Well its looks like I have to chime in a bit of the conditions on our end of the lake. Upper red lake is a huge body of water and freezes up different every year. One year it glazed over in one night and the ice was so smooth I could of put on ice skates and skated all the way to gilbar on the north shore which I would say is 5 miles away.
This year as the shore line was slowing making ice we got very cold temps with a nnw wind. Each wave would hit the ice pack and some water would spray into the air where it would ice up or lets say turn into snow. By morning it was ice as far as the eye could see. It stayed cold and the wind died down a bit . I couple days later another big wind came more winds from the wsw and again pounded ice into the eastern side of the lake. That why the water is or was so stirred up underneath. Some ice broke up further out and was driven under and over the ice making shelf ice where it could be twice as thick. As far as I know the ice pack on our end never broke loose from shore quite a ways out and we kept making ice. Even though it was warn down in the cites one day there was a 25 degree difference they were at 40 and we were at 15. Opening deer season was a week of cold, cold, cold. If I remember one night it was 8 below.
I’m very confident that we have plenty of ice on this corner of the lake. No wheelers, or sleds have broken through on this end that I have heard of. Buddy hillmen of hillmens resort has staked his road out quite a ways “miles”. same with westwind and beacon harbor. There was a crack out at 3 miles that did separate but the wind drove it back together and made quite a pile of stacked ice out 3 miles. Westwind and hillmens is requesting know one try and jump or travel over it. Is the ice 100 percent safe, No it never is. Common sense is a must, If it does not look right its probably not right.
I have had a few fishermen here and they all have measured 9 to 10 inches of ice. The area I plan on scoping out today could have 11 ? The fishing has been pretty darn good with pink and gold shining. One day they want jigging the next day dead stick. This end is allowing wheelers, sleds and side by side out to the pressure ridge around 2.5 to 3 miles. There’s plenty of fish and space, there is no reason to venture any further. Just use good common sense.
If you do choose to come up check in with the resorts, they have been on the ice every day .
Not even sure where to start? As quite a few fishermen may know we had a tragedy here on upper red lake this past weekend. A young couple Zeth and Melissa lost there lifes doing what it looked like they loved to do from pictures and comments I have seen and heard of the couple.
I’m a little different then most guys and I can become a little more emotional then others and I will flat out say I have shed a few tears and am choking up right now as it breaks my heart. I have read a couple of post out loud to the hammer My wife and can not get them out with out tearing up..
Facebooks Ice Fishing Minnesota has a post where you can post a fishing picture in there honor. what a beautiful tribute in my opinion.
It turns out that Zeth was from Stacy Minnesota. My wife’s sister shell chick lives in Stacy. I raised our family in Wyoming Minnesota just down the road from there. My helper from years ago Tony had played softball with Zeth as a team mate and against him. Mark works with his dad. Renea son was best friends with him, Bob’s daughter’s boyfriend was a friend . Paul had just talked to him. Its such a small world sometimes.
Melissa brother posted a story about spotting a couple dark objects on the lake that led him to the recovery site. The dark spot were two eagles, When we had my grandma Olga’s funeral here in waskish there were eagles flying over the church.
The hammer does not want me going on the lake at this time, I feel very confident to venture out but just like every year I stay back un tell I can drive blue thunder on the ice. Once I’m on the lake I could possible be out there close to 100 days in a row so I’m never in that big of a hurry ,plus my mentor, cousin Pete who has lived here all his life and was best friends with my dad has always said slow and patient, don’t be in a hurry, that how things get broken. By the way my father died in a car accident heading home from waskish in 1978. I never got to here all the stories he had of his stomping grounds up here as a teenager. I can only imagine as he was a daredevil as he raced figure 8s in Colorado when I was a kid. I know they use to water ski up and down the tamarac river and try and sling shot each other into the reeds. I have also heard a few car stories but will not share as I do not want to give any one any ideas.
I had a close call or two on this lake . When I was 6 I was on the lake with my cousin Stan and my sister when we ran out of gas and a storm blew in. We lost both oars and were at the mercy of the wind and the waves. We had no clue we were in danger un tell a rescue boat retrieved us.
Mother nature can be extra wicked up here as I have blogged over the years as well as summer,
I try and request a prayer every year in church that all the fishermen and workers on the lake have a safe season. Do to the circumstances of what happen I would rather not share any fishing reports for a few days. I’m not even sure how I’m going to feel when I do get on the lake. As Dave the old timer told me ITS A GRAND LAKE AND IT OWES ME NOTHING NOTHING
May you rest in peace Zeth and Mellisa, and I’m so so sorry
well we finally got our home computer back so it sure is nice to be able to type again instead of using the phone.
The wind were wicked Monday night but by the looks of it this side of the lake held together so that’s real good news.
Lonnie and his buddy braved the winds yesterday and headed out ,they managed to get 7 of there 8 but it was a tougher bite then last time they were here on Saturday.
This weekend is going to be crazy up here as I have had quite a few inquirers about lodging on shore. Buddy Hillmen may have something but he is tough to get a hold of as he is busy building that mammoth house.
We ran into a hiccup on blue thunder and have a part we can not get off to replace. I’m hoping Tom can come over and button it up. as Devon worked his butt off to get er done. You could see the disappointment in his eyes, Blue thunder is my work horse and I’m feeling the pressure of getting her up and running..
Our new used lake truck may show up sunday if all goes well. Its name is Cheyanne “I think that’s spelled right. It blew a radiator in fargo and is arriving on a trailer .
Old Minnesota is the only house that I have not detailed as I also had some major work on her that was ignored while I was trying to break 80 at the golf course this summer. Every one have a great thanksgiