The old weather man had a swing and a miss. 2 to 4 inches of snow turned into less then half a inch. We did get a strong wind out of the south east followed by a strong wind and flurries from the north west that caused quite a bit of drifting around fish houses and vechicles. Driving out to have lunch with Boar and fawkinnae yesterday there was three wheel houses set up to the south of Buddy’s road. They must of came out of westwind . Right in the middle of there set up was a car? A car? I know for a fact there is no road there so I have no clue how he got there other then following the tracks of the three wheel houses. With all the winds he will have a interesting trip back to shore. Lunch was a bust as the guys changed it to 3 pm. Buddy Hillmen pulled out two trucks from the berm to the south of his road yesterday. He also pulled out two trucks that tried to cross by the pressure ridge that also came out of westwinds. Hillmen’s charge 10 dollars a day to use there road. Stop in, get the latest info and pay the 10 bucks.
Kellie and I had dinner with Bill and Berry last night in old Minnesota ,a chuck roast with potatoes and onions and carrots umm ummm good. Reminded me of a offer I made years ago. When you arrive a roast will be waiting in the oven. I will add the potatoes, onions and carrots before you arrive so dinner will be served apon your arrival. If any one is interested in this give me a shout and we can make arrangements . Jake suggested I sell my home made pizza’s but they take a hour to make and I make a mess in the process so that was a bad idea.
Bill and berry figured they caught 28 fish so far with atleast that many misses. The house is rented today so the plan is to leave it there one more day before I move it as Chuck and his wife arrive at noon. Dale and Nolen have done all right in Montana .Larry will be here with two kids and another buddy and the plan is to have it on fresh ice before they arrive at noon. Sis and Leroy pull in at 4 for florida. Jake, Ryann and Gavin pull out at 10am. When I stopped last night they had a sink full of fish. Jake brought up a Polaris razor that I plan on taking it for a spin before they load it on the trailer . I have driven one before and if I was going to buy a wheeler that’s what I would buy its basically a dune buggy and every boy wanted a dune buggy when they were a kid. Matt, Ryan and Eric were in North Carolina and had the worst fishing of the four houses. I offered to move them yesterday but they were fine so they must of had some action .I know they were two shy of there 9 when I stooped in last night. Mark and his family roll in around 1 for North Carolina so that will be put on fresh ice also. I have another busy day and I’m loving it. Today is going to be a picture perfect day so we will see how the weather man does with that one. Marlo found a good bite further out so I need to check that area before he leaves. fawkinnae and Boar also did real well and I have my eye on that

Every thing went smooth as slick yesterday. Checked in all the customers and working on the names. Spent some time with Berry and Bill this morning . They caught some fish and last night gave me a half dozen chocolate chip cookies with wallnuts. My favorit cookie? Jake, Ryan and Gavin have also have caught some fish. There timing is off as they arrived around 4am at hillmens and checked in at 8am. When I stopped by right before dark they were sleeping like babies. This morning two of three were sleeping wonder if it had any thing to do with the rattle wheels. Stopped in to Montana to check in on Dale and Nolen and we shared some fishing stories.
They also have had action. I think it was Nolen’s first walleye through the ice but I may be wrong. I know the story he told us he lost a 10 lber. summer fishing. The guys in north Carolina are a little cramped as it is a 2 man sleeper. They are making it work and were having a grand time on a grand lake last night. I think it was ryan feeling no pain. I offered to move the house today but they said every thing was cool and are content. Sweet, The snow missed us, sweet again. The bad news. I had one of three generators crash. 450 bones to repair a 650 dollar unit. sHe had a tough life and lasted 8 years. There goes half the bankroll as I need a third unit as a back up. Heading out to have lunch with a couple of wheel houses I set up. Any guess what were having? Fresh walleye never frozen. Gotta go its lunch time

Well I was right I had a grand day on a grand lake yesterday.
We had both the red baron and blue thunder on the lake all day. One project was moving about a 100 yards stretch of snow from the north side of buddy hillmens road to the south. Working both trucks it took about 2 hours and two tanks of gas as the trucks got a good work out. I think Marty enjoyed throwing the snow with the red baron but said he still has to get use to it. We then got Minnesota moved and setup as Tom and Bill arrived right on time at 2pm as I was just finishing augering the holes. After getting them checked in I stopped to see gene and sue they were up to four and had released a couple to big. Gene called me a hour later and said they had there 6 and were headed home to bauddett. I also got north Carolina out of its spot and will be prepping that house this morning. Jake arrives at 8am for florida I have left it where it was as it has only been fished by Sue and Gene during the day and Trevor’s crew less the 24 hours last Saturday/sunday. If need be I can always move it for them tomorrow. Montana has been fished a little bit more with Marty staying out there the last couple of nights. Wendesday night the rattle wheel kept him up until four when he finaly said enough and reeled them in. A very good problem to have. Marty leaves today and I enjoyed working with him and I think he also enjoyed working on the lake. We have 2 to 4 inches of snow coming this weekend , kinda bad timing as it will cause a lot of drifting around the vechicles and houses. Darn that mother nature who does she think she is. The Boss
Remember if you go out of hillmens try to set up at least 50 yards off the main hwy if not further as the snow will drift across the hwy if your set up to close. The bridges have been moved and again go over them slow. there is plenty of room to the north of Hillmen’s Hwy spread out and enjoy the weekend. If ya want a spot plowed wave down a plow truck and they should be able to punch you a spot. Good luck this weekend , only take what you need and help keep a grand lake a grand lake

Yesterday morning detailing Florida the lake was rumbling from the warm up. A balmy 28 as I type this. I had plenty to do on shore and no need to go out further I assume the bridges were ok as Buddy Hillmen never called me. We had a great day working on blue thunder and the red baron. I now have much needed plow lights on the red baron. Blue thunder has break lights and still needs tail lights. I thought I bought some quite some time ago and I could not find them.I also changed the oil on the red baron. Heading out shortly to wet a line as I wait for Gene and Sue to call. It sure is nice having Marty helping me with a few projects as when it comes to wiring I have no clue. Marty had caught 8 when I checked in yesterday morning . While I was working in Florida around 10 am he had a flurry where he caught 5 .I had two lines down in Florida and never got a bite that I saw. When I checked my ratting flyer the minnow was gone but I guess I could of jigged it off. I have to dig out Minnesota and north Carolina today as it just did not work out yesterday. I have a spot all picked out and as far as I’m concerned its still a fishy area and I have not ruined it yet. Bill and his buddy arrive for Minnesota around 2. Sue and Gene are from low and are just down for the day into the early evening. Were full tomorrow except the cabin is not being used until Saturday. I will take a quick trip out to the pressure ridge after light to see how bridges are. Remember to drive slow over them there is plenty of ice on each side of the crack so driving fast has no barring on making it across. With the 3 day weekend, nice weather, and the limit going to two fish on the 23rd my money is it is going to be one crazy weekend up here as the lake is going to get pounded. I expect westwind will be hopping. Don’t forget to stop at tall tavern/hillmens they have set ups bring your own bottle and 3 2 beer, plus they serve frozen pizza. They will have the football games on sunday on there big screen tv. Gotta hit the lake have a grand day as I plan to have a grand day as a local Dave use to say Its a GRAND LAKE! A GRAND LAKE! it owes me nothing,nothing

Spent three hours on the lake yesterday fishing, remodling, and detailing Montana. Florida is on the list this morning. I did manage to catch three fish while I was in Montana so about one a hour. Marty was spending the night out there so we will see how he did overnite before I make a big move . Minnesota and North Carolina will be pulled out of there spots today. Gene and Sue will be here tomorrow morning to fish for the day. My plan was to do a little scoutting out of the truck this morning but I want to fish it comfort this morning and have a few things I need to do in florida, so I will wet a line there this morning as I watch the sun come up. Not sure whats going to happen with the limit changes to two jan 23rd. I do not have a lot of reservation for Feb and wonder if the calls are going to trickle in. The other choice will to start chasing crappies again and that take a lot of gas and time but may be the only choice I have. What to do, What to do. It will be nice to have headlites on the red baron and taillites on blue thunder and we could not of ask for better weather from mother nature /god Thank you. Time to warm up the trucks and hit the ice

Crappie fishing? Wow looking at the calendar 16 straight days on the ice. It has been hectic to say the least. FUN ,fun, fun though gotta love working on the lake. Marty will be up tonight to help me put tail lite on blue thunder and head lites on the red baron. I truly love my trucks. Sure they break and I may cuss at them but they take a beating out there.
Buddy Hillmen’s hwy is in great shape. Stay away from the berm to the south as it has sunk and became a active pressure ridge with any where from 3 to 5 feet of slush underneath. A few fishermen have learned that the hard way and when I say a few I’m talking more then three.
Marlo called me yesterday when he was leaving and they figured between the two landed 30 fish. The plan is to set Boar and his crew into that area friday. I never heard from Goose after he moved . Give me a call goose if you get the chance. Yesterday I was on the lake early before a must needed trip to Bemidji. A new chipper bar a new spud bar, both lost. Headlites and tail lites as they also take a beating out there. I even made a deal on a new auger, my old one was 10 years old. I have been waiting for the day I auger and the transmission falls apart and I loose the auger right down the hole. It still can happen as the auger is not retired at this time. Looking forward to detailing the houses today and moving them tomorrow with Marty’s help. He is pumped and is looking forward to working on the ice for a couple of days . He is the type that needs to be doing something as he does have some medical problems and does not want to sit around and die. What a great attitude to follow.
Talked to Peng yesterday he will be coming up with his cusins Friday or Saturday to try and retrieve his wedding ring.
Now for the crappie fishing my plans at this time is to head west when everyone else is heading east at the end of the season. I expect buddy will keep his road open and have shacks out there also. I will have to confirm with him. The season just goes by to fast for me and I’m never in a hurry to see it end.

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Another weekend has come and gone. Only 6 weekends of walleye season to go. Man where has the season gone.
Now the good news both the red baron and blue thunder were back on the ice yesterday. The red baron hurt as I had to hire some one to repair it total cost 1600.00 that’s what I get for driving it tell it breaks. I will be replacing the right wheel bearing asap before I destroy that side also.
Fun fun fun was the way to describe this weekend, what a bunch of great customers I had a chance to meet. The crew in Montana had a riot playing cards, listening to music and catching a few fish, They even ate a couple. After getting blue thunder back on the ice I moved there houses about a 100 yards and they did have better fishing so that was great to see.
I got to hang with Seng, Neng and Peng yesterday and enjoy a little lunch with them on the ice. Shoulder pork, roast cut up into steak, brats fried mushrooms and onions. For a appitisor whole walleye fried bone and all perch and a new delicasi fried perch eggs that were outstanding. I guess walleye eggs are a little grainy. Peng was in old Minnesota less then 30 seconds Friday when his wedding ring went down the hole. I called a couple of outfitters but no one had the equipment or time to try and retreave it. I’m going to try and borrow a camera before I move the house and maybe with a little luck we can retreave it from the bottom of upper red lake. Marty is coming up tomorrow to help me with some projects and do some evening/overnite fishing. I have a list of things to get done on shore so I will keep him busy.
Marlo and his buddie set up 500 yards east of me and got 10 overnite. They packed up there wheelhouse and headed out deeper where marty texting and said they were doing much better last nite. I also drove out and talked to a group that I had sent out further, they had a mess of fish plus 4 or 5 bonus perch and the four of them were playing cards when I stopped by around noon. With nothing rented until thursday I will have all the houses on fresh ice this up and coming weekend just still not sure where at this time

After checking with all the guys this morning it was back to shore to replace fuel pump on blue thunder. What a bear she was. After spending close to two hours on it I still was struggling to remove the fuel lines under the pump. Henery and Jake volunteered to come to shore and help me if I came and picked them up. I was like ya. When we arrived back home they jumped right in and with me holding the socket on from the bottom and Jake wrenching from the top we had the smog pump off and thrown away lickity split. We then were able to cut the steel fuel line and remove the fuel pump. I rooted around for some gas line and clamps and we had the new pump on in no time. How sweet it was to hear her fire up. Thanks again guys. After loading up the truck with the moving gear I was off to move Florida and Montana onto fresh ice. 3 hours later and the houses were moved and rebanked for the evening.
I had forgotten Phil had borrowed my auger. Oh Oh bad news the rope broke on him. I was kinda up set as he had grabbed the wrong auger he was spose to take my back up auger with the chipper blade. Once we got thing straightened out we were all good and I repaired the auger on the spot.
Trevor, Matt, Dan, Jake, Steave, Chad, Henery, and Jason were now all set for the evening in Montana and Florida. After dinner I headed back out to see if the move paid off and Trevor had pulled his first ever walleye through the ice. The fishing was still a little slow but I’m comfedent they had some action over nite. I then swung in to Minnesota and sampled some fresh walleye fish tocos and a bite of Squirrel that Peng had prepaired. Both were very good and I will try and take a grey squirrel with my bow next year. I’m now headed out to check on all the guys and a few other fishermen I have fishing in new locations. I also have some plowing to do On Buddy Hillmens hwy.Just some clean up with the straight blade. We then have a window with no rentals so I can take my time, detail the houses and make my decision where to move as I again have ruined 40 acres of upper red lake

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I do not have all there names down yet but the guys in montana and florida are another great group of guys. With the red baron still in pieces, blue thunder is my work horse. She would not start again ,I found the spare filter and spent part of the morning replacing it. Putting the 1 inch nut “fine threads” on I got it crooked and stripped the threads a bit.Very frustrating working in the cold with bare hands. I had to put the problem on the back burner so I could check on the guys and gas up the generators. Quite the adventure driving out there as the wind blew all nite and created some massive drifts. Around florida is the worst with there truck parked in front of the house a drift had formed 4 feet deep behind there truck making it impossible to drive rite up to the house.. All four houses have snow plowed up and major drifts to deal with. FUN FUN FUN. Trevor called around 10; 30 to tell me they were here. I met them and escorted them out to montana where they hooked up with there buddies that arrived thursday nite friday morning. Peng Seng, and Neng also called around 11 so back to shore I went to meet them and get them all set up in old minnesota. Once they were checked in it was after 12 as I headed back in with the wifes bravada. Back to working on blue thunder while Kellie headed to black duck to pick up parts for the red baron. I was able to reset the one inch nut onthe carb and get the steel fuel line threaded back on. Now its was time to try and start her. I poored some fuel down the carb and she fired right up but only ran for 20 to 30 seconds. I poored some more fuel down the carb and this time it stayed running Sweet I thought only to notice fuel is seeping out the side of the fuel pump. A quick call to kellie and she turned around to get new fuel pump. She arrived home after 4 and it was to late to work on it so thast my project this morning..My goal is to get her running and move montana and florida on new spots today. Just to move them blue thunder will get a work out clearing all the drifting snow. With the temp at 11 below this morning installing that fuel pump will be very tricky as the lines underneith are all most impossible to get to. The fishing has been poor in montana and florida which I totally expected with out them on fresh ice. The houses never get better? Oh well I feel bad but good ol mother nature wins this one. Peng ,Seng and Neng were not doing much better all though I missed two while I was visitting them as they were playing cards enjoying there stay. I then headed back to montana to play some cards with the boys,while playing cards I had a keeper up to the hole but Trevors bobber also went down and as his drag was spinning he pulled the fish right back down the hole as we were tangled and it got off. Thats what happens when you play cards instead of fishing hard. Oh well we all had a good laugh and went back to playing cards after we reset the lines. It would be nice to see some fish out theer this morning when I check on the guys because I sure want to see them get some more action. When I left the lake last night it was still blowing and drifting

Good old mother nature and another mechanical breakdown changed my plans in a hurry yesterday. Have not figured out why but the new blue thunder did not want to fire when I headed out yesterday morning? I cleaned the cabin and had kellie come get me with her bravada so I could get out on the lake to say goodbye to the guys and clean the houses. I only had a small window as a crew of 11 were rolling in at noon to fish on there way to low. Again mother nature had made a mess of things with the fresh snow coming down and steady winds at 20 miles a hour. It was a adventure going through the drifts as The wife all wheel drive does not work. As I was saying goodbye to Calvin and Lee, Cody and his crew drove over to say good buy and drove right into a snow drift that they could not see do to the white out conditions. I handed them a shovel after we tried to push them out with no luck. Of coure I had the bravada so did not have a snatch strap. I did have the insight to bring a shovel though. We headed back to shore to get a rope while they dug the truck out.Of course when I got back they were gone. With near white out condition and both trucks down moving a house or houses was not a option. Cleaning the houses became quite a chore as I had to walk through the snow drifts to get to the houses. I also had to auger out nortyh carolina . Just has I finised things up Bruce called from Hillmens to say they arrived. I headed in to meet them then back out through the snow drifts and 25 miles a hour winds out of the northwest. Luckly they all had trucks so getting to the houses was simple for them. Of course parking 4 vechicle around the houses with the winds imstantaly started making more drifts around every object around the houses. Ugg Once I got them all checked in I headed home to see what was up with blue thunder. She started right up with no miss what the f. After looking her over I gassed her up and spent the next 4 hours plowing snow around the houses and cleaning up the road too my houses. The guys heade d to lake of the woods around 630 so I said my good byes Each house caught a few fish and they were very satisfied with the set up.. About that time Phil called me as he and his dad Gordy needed two spots plowed out for there wheel houses as they are hosting some friends this weekend. More plowing to take care of them and I finally headed home. Took my boots off and looked at the calender only to see a special note that Jason and his crew were going to roll in at midnight. Zoiks guess I was not going to hit the sack early after all. With hardly any heat coming out of blue thunder I put a sunflower in the cab and I started it around 10:30 to try and un freeze the windows as the were pretty frosted up from all the snow plowing cleaning things up after all the guys left. What a mess and man do i have the snow around the houses. Jason called at 1am and off I went to meet them. Everything was going fine and then blue thunder sputtered and died 2 miles out on the lake. I’m thinking its again the fuel filter. I have another new one but have no clue where it is . I thought I had it in the truck and will head out shortly to try and find it. After sitting on the lake with no heat and the wind howling she fired back up and I limped her home where again she will not start this morning. Looks like a beatifull day out there today I’m headed out now to find that filter and hit the lake. Phil and Gordy got there 6 with in a hour of setting up. I will mark that spot with my system