Had a hoot yesterday moving Montana and made a short video. It turned out kinda funny. You can see it on facebook under John Halvarson.
Marty started gutting my old Utah house and she is shot. If I want to rebuild we will have to start from the frame up as the wood is rotten. Oh well still worth rebuilding as the house is built on hydraulics and is a breeze to move and can go down the highway. It would be a good summer project. Marty has been catching a couple fish in florida but no groupers yet? he also almost has my tail lights done on blue thunder and should buttem that up today. We will be moving florida to a new spot this morning so its on fresh ice even though its not rented until Feb 6th yes Feb 6th is the next time its rented.
Phil my mechanic slammed out the work yesterday and we will be tearing into the right front wheel of the red baron today as I have a u joint ready to break. Kinda nice to fix it before it breaks. Nice having a mechanic here for a change. When I was younger I did all my own work but my body just can not do it any more. Just taking off 8 lugs nuts can be daunting at times. Phil and Cory have been catching fish and north Carolina got better the fourth day it had been fished. Kellie and I arrived to old Minnesota on its new spot about 3; 30pm. I then proceeded to put the smack down on the walleyes while Kellie the hammer missed more fish then she landed . It was funny as she kept losing them half way up. I told her every one was a slab crappie. She then got her line tangled with the phone charger line and the vexlar with a fish on. To funny. I was using a gentz worm, glow blue on the rattle wheel and must of had a bite every 5 minutes the whole time we were there. On my rod and reel I had a rattle flyer in pink . Just jigging was a riot no vexlar just sitting there jigging and they would smack it tipped with a minnow through the head. By 6;30pm we had burned through the minnows and called it a night as we were headed down to JRS for a fish fry. I have heard nothing but good reports about the fish fry and fries there’s. Every thing I have heard was true a outstanding deal and the fries were as good as mcdonalds. The fish had a lite batter and did not over whelm the fish. Very very good. I will deffintly have my fish there again if I have the time. It would of been nice to just drive across the lake to get there but we drove off the lake and took the hwy. Marty, Cory and Phil also liked the fish. Kellie the hammer had chicken strips. Minnesota is not rented until the 6th also, I refuse to turn the heat off and Kellie and I will be fishing it in the same spot until the 4th or 5th of feb If I do not rent it before then. The spot I placed it is very fishy and I still expect Kellie to land at least one elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. I can not wait to get a pic of her holding up one of those world class fish again. Dan the crapet Man comes Friday for Montana and I will gaurentee they will catch at least 50 fish and have a grand time on a grand lake . Phil and Cory will be fishing North Carolina until Saturday. Today at 3 we are going on a adventure as we target a trophy pike. I’m excited and will be heading out at first lite to dig out the tip ups. The next 4 weeks look very bleak for rentals and the two fish limit has deffintly effected me. Oh well we will survive to fight another day. Glad I have 5 part time jobs in the summer. My plans are to look for the mother load of crappies since no one is coming to only keep two walleyes. If they want more then two they can always head down to the reservation and pick up a case of frozen upper red lake walleye and while there I would suggest buying a smoked white fish or two as they are outstanding

It just keeps getting better. This has been one of my funest season since the crappie days. Having my trucks running so well is kinda scary” Knock on wood”. I have heard a noise off and on from the red baron and it may be something in the transfer case. If I can not figure it out it will have to be driven tell it breaks . Kellie and I went and had dinner at Westwind last night the premier resort here in waskish. 8 pm and we were the only people in the bar. There was a big group having dinner in the dining area as they were headed to low and stopped for a day of fishing here on upper red lake. I have not driven the dodge prospector at all this winter .I replaced the fuel pump this fall and still could not get it running Phil shows up primes it a few times and has it running like a top. What’s with that? dam mechanics. Marty rolled in around 4 and I got him set up in florida, He brought me up so new taillights for blue thunder. How sweet is that even the taillights take a beating out there.
Last night was the first day I wore regular shoes since I hit the ice ,man was that a funny feeling. I moved old Minnesota on to its new spot and she is already to go .Kellie and I will be fishing it hard the next few days as I promised kellie she would get her elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Today I will hop scotch past Minnesota with Montana. They fished it hard and Dan the crapet man will be using it this weeknd. Minnesota, Florida and the cabin are all open for the weekend at this time. I may have to offer a deal so I can afford to atleast keep the heat on. Mother nature has been kind to us this year and I’am very thankful for that. With such nice weather Phil the mechanic is going to get spoiled as he has done some amazing work for me up here in the elements over the years. yesterday after going back on to the lake to help some guys out with a skid house.Ii decided I would go fish old Minnesota for a bit while Kellie was in blackduck. After the long drive I jump out of the truck and my fishing gear is in the other truck .Oh well I thought I will use the rattle wheels, wrong again one had no tippit line.One all the line got damaged and tangled and needs to be replaced. That left me with one rattle wheel. I got it set up, put in a movie and layed down on the bed and fell a sleep, never heard the rattle wheel go off or my phone when Marty arrived. Guess I’m getting a little burned out and need some more rest. With nothing rented all week it is a good time to get my second wind thank you very much

Wow taking a look at the calendar the last 4 weeks of the season are looking kinda bleak. I have at least 1 sleeper open every weekend. I have made one reservation since the announcement to a two fish limit? I also had one rented on short notice.
Saying good by to everyone yesterday was a treat lots of smiles and some great fishing as the big move was well worth it. Montana came through with 2 crappies from the house and two more from the green ice castle plus another 11 elusive yet catchable upper red lake crappies next to Montana. The walleye action was real good also. Just like I stated earlier if your catching small walleye theres a chance there ‘s a elusive upper red lake crappie near by. Fun to see them that’s for sure. I had a visitier yesterday while I was cleaning Montana as Danny from outdoor authority stopped by to say hello and see if I may be interested in a fish house on skids for sale. He has been busy and it was the first time I have saw him since the ice formed in November. Boar got a little concerned after his move Saturday as they had only caught a couple small ones. Things changed and they ended up having some fantastic fishing. Nice to see and again thanks for the help it sure makes moving house easier. yesterday was a half day off. After prepping/cleaning Florida and Montana Kellie the hammer met me at old minnnesota for a movie or two some fishing and dinner. Chicken stir fry was on the menu. I had to meet Jeff,Linda and Justin at hillmens around 3 to check them into florida. When I stopped in around 8 they had done real well with a few, yes a few cleanable perch. There son fishing in another house to the south landed two more elusive upper red lake crappies.. darn I drove right over them. Moving all the houses Saturday I bet I drove over 4 million fish too get there. Why does everyone always want to go to the end of the road? It must be the adventure. Kellie lived up to her nick name “THE HAMMER” in Minnesota and put the hammer on the walleyes. She caught a dozen fish to my 3 .On my defense I had a little nap as she said I was not fishing even though I had 2 lines in. Both had no minnow when I awoke so in a sense she is right. I can not help it as I love crawling up on the top bunk in old minnesorta and taking a cozy little nap. My mechantic rolled in around 4 and I got him set up in his house. North Carlolina. Him and Cory started catching fish right away and Phil was pumped to catch fish for the first time out of his house after it had sat brand new for 4 years. I have a long list of repairs for Phil to keep him busy during the day while he is here. Marty is also coming up today to help me out again. Even though the houses did so well they will be moved on to fresh ice for the weekend. I have nothing rented untill Friday and then only two of the 4 houses are rented. Minnesota will be put on the crappie honey hole I found and Kellie the Hammer will have her shot to land a elusive upper red lake crappie. Its been 3 or 4 years since she has landed one and is pumped to fish the new spot. the plan is to move it today. Being so far out is going to burn some gas so my plans are to only make one trip a day out there and work and eat lunch on the lake every day. The key is not forgetting anything, fat chance of that and I will have to improvise if I forget any thing for the day. I’m also going to shut down the heat On Montana for the first time since it has hit the lake. Marty will fish and stay in Florida while he helps me out during the day. Time to hit the lake as I prep Minnesota and wet a line this morning. I plan on fishing a chubby darter first thing as I just love the action and they hammer it when they come in. The rattle wheel will have a slick jig tipped with a minnow

Checking in with all the houses yesterday morning and it seemed they all got together because they all wanted to be moved on to fresh ice. After Talking to Andy in Montana the fish house not the state I decided the whole fleet needed to head to deeper waters. Boars spot did not pan out and he said he got some sleep with the rattle wheels silent. He also decided to move out deeper.
