Just a tad more fun. Yesterday was a glorious day here on upper red lake. Checking in with John and Jennifer in Montana and everything was good as they had action on and off all night. Rolly and Kevin also had action and they were also good. I then spent some time in old Minnesota visiting Marty and Wayne and playing a few more games of texas hold em. We came back to shore around 1 so the guys could take showers and we could go clean our fish for dinner. 3 walleyes 6 perch and two crappies were just enough for another great fish fry at jrs. I knew Wayne would like the way they pre pair the fish as he likes a very light batter.
I on the other hand I like a heavier batter with a bite and like westwinds but trying to be a good host was my mission. We arrived back to old minnsota for some more fishing and cards where Kellie the hammer went to work landing and missing fish for the next 3 hours. Wayne fished that same hole hard with limited success while we were not there and could not be leave Kellie was on fire again. She did lose quite a few fish that may of been the elusive upper red lake crappies. She headed home at 10 while I stayed out with the guys where I landed a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Cliff ask me to plow a spot for his son coming up so will take care of that on my way out to say goodbye to our guests. It’s my turn to make dinner and we will be having beef and venison roast cooking in the oven in Minnesota all day. As Wayne would say YUMMY. I will detail the houses and shut them down for the week. Minnesota is open next weekend and Minnesota and Montana are open the last weekend of game fish. I’ll maintain the houses after the season ends for a week or two as I vacation on the ice, watching a few movies, playing some cribbage with Kellie and having her give me a couple tips on catching fish
Got home Thursday evening just in time to meet mark and Ed at hillmens with there wheel house and escort them out to a place I had plowed out for florida. My plan had changed after I plowed it out and I did not move a house there. I then checked on Collett ,Kathy, Terry and Kurt as they had been fishing florida for the day. When I arrived to florida they were just releasing a 30 plus inch pike. Lots of excitement and some great pictures were taken. I feel this is a great sign that there may be a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie in the area. Yesterday morning Ed landed one plus they had some decent walleye fishing. Collet and her crew ended up taking 5 walleye home so not bad but not that good. That pike may of effected there fishing. Wayne rolled in around 730 and was excited to get out theer and relax in old Minnesota. Marty and I joined him for a drink and a little bull shi. Fun was had by all with a few fish caught in the process. Friday morning brought more work as Marty had to pack up out of Montana. Kevin and Rolly rolled in around 2 and I got them set up just in time to come back to shore and meet John from Clam and his girl Jennifer after that we kellie and I plus Marty were to meet at old Minnesota for a porketta roast Wayne had in the oven. Kellie settled down into her favorite fishing spot in old Minnesota and proceeded to put the hammer down on the fish . With her vexlar charged and ready for action she put on a fishing clinic as we scrambled to grab her minnow after minnow, while are two rattle wheels never went off and my rod and reel never moved she landed fish after fish with two, yes two elusive upper red lake crappies . I said it was the guide and she said it was the fisherwoman. What ever it was it was magical and wayne was so happy to see her land those fish. We got some great pics with her smiling to beat the band. Before we had arrived Wayne had a flurry where he figured he caught 15 walleyes in a row and could not keep two lines down at the same time. kellie headed home around 10 while I checked on the customers, kevin and Rolly had some good action and were happy with the fishing, John and Jennifer were also happy and it will make my day much easier and less expensive as I think they should be happy with out having to move houses today. Tonight we will be having crappie and walleye for dinner and may play a little texas hold um. After sunday I have no one coming until Friday so I must shut the heat off this week to save on propane. I do not care to do it but it does not make sense to heat 3 or 4 house for 5 days with no one in them
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My very stinky bait did not work yesterday morning .Oh well we will try again in the next few days. I stopped in the cennix where my wife kellie works after the morning fish and they now have suckers I could of been fishing live bait. I will swing in there this morning and pick up a couple for the weekend. It would be nice to fish tip ups before this snow storm hits if its still going to hit us I have not looked at the weather this morning yet.
