as I figured plenty of snow drifted in the road system and around the houses. I open up the road and cleared the snow away from the houses while Marty prepped old Minnesota for its move. Everything went smooth as silk and we had her blocked and banked by 430 and I was headed off the lake when I noticed one of my chains on the rear tire was gone. Darn the luck. I had no luck finding it and maybe just maybe I will find it when the snow melts.
Marty and Rick spent the night in Montana and were hoping to land 2 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies so Marty can make his fish soup. Coming off the lake there were three guys setting up a portable, Then half way home I met a truck towing a wheel house. From my count there were three people fishing last night.
Today we will get Florida moved for Stacy and her husband arrival tomorrow. Depending how Marty did we may be also move Montana on to some fresh ice fro the next couple nights.
I also noticed my right front wheel bearing is squeaking really bad on blue thunder 2 . I will have to limp it through the rest of the season, as I sure do not want to take it apart and take a used one off of blue thunder 1 in this weather. Kellie the hammer and I will be having dinner on the lake tonight with Marty and Rick as Marty is making a beef roast. We also plan on fishing old Minnesota in her new spot. Lets hope for a nice relaxing evening fishing and having dinner with a new friends. Life is good on such a grand lake. 8 days and counting jake

Plenty to plow that’s for sure. I Imagine we will be helping re opening Buddy Hillmen’s road today. Yesterday would of been futiel as mother nature was running the show yesterday. All the outfitters that made the mad rush to shore paid off for them as blue thunder and the red baron are prepped today for a work out. The red baron is still with Tom the mechanic but I need to pick her up and use it the way it is. Marty is going to run to Northome, as yesterday I took the carb. off of auger number 1 three times and still can not get it to run properly. After seeing Ole’s 10 elusive upper red lake crappies he was chomping at the bit to spend the night out there with his son Rick. All the drifted snow on our trails we felt it was a bad idea, so they stayed here on shore in the cabin. Once I get back to the house’s there will be a ton of snow to move with a couple spots that I may have to go around. Mother nature has changed my plans to keep the houses going up and down on the road system and I have to make at least one final new road system for the house’s for this last 12 days I plan on keeping the houses out. It does feel good to not have to rush out the door in the morning as every thing slowly whines down. We will get Marty set up in Montana tonight and the hammer is going to make us dinner. Not sure if any houses will be moved today. I’m looking forward to spending some time in old Minnesota with the Kellie my sweetheart “The hammer” But I have to steal a nap when were not fishing together

Marty rolled in around 8am. We fired up blue thunder and repaired a leak in the plow before we headed out on the lake to escort Ole in as she is really blowing and drifting out there. I would say percent of the road has snow drift all most across the road. When we arrived to my road to the east she was gone. We jumped to the wind blown side and headed east. Arriving to Montana I was greeted with a big smile as Ole was limited out on 10 elusive upper red lake crappies plus his two walleyes from sunday here at the house. His plan fell through last night with the wind blowing and he just hunkered down in Montana and mother nature treated him to a special moment catching 10 elusive upper red lake crappies in just under two hours from 9 to 11pm. It could not have happened to a better person and I’m sure he will share all that fish with a couple good friends in the town he lives in. Were off the lake for the day as it is just nasty out there and we will not be doing any plowing until tomorrow.

Wow mother nature reared her ugly side yesterday as the winds blew out of the south at who knows how many mph. I had a relaxing morning not having to rush out on the lake was kind of a relief . Ole came off the lake around 10 to help me with our water problem. After fiddling with that for a hour or two Ole was off to Montana to have some lunch and just wet a line and relax. He had plans to go fishing with Buddy and Scott and reminiss about his commercial fishing days in Alaska as Scott and Buddy fish in the same areas he did years ago. I headed out onto the lake around 2pm to check the houses and grab a few things from the weekend. The wind was blowing the snow right across hillmens highway and was nice to see. Heading back home two hours later and the snow was starting to drift across the road bank to the south. Darn the luck. I talked to Buddy around 9pm and things have turned real ugly out there.I will be cutting the north edge this morning with blue thunder and buddy will start v plowing the highway. Ole is hunkered down until I get out there. I’m not sure if they hooked up and fished or not. Now the winds have switched out of the north west and again is howling making quite the mess out there. Not what we wanted but we have no choice but to deal with it. The trail to my houses are more then likely blown shut but with smaller berms the first half mile I do not expect 2 feet of snow down the trail . I imagine there are some mighty drifts around the houses though. . I do not think I will be moving any houses again today. I do have to have Minnesota on fresh ice by Friday afternoon for Stacy and her husband. I hope and plan to have all 4 on fresh ice buy Friday. I now need to go pull the carb off of number 1 auger as its a very important tool of the trade. Wish me luck as I head out to battle mother nature today

Still no nap in old Minnesota. Almost though. After saying good bye to all my fishermen and friends I checked the houses and headed over to Minnesota where I was going to put in a movie and wet a line , Relax and maybe just maybe fall a sleep on the top bunk. About the time I nodded off I got a call and Pete needed a jump after hanging up Nate called and they needed more then a jump. I headed over to Pete and jumped his diesel. After a few minutes of a good charge she fired right up. Pete had good fishing and landed two elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. Montana landed two for sure. Marlo landed three that he released to fight another day. Randy released a 16 incher but had a great pic of it. They did keep the smaller one I think. I heard through the grape vine that a rental house got 23 and another got 6. Buddy Hillmens has his houses set up in crappie country and Char Hillmen landed three Friday night. Buddy also said most if not all his houses caught some ,a couple or a few crappies.
His plans as of now are to keep a few houses out there and maybe get a few fishermen to extend the season. His road is in great shape and goes right into the heart of crappie country. It would be nice to figure out the perch. I be leave they have a tendacy to hang out in the transition from mud to gravel as they like to dart in and out of the mud. I have a good idea where to target them and as the weather gets nicer I will see if my hunch pays off. After helping Pete I had to head to shore and get the torpedo heater and propane as Nate’s truck needed more then a jump. We covered the wind blown side with blankets and I left my jumper cables so they could jump it with there Jeep after a bit. I went back to Minnesota where I tried to watch the rest of the movie I was watching. Nate brought my torpedo and propane back and last night I realized they kept my jumper cables. darn the luck. About that time Ole rolled into town and I got him set up in Montana since it caught at least two elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. I then set up Gary, Kay, Joanie and Mike in Florida to see if they could get a couple wallye’s for the end of the season. Kellie the” Hammer” came out and met me and Ole in Montana where we ate some chile that ole threw together and it was so good I had two bowls. We visited and caught a few walleyes. Ole was tickled pick to land two nice keepers to take back home. he is going to hang out for at least a couple days and see if he can get a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies to TAKE HOME. He has a trophy crappie on the wall at his home so he would have to catch a 17 incher if he wanted to add to his collection of animals and fish mounts. We hope to go see him and the Greek and Leah in Alaska before they retire and leave Alaska. It does not look like I had a good enough year to make the trip this summer but who knows maybe in 2016 it will happen. The hammer landed a nice 16 and half while we were visiting and we released it too fight another day. I thought for sure she would get a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie but no luck last night. From the knowledge and intell I’ve gained this year and from the past a lot of these fish have been caught after 9 pm at night. I know Shell chick got one of there six at 10;30am but the others were caught in the middle of the night with here trophy fish caught at 12;30 am. Jake is so pumped to get up here on the 5th 6th and 7th of march and can not sleep well. He just loves catching these fish and has read every thing a guy can read about crappies.. A lot of those 10 to 12 inchers we have caught over the last couple years are now pushing over 13 I think. Its not a crappie boom but there was a couple classes that made it through the winters to become a Minnesota class fish. Cool to see that for sure. I have not explored around much for those secret crappie holding spots but will be the next 10 days to point Jake in the right direction. No nap in Minnesota today as I have some frozen broken pipes under the house and now have no water in the cabin for some reason. I ‘m hoping its not a well problem. I also would like to get Minnesota moved to a new location as the spot its at was a bust.
I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the fishermen I took care of this year and hope you have a great summer and see you again next winter as we prepare to some more fun fun fun on such a GRAND LAKE.

A very nice way to end the 2015 game fish season. Minus 29 right now blue thunder fired right up but is so cold can not steer? No squeals just tight turning. I ‘am letting her run for a while . Making the rounds last night was a pleasure, again on the tired side when I hit the lake after dinner must be the food putting me to sleep. First stop was old Minnesota with Scott and his crew. I visited for a bit .Old Minnesota let me down on its new spot ,They did manage to get 8 walleyes to take home but it was the slowest bite all season I think. Nest stop florida with Dave and John while visiting john was working a chubby darter with a minnow head. A fish hit it and he really set the hook. I nice 16 inch fish. Then it was dave turn to bang two in a row off the bottom of the ice. Nice to see some action. I stopped to check on Tammy and the kids as Randy’s truck was gone They had just released a 18 inch walleye when I got there. Randy had taken one of the boys out to the spot they rented florida from me 4 weeks ago. Wow diehard fishermen as its was a little breezy and very cold out there last night. John and Mitch were not at Montana and Larry’s and his crew had called it a night in north Carolina. I talk to Rob and they had had good action and were up to 20 walters caught. Then a quick stop to check on Keith and his crew. They had moved from a mile out and were having better action with a 18 incher landed while I was there. They did land a beautiful 33 inch pike a mile out Saturday morning. The upper red lake elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies were very elusive last night.

Wow it has been just crazy the last couple of days. Thursday I moved 3 of the 4 houses. Dan and Craig were in Montana one more night so she would have to be moved Friday morning. I also got Minnesota augered and prep so the hammer and I could have dinner out there and maybe just, maybe catch a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. While cooking dinner in the stove we relaxed and watched a movie. After a killer dinner steak and bake potato with veggies. I laid down on the bed where I passed out ?fell asleep. It still was not a nap considering it was well after 9 pm. kellie also fell asleep. next thing I know its 1 in the morning and we are low on gas as I had no intention of spending the night out there. I borrowed some gas from Tammy and Randy and they landed two elusive yes still catchable upper red lake crappies. One was pushing 16 inches and Randy released it. Very Nice. They kept the other one a 13 or 14 incher. Plus they had some good walleye action. Kellie and I did not fair as well and only landed a handful of walleye with two that would of been good keepers, the rest were small scuffits.
Should of went home Thursday night. Friday morning was hectic to say the least, First thing I jump in blue thunder hit the key and nothing. Darn the luck. Standing out there in my pajama bottoms and tennis shoes was not happening. I new it was a connection problem the only wrench I had was a huge cresant wrench but I was able to loosen and re tighten the 5 1/6th nut, and fire her up. I vacuumed Florida and was augering the holes when the number 1 auger just stop running, What the! After fiddling with that for 20 minutes I again had to inprovise and have Randy help me out with his auger. He had offered to help me earlier so he was eager to help which was awesome. We punched out 18 holes and moved Montana to its new location. What a great guy, you meet so many nice people on the lake and make many lifetime friends. Tammy and Randy rented florida 6 weeks ago and brought there own wheel house up with there two grand kids this weekend. After getting everyone checked in I got home at 3pm to find a broken water line under the house. Dang the luck? I got the water turned off which was a chore in its self and will be repairing that later today. The houses all caught some fish last night but it was slower then it has been all year. Only a couple elusive yet still catchable crappies have been caught in my houses so far. As far as I know everyone is happy and I will be hitting the lake shortly.

Yesterday was not one of those better days for blue thunder or the red baron and a few other things. I gassed the red baron up early to get on the lake and evaluate the road to our houses. I new from experience that I had lost it as I traveled it with others while it was blowing. Oh well not the first time and for sure not the last time. Leaving the cennix gas station the red baron did not seem right ,It was running good and sounded good but when I punched it I mean gave it a little gas it felt like it had no power. On and off the gas on the way to the lake I knew to take her home and fire up blue thunder.
Buddy Hillmen’s road survived the blow in pretty good condition with a few spots collected with snow but 90 percent of it still glare ice. It never stops to amaze me haw the snow drifts from the tiniest object on the lake. I think you could create a 3 foot drift with a marble given enough wind and light snow. I arrive to the road running east to the houses and she was pretty much blown in, I crossed country to check on Dan and Craig to check on them in Montana and bring them some minnows as all they had for bait the first night was big shiners. They landed two over night and missed quite a few. Looking at here set ups I feel they can use a little help. Neither of them have rod and reels. Craig has two jigs sticks one is about 4 feet long and the second 3 feet long .I think they had 20 lb test on them. Dan had a tip up set over one hole. A rattle wheel on the other with a shiner and a hook and a very small sinker. I told them I would bring out some rod and reels when I came back in the evening to check on them. I then cleaned up the roads around the houses and headed back to the main road to clean up some of the areas that had snow covered. I pulled back in the drive way around 2 pm to find I had broken a plow hose. Kellie pulled in from work and I had her follow me over to drop off the red baron to have Tom see if he can find the problem with lack of power. I also had to get a propane filled to Thaw the frozen pipes under the house. I got everything set up to thaw the pipes and the torpedo heater quit working. Dirty Dog. I then removed the broken line and not with out a fight. Darn mother nature. I headed to blackduck to get a hose made. Brandon was coming up with Bobby to fish florida so I had them pick me up a new torpedo in Bemidji. We met at our house around 6 pm where I got the heat under the house and put the hose on blue thunder so I could escort the guys out to the house. I arrived back home around 8:30, beat but not broken. Today will be a much better day as I try and move 3 of the 4 houses and cut a small trail for now until the red baron is feeling better. I did talk to Brandon before I went to bed and they had landed two 14 inch crappies or was it the same one twice? He also said quite a few small walleyes as what I would expect