Florida was the first house to be moved. moving out to the end of the road would make each move take around two hours. I explained that to all and everyone was on the same page. I decided with out the red baron out there the fastest way to set up would be setting the houses on the roads I made. That worked out real well and saved quite a bit of time. Boar was nice enough to come help me with the first 2 moves and I gave him a grade of c+. I do not think he liked that and was striving to get his grade up. I have my own system for every thing I do out there. I’ve learned from the best my mentor cusin Pete to take my time, do not rush things. I was right and it took about two hours to get florida reset. When I arrived with the second house North Carolina florida already had caught 4 fish. Donny thought it was odd I was setting up on the road but I explained that I made the road and it was not a big deal. After getting them set up it was off to get old Minnesota she is my heaviest house and takes a little more finess to move. I picked the perfect spot for Minnesota . I also spotted another spot the I plan on putting Minnesota on this week as I gaurenteed Kellie the “hammer” will catch a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Making the rounds last night felt great. All three houses had fish tales to tell. Moving all the houses in one day put a damper on my visiting and I may not have every ones names down this weekend. After having dinner with Boar and his kids at the boars nest I made the last rounds of the night and Kellie and I headed to Hillmens Tall Tail Taveren to listen to the Crappy floppers. they are a bunch of guys that get together up here once or twice a year and jam. We had a ball and even with Kellie’s bad knee we were able to dance to a couple of songs. Very entertaining and a good time was being had by all. It was nice to see the bar full. Got to spend some time with Tyler and Audry from bear paw as they were there and Tyler even danced a song with Kellie. With only one house rented this week the plan is to detail all the houses this morning and have dinner with the sweetheart in old Minnesota tonight as Kellie is on a quest to land a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Did I mention Andy’s dad landed one and missed one at the hole while there buddies in the red ice castle landed two. How sweet is that. The bad news or good news if your a fishermen is old Minnesota and Florida are open this coming up weekend as I had two cancelations, They must of heard the limit is down to two?

Mother nature rules. The wind blew so hard Thursday evening it kept the roads from drifting in which was a nice bonus, less where and tear on the trucks. TYhere was some drifting but with out fresh snow it was not to bad.
Heading out to the end of buddy hillmens hwy. yesterday morning to auger out monatana and see how Alex and his buddy did it took a 1/8 of a tank of gas . So every trip out there and back eats up 4 gallons of gas in the bed baron. That 454 loves its fuel and you can watch the fuel gage plummet on those long journeys. Alex and his buddy did real well over night .Andy showed up around 10am with another friend towing a ice castle. After getting them set up I needed to go prep the houses for every ones arrival and say good by to Bob and Terry. Plowing around the houses from the drifting Thursday night, Detailing 3 houses, left no time for moving them so they all had to be fished where they were. Minnesota had only been fished one night so I felt comfortable they would catch some fish, North Carolina had one over night stay where it was and Gary and Kay fished it Thursday eve for 3 hours. Florida was on it 4th night on its same spot and it showed. They were not doing well at all and I will be moving them first thing this morning. Old Minnesota had caught 8 so far and they asked if I would move them today to fresh ice that house had not even been fished 24 hours before they arrived. Don arrived around 3 for north Carolina and they landed three with in the first 10 minutes of wetting there line and then nothing so I also will be moving them. Moving three houses is not such a big deal its prepping the new spots that’s take time and the further we move the longer it takes. Letting fishermen rent the houses on Thursdays really throws a monkey wrench in things for the customers that arrive on Friday for the weekends . I may have to change my policy and quit renting on thusdays as the customers get screwed when they arrive on Friday and I do not have the houses on fresh ice. It hard to say no when its such a short season and we need to make hay when the sun is shining.. maybe when I get out there this morning the