I cut two new trails yesterday after pike fishing with the red baron, she sure does not cut like she use to and the v-plow will have to be addressed this summer with no excuses. I was in the auto body trade for 14 years but was a painter most of that time. I do know how to weld but when it come to fabrication I am lacking. After a quick lunch headed back out with blue thunder to move 3 of our for houses. Old Minnesota was the first to be moved, followed by florida and Montana. I finished moving all three houses blocked and banked with the holes augered in old Minnesota for Kellie and I. It took me just over 5 hours . I rented florida to some locals today from Kellier but I do not think they are sleeping out there tonight. Marty rolled in around 10 pm and spent the night in old Minnesota. Kellie and I wet a line in old Minnesota and kellie the hammer lost a big crappie at the hole. Man was she mad/upset its been along time since she has landed one. The walleye fishing was not spectacular like it was where Minnesota was but we did land a couple 6 or so, maybe more like ten” a few”. I’m heading out this morning to prep florida for Collet and her relatives. I also need to detail old Minnesota and be back to shore no later then 930 as I have a appointment in town today. I then need to be back before 4 to meet Mark who is coming up in a wheel house. I have a spot all plowed out for them and expect good fishing in that spot.
I had a cancelation for old Minnesota next weekend the 13th 14th and still have Minnesota and Montana open the last weekend of the walleye season? Going to a two fish limit has slowed down the pressure on the lake which is a good thing since were over are allotted quota. Sucks for business but good for the lake.
Wow where did the last two days go? Yesterday I never drove out onto the lake. This morning I’m going to go fish for a big pike for 1 hour tops. I have never really enjoyed fishing by my self as I like the competition and comradery. Back when we were younger we use to fish coon lake for pike. If a flag went up it was first come first serve so it was like tackle football or rugby as we raced to the flag. Wonder why my body hurts.
I did manage to get all my book work done for jan so that was a good thing. Said good buy and thanks to Phil and Cory and they hope to make it up this summer . Yesterday the had a presentation at the park about draining the big bog to the north. Learned a little more history of the area . I was amazed that they made over 1600 miles of ditches in 2 or 3 years. With the heavy tax burden on the homsteader’s most could not pay the ditch taxes and moved on leaving the county almost bankrupt. All most !00 years later and you can still see the ditches from the air. Its a whole different world up there and very unique.
I then met David at Gary”s where we welded on blue thunders plow, glad we caught that as that would of led to some major damage if not addressed. Marty did not make it up and said he will be up later today. I plan on getting all the houses on fresh ice by Friday morning so all I have to do is pop 24 holes through 30 inches of ice. I will also move North Carolina but being its not rented I will not have to auger at this time. Its only rented two more times this season. Once we had the announcement of two fish my phones and emails have been silent. Seems crazy they will come for three but not two fish?
The easiest thing to doo would just move the house a little bit onto fresh ice as the two areas I’m fishing have been very fishy, But no not me I have two other areas that need to be explored so I will be heading out with the red baron to prep the areas before I move the houses. This is the time I need my helpers as I have to cut a trail with the red baron before I come out with blue thunder then remember to have the right gear in the right truck. I also have to be in Bemidji part of the day tomorrow so that will set me back a bit. The key today was taught to me from cusin Pete my mentor. Do not be in a rush, take your time. Its hard to do some times but I have most of the day. Another fun weekend is coming up and I plan on enjoying it to the fullest. Who knows maybe a ellussive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie is in the works. Only time will tell and as Ole says you have to put your time in for a trophy fish.
Its in the other truck. The plan was to fish some tip up this morning with some stinky dead suckers I have in the shop. I can not smell but they sure look stinky. My plans have changed as # 1 auger is in the red baron with Phil and Cory. I guess that’s a sign I should go in the shop and get # 2 auger going again. Phil will bringing up auger # 3 later this year. Its amazing how many things end up in the wrong truck and takes planning every day as tools and equipment keep getting switched around. Oh well. Yesterday I needed the drill. It has been in either of the two trucks all winter but darn if it was at home in the laundry room/shop. I solved the flat tire problem on the dodge prospector and Marty will be bringing up 4 decent tires . That truck has had the same tires its whole life I think? It came from a farm in southeren Minnesota.
Blue thunder needs some welding done today so I will be waiting to here from david this morning as she is broken up pretty good. The red baron v-plow is also tore up and needs a total rebuild, I will have no choice but to use it as is the rest of the season and go from there. I have taken some great pics this winter and maybe some day I will figure out how to move them around the computer and post them. I can post them on face book under John Halvarson but can not get them on cookies on upper red lake face book page.
Last night I arrived to old Minnesota around 4 pm. The fishing started off real slow and I thought yes its time to move, around 5:15 the fish came through in waves. I had a heck of a time keeping a minnow on the rattle wheel with the genze worm while I worked a clown colored rattling flyer on Kellies pole as I broke my 150 dollar custom pole last week. Jake will be happy as I will now be using the custom rod he made me. The fish just kept biting the third fish I caught was a nice 16 incher that became dinner. I must of caught 15 or 20 fish in the next 2 hours. Not one was over 17 though. I wonder where the bigger fish went? The guy that had 4 lines down earlier this year would not of had a chance. I heard through the grape vine that 7 feet is still catching fish. I’m thinking that’ s where the bigger fish are hiding. Phil and Cory had excellent fishing last night also in north Carolina and that is the third or forth day in the same spot. I had Phil set some guys up in a wheel house Saturday with the red baron and they did real well when I had checked in on them Saturday eve. I think I was spose to drop off my card but never got back over there Sunday morning.
I had a killer dinner in old Minnesota last night. After dinner I put in a movie and crawled up on the top bunk of Minnesota and slept like a baby for over a hour until my phone rang. Mike from Minnesota resorts might call today They were fishing Milacs and not doing so well .He said he may need two houses today. I told him Montana and old Minnesota were catching fish and as long as I did not have to move them they were ready to go. I broke the tire chains on blue thunder or should I say wore them out and Kellie is bringing home a new set today. Phil hits the road today and it sure was nice having him and Cory here even though Cory ate my whole bag of chips ahoy cookies. It was a blessing having him here as he did a fantastic job on the trucks. I now have to baby them the rest of the season as much as I can any way. At 8 below this morning I’m going to work on the books to make the hammer happy.
I was going to go fish old Minnesota this morning and detail Montana before I shut the heat down for the week. At minus 4 this morning and no rush to get out there I decided to stay in for a bit this morning and reflect on such a great season on such a grand lake. Plus the front tire on the prospector is flat. Blue thunders breaks are apart and the red Baron spent the night on red lake with Phil and Cory.
The last three season early ice has been crazy up here with fishermen. Mother nature has been very kind to us after last years fiasco. What a difference in a year. With 20 days left of the walleye season I will be a little sad to see it come to a end. I still plan on leaving the houses on the lake as I target perch and a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Kellie and I will be having quite a few dinners out there after the season ends as she has a mission to land a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappy. I have came up with a few improvements this year and some upgrades to keep me busy this spring and summer. I was hoping that the owner at the golf course I work at would make it down for a day of fishing, and maybe she will still call. I also made a new friend in Marty. What a great guy he sure likes to stay busy and has no time for tv or movies., Him and his wife Shelly will be coming up for a 4 night stay later this year. I have caught more walleyes this year so far then all of last year. Kellie the hammer caught more in one day then she has in two years counting the summers and that was Fun, Fun, Fun. Then to watch her struggle the next night was a good chuckle. Every one she missed I told her it was a crappie. I caught a Rock bass visiting Marty last week. It did not have red eyes though. We named him sheepie as he looks like a crappie, sheephead ,rock bass mix. To funny. It seems as a kid we would go over to the river with worms and catch all kinds of different fish. But never a walleye in the Tamarac river. None of my houses have landed a big Pike this year? That really surprises me and not sure why there not roaming around the fishy areas I have been at. I still have to sleepers open the last weekend of the season. This year most of my calls have came from people planning last minute trips. I do have my repeat customers still coming that plan a head. I have also decided not to rent houses for one day if its a Thursday as it is not fair to the ones that have planned ahead to have a house that has all ready been fished hard for 20 hours.. Working on the lake this year and visiting customers has been fun, fun, fun. Buddy Hillmens makes a road that is unbeleavable there is no one on the lake more dedicated to a road then him and I’m proud to be a part of it. Lets hope mother nature is kind to us the next 30 or 40 days as the season winds down. My plans right now is to keep having fun, fun, fun and enjoying such a grand lake as Dave told me a few years ago. Its a Grand Lake a Grand lake and “It Owes Me Nothing Nothing”!!!