fishing picked up? I did set jeff/boar up in a new location just around evening .It started out slow but when kellie and I were visiting them a wave came threw and 7 or 8 fish were missed with me landing a 16 incher on a rattle wheel. I did talk to Boar around 11 and they were doing much better. Andy in Montana with his dad and brother were way happy and have caught 25 fish or so .They are good fishermen. Andy’s buddy I think his name was Jim landed a 27 inch walleye on a tip up with a sucker. It was hooked pretty bad and they had no choice but to keep it as It was going to bleed to death. I also got a text from andy and one of there wheel houses landed a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Andys dad also lost one in Montana at the hole and he even had his hand on it. I saw the perfect spot to move Montana tomorrow when they leave and am excited to see how the fishing pans out in that spot. The other three houses need to go out to the end of the road, taking them out there today would take a lot of time so still not sure if I will leave the fishy area we have been in or just put the houses on fresh ice in the same area for the rest of the weekend. Then the whole fleet can go out there starting Monday morning. I will have to make a decision once I check in with every one this morning. I also have a area that has been real good all winter but can not convince any one to fish there.

Busy busy busy,
With a turn over today. Friday have became very busy. Orion and the guys had slow fishing yesterday and last night. 3rd night that house has been fished? It never gets better the 3rd night. I moved old Minnesota for Terry and Bob. They caught one right away in the new spot. While visiting them last night I landed a keeper just jigging with no vex. Gary and Kay fished north Carolina and I will have to call them later to see how they did. I cut a new road north for Montana and will head out very shortly to pop the holes. I did notice before Ii cut trail the red baron had a major crack and needed to be welded asap. I cut the trail nice and slow and limped her over to Gary s where David helped me weld it up. We had to remove the vplow and spent about 3 hours working on it. I met Alex around 10 pm and escorted him out by Montana as he is andy’s brother, Man had the winds picked up out of the south west, it was windy yesterday but last night it was just wicked out there . Hillmans road was in great shape with a little drifting but the off shoot roads were filling in quickly. There will be a lot of plowing today.

Blue thunder 100 years OOPs 10 years.
We were blessed with another beautiful day here on the shores of upper red lake. Buddy Hillmens hwy is in great shape. There is so much room out there it could never all be fished. Its just crazy how every season is so much different when it comes to mother nature. With a month of walleye fishing left I have no idea where the time has gone. Man a’m I having fun this year.
I met Orion, Mike, Mike and Rodger at hillmens right on time at 9 am. After getting there road passes and bait we were off to check them into florida. They were up to 3 and 2 lost at the hole the first time I checked in on them. I spent a little time in Minnesota detailing. But Chuck left it so nice all I had to do was auger three more holes the only problem with that the auger was it was at home. I also had a few things to add into Montana. Then it was off to shore to have lunch, switch trucks and move Montana while I waited for Bob and Terry to call. I decided to grab a bite at westwind and had there toco salad Very good and hit the spot. Just as I finished Bob called and they had arrived so back to hillmens with the red baron. I should of stopped at home and switched trucks as when I got out there I still did not have the auger to finish the three holes in Minnesota. OOPs we all make mistakes. I guess I should just figure out why auger number two will not stay running and have a auger in both trucks. Auger # 3 is in the cites getting some work on it. Once Bob and Terry were checked in I came home and got blue thunder for her journey to no mans land. Montana is now out over 6 miles. Now I will really be able to watch the gas gauge go down. I think the red baron gets 3 to 5 miles to the gallon. Heading back in I stopped to talk to Buddy Hillmen. He mentioned I need to make my road straight north and not north west like I had on my first road to the north. Now I have two roads to maintain running northwest OOPS again. I thought a northwest road was perfect when we get a wicked northwest wind. Buddy knows what he likes and I have no problem cutting in a new north road as its fun cutting through the snow in the red baron.
Bob and Terry are not doing very well and had only landed 3 fish as of 8pm last night It never gets better the third night. Orion and the guys have did much better and that’s in florida where Leroy and his family struggled? They were eating some fish when I stopped in. I think they had caught about 20 fish total in the 12 hours they had been here. I will move both today if they want but again I have decided to stay in the fishy area as its still producing fish. There’ s a chance I may have to auger 30 holes today. Where is a young buck when you need one. I need to teach my grand daughter Ashly how to auger as she is a worker and I could have her come up and help me and finish the school year up here. I wonder what the honey bunny thinks of that. I will be busy on the lake again all day and already itching to get out there

Hitting the lake yesterday morning I could feel it being another grand day on such a grand lake. After visiting with James and Amanda as they were packing they had a terrific time and will be coming back again. I think they were only taking home 3 fish. They caught a bout a dozen over night with a few big ones in the mix. Chuck just keeps catching fish. On average 1 a hour. He has been in old Minnesota for three nights. He did get checked by the dnr yesterday, they did not stop and talk to me must of new I was cleaning. Leroy, Sis, Hanna, Colten and Ashly they did not have the greatest fishing even after moving them. They did take home 9 fish and we ate 5 when we had fish toco’s. They also said they will be back and sis wants to have a girls getaway weekend.
I then spent part of the day fishing in Montana while I detailed it for Andy and his crew arriving Friday. Montana is getting ready for a 4 to 5 mile trip to a new location. They have requested a certain spot and I think I can get there with out any problems. Lets just hope I do not end up on some ones waypoint or spot that they are going to. Its only one house for now. For one weekend and we will see what pans out. I did miss two fish while detailing Montana and landed a nice 16 1/2 on a chubby Darter. Them lures are a blast to fish with as the fish just smack them . I would of never got that fish with out the vex though. I released him to fight another day. Minnesota stays where it is for at least one more night and maybe two ,depending on how Bob and Terry do. They are retired photographers and spent 25 years living in yellowstone taking pics of the wild life and following the wolfs for years. I’lll post his website when I get it from him as its well worth looking at. Orian and his crew roll in around 9am for florida.It will be interesting to see how they do the first 24 hours after Leroy and his family did not do that well. I will move them tomorrow if need be. I still have not decided what to do with North Carolina and need to decide today for sure as It will be moved, even though it was only fished one night.
This morning I have a chore. I need to pick up all the tools I have used this winter. I have been putting them on the floor of the garage after using them to see what I use through out the season. There are more on the floor of the garage then in the tool boxes. Blue thunder and the red Baron are in good shape at this time Knock on wood. They are about to get another work out though as I move Montana to its new location. I did feel a little miss in the red baron but I think it s fine. Still feeling out blue thunder but as of now she has a good 100 years in her as a lake truck. I need to add a steering wheel rap asap though. Getting ready to have a grand day on a grand lake

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Another fun filled day. Checking in on Leroy, Sis and the kids they only had a couple in the bucket. Josh and Ray were pulling out and said the fishing was great until the wind switched out of the east around 6 pm. They had been on the spot for a third night? The third night hardly ever gets better for my house’s?
My next stop was old Minnesota with chuck and he was in there for the third night on that spot.. He commented how nice the table was set up. He had done real well and was about 100 yards from Josh and Ray that blamed the wind. I had told Chuck I had no problem moving house on such a nice day and he agreed I should move it. After prepping two spots with the red baron. I went home to get my fish house moving machine Blue Thunder Two. I then met Leroy back at florida to Point! him and Zack in the right direction on there quest to find a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Moving Minnesota went like a breeze and I only had to auger 3 holes for Chuck. Sweet! Three less holes of the hundreds I will have augered this year. Then the fun began as the girls in florida would be riding in florida as I glided it on to a new spot. Again every thing went like a well oiled machine and I’am so thankfull for that. Blue thunder 2 is living up to its name and has the soul of blue thunder 1 in her.” Plus a Few Parts”
Finishing up floridas move with 8 more holes punched I was done for the day. Coming off the lake at sunset time I moved both house in 3 hours. I think I may be getting a little older as I thought I could do it in 2. Oh well.