3 trips to Bemidji in 4 days. Coming off the lake Saturday evening I felt a grinding in the front end of blue thunder. I limped her home where we discovered we had a break problem. My plans changed sunday morning after saying goodby to everyone and visiting a bit I was back to shore to make a parts run as Phil will be leaving in a day or two. Even though having more problems with trucks is a downer it all works out since Phill is here to work on them. Just like I love working on the
lake he enjoys working on the lake trucks and takes a lot of pride in what he does.
The fishing was really good in Montana for Dan,Mel,Amy and Rob. They caught well over 50 fish with that many misses. The co dropped in on them and everything was good. The one thing with these guys as they know how to catch fish and are very good at it. Tammy and Randy also had awesome fishing for two days. The co also stopped there Saturday. Randy had one fish just under 17. The board I have in the house is made a little short just for that occasion so that worked out good. He told him make sure you go by that board and you will be ok. He also commentted that he liked the house. I had to give there car a jump as the little vw diesel would not start at 20 below. They said they will be back and bring there kids next time.
.Adam, Ashly Willow and Justin were in old Minnesota for only one night. They also had great fishing and want to come back. Randy and Brian are in north Carolina ,Randy is from Oragen and had never caught a walleye or eaten one. They had fresh walleye for dinner last night and randy said its his new favorite fish Nice. Phil and Cory were fishing Florida last night and also doing well. Crazy fish sure are biting . I have all week to move the houses for the up and coming weekend. The plan at this time is to put them on fresh ice in the same general areas.
Boar locked his keys in his truck Friday night, he had a key problem this weekend as Saturday they ended up on the bottom of red lake. He had a magnet and was able to retrieve them. I’m planning and hoping to target some big pike again this week and want to try at the crack of dawn tomorrow. North Carolina are two man house and are cabin are open this coming up weekend. there was some traffic this weekend I do not think the lake was overwhelmed which is a good thing.
It seems every day becomes hectic and I sure do enjoy it. The first thing I had to do yesterday was track down the part Tom got for the red Baron. Then I needed gas it seems now that I’m over 6 miles out on the lake I always need gas. I had to hook up with Marty as he was going to make another trip to Bemidji for more parts. I then went to see how Chris, Scott and Greg did in there wheel houses. They caught a few fish but did not pound on them When I peeked into Chris’s house 5 guys and not one line down? I then set down and had a very exciting cribbage match with John. It came down to him losing in the stink hole and he had missed 1 point earlier in the match. It was a great game. I said my goodbys and headed out. After that I needed to auger out Montana and Florida 14 holes. Its nice having a new auger as auger #2 was just plane wore out. I still have not looked at auger #3 since it puked out on me. After finishing prepping the houses it was off to shore to meet Dan, Mel, Rob and Amy. After getting them checked in It was off to shore to say good by to the sweety as she had to make a trip down to the cities. It will be nice for her to see all the kids and grandkids and not be in a rush to get back home. I then had to escort Gary and Kay out to Old Minnesota and set them up for the evening. No sooner then I get them checked in Randy and Tammy call from Hillmens . So its back to shore to meet them and take Boar over to where we are going to fish for pike . Once I had then taken care of I went back to meet Boar. Just as I arrive he jumps out of his truck to tend to a flag up .A false flag! He resets and we start to talk. The wind is brisk as were closing in on dark so Boar says hey lets go sit in the truck. Apon arriving we are shocked to find the keys are locked in. A quick call to westwind with very little battery life left I tracked down a couple of tools to get into the truck. After getting in truck it was off to returns tools only to find out in my haste I left the wedge tool on the ice and snow. Now its pitch dark and the wedge is the size of a wallet and white to boot laying out there. I was able to find it with in minutes. I then headed out to check on everyone and say good night. It was nice to see everyone had been catching a few fish and having a grand time on a grand lake
yesterday morning mother nature decided enough is enough and gave us some bone chilling weather with a strong dash of wind for good measure. Kellie and I made a long awaited trip to Bemidji for needed supply’s and parts for the red baron and blue thunder. Phil spent the time prepping north Carolina for some repairs. He also worked on blue thunder and added a few extra lights. Thanks Phil your the man. Marty added much needed tail lights to blue thunder while Tom was on a mission to remove a front axle from the old grey goose some where near Bemidji. Taking parts off a truck in that frigid weather in a open field is no longer my cup of tea. I now have bought 2 parts off the grey goose since I sold it and Doug has made his money back that he got it from me. Ouch oh well it all works out in the end I would not have blue thunder if I did not scrap it out.
I arrived back to waskish just in time to meet Greg with his wheel house, And Scott with his. I then escorted them out to a spot where they got set up for the evening as they are passing through on there way to low. Greg told me he would give me 5 bucks if I told one of the guys to get back in the fff truck. It was way funny and I guess you had to be there.
I them met the honey bunny “The Hammer” in old Minnesota for just a bit of fishing before she had to go to work. We caught nothing while she was there but we enjoyed another upper red lake spectacular sunset. After she left I landed three nice keepers in a row 1 on the rattle wheel with a blue genze worm and the other two jigging a rainbow colored rattling flyer using the vex. The generator was sitting right in front of the fish house on the ice running? After that it was off to put a propane on florida and check in with Marty,Cory and Phil. While visiting Marty the rattle wheel took off like a pike just hit it. I set the hook and it was not fighting like any thing I have ever caught on red lake. When it comes through the hole it was a Rock bass that also looks like it has crappie and sheephead mixed in it .Its the dammest thing and I have to assume its a rock bass? All though I do not ever remember catching a rock bass on red lake in 49 years of wetting a line. Marty says its a sheeepie LOL I then swung back over to Greg who still owes me 5 bucks? They had a couple in the bucket. I walked over to Chris’s house who had slid in when I was not looking. I go in the house and there’s 9 guys standing around drinking beer with one or maybe 2 lines down. We visited for a bit and had some good yucks before I again went to collect my 5 dollars? Headed out in a bit to catch the sunrise as Ii prep all the house for the weekend.
Pike fishing was another grand time on a grand lake. We were fishing dead suckers as there are no live suckers for sale in waskish that I know of at this time. I expect Hillmens will have some before the weekend. We fished pike from 330 to 530pm with 3 flags. Cory had the first flag ,the fish made a huge run . Cory is only 13 and was very nervous about setting the hook . . He had him on for just a couple seconds but very exciting. He was bummed but we explained that’s how it goes. Marty had the second flag ,nothing there the fish dropped the bait . Phil had the third flag, He just reset the flag and we waited for it to be triggered but that fish also dropped the bait. When we pulled our lines Phil
s sucker had major damage. Oh well we will get them next time. We had a hoot enjoying the resource and that’s all that really matters. I talked to Ole he is a trophy hunter fish and big game. His words of wisdom. You got to put your time in and you are not going to catch a trophy sitting on the couch.
I had Norn fish old Minnesota from 3 tell 6pm he landed 8 walleye, got his two keepers and got two bonus perch. he said he wanted to catch a ellusive but still catchable upper red lake crappie . I told him if he did Kellie the hammer would not be a happy camper. Marty landed one yesterday morning and sent me a pic . What’s this he asked? Very funny Marty. I was so glad for him as I do not think he has ever gotten a upper red lake crappie. Phil tore apart the red baron and I will be off chasing parts today as we need a new used right front axle. The grey Goose had the part we needed but I junked it out this fall to gather money to buy blue thunder two. I also will be picking up some steal for north Carolina as at this time I can not jack it up with my railroad jack.