Kellie” The Hammer” her new nick name until she sees this anyway.! and I headed back out on to the lake a hour later to have fish. Fish toco’s with sis Leroy and the kids. They were delicious. Cloleslaw mixed with sour cream, a dash of lime and hotsauce all mixed together on a soft shell. Very good and will try and perfect it for the hammer and I.
Amanda and James were in Montana and only had three fish when I stopped in on them. They may have caught a couple two big I do not remember as again I was tired from a full belly and another day in all that fresh air. Chuck was doing real well in old Minnesota and may stay another day. Today is a big day as Montana gets prepped for a 4 to 5 mile move. I have to cross 4 cracks as you can not take the houses over the bridges. Florida and old Minnesota will stay put for the day and have not made a decision on what to do with north carolina

The day started off a little nasty with a stong wind out of the northwest. The weather man said it was going to be nice. It did settle down around 1 and we had a rare sighting of the sun. I got out on the lake to say good bye to everyone and start prepping for all four houses to be turned over. After saying good by to Boar and fawkinnae I headed back to my shacks to get to work. I detailed Minnesota and decided since Berry and Bill Landed so many fish I would leave it here for Chuck and his wife. I then skadaddled over to florida to take a quick ride on jakes razor. What a riot. I stopped at Montana and had Nolyn grab his gloves and took him for a ride with me. Man do I want one of those. I bet I had a smile ear to ear as I raced around FUN! FUN! FUN! I then said my goodbyes as I still had a big work load but what a way to start the day. The guys in north Carolina were packing up and going home with 9 fish. That was nice to see. I then procceded to clean and move Montana before Larry arrived at noon. I then moved north Carolina before Mark rolled in with his family. I had untill 4 to get florida prepped and it would also be fished one more day where is at. Josh and Ray are right behind me and doing well in there grey wolf fish house. Wow what a nice fish house. After I prepped a area for Montana. I got Montana detailed ,moved, banked, augered I headed over to north Carolina to prep for moving. Chuck called and had arrived. I headed to shore to meet him and escort him out to the house. I checked him in and finished moving and prepping north Carolina. I also had to switch up the 100 lber propane. In between all this I made about 8 passes up and down Buddy Hillmens road throwing the snow to the south. I briefly met Boar to say good bye and then headed out 6 miles to check on Pat,Todd Ryan and Chris. I had them set up through buddy hillmens houses as I was full. I plowed all 4 miles out to the end of the road and plowed on the way back again throwing snow to the south. There was more then one spot where you could see someone tried to drive over the berm from the south with no success. After visiting pat and the boys I headed back to shore to meet Mark and escort them to north Carolina. Leroy, Sis and the kids for florida also arrived around four and met me on the lake. I came home just as it got dark ate dinner and fell a sleep. I have to apologize to Chuck in Minnesota and Mark in north Dakota as the generator ran out of gas around 8 pm. I was so busy I had forgotten to fill it up before I left the laks. The phone rang about 8 :30 and the generator for florida also ran out of gas. I never checked it as I added on the berg system and thought there was still plenty of gas in the tank. Once I got out there and fired florida back up I visited for a bit and Sis missed three bites. Zack finely got him or her a nice 20 inch walleye. After visiting with them it was kinda late and I never got to check in on Chuck or Mark and his family I again apologize as my serviced slipped a bit yesterday as I just got plain wore out. When I arrived home a stepped in the cabin to say good night To Peng, Yee, Seng and Jerry? They found a good spot and also did real well all by them selfs. Peng had no luck retrieving his ring and the triangle got it. I’m all rested now and will be moving Minnesota and florida if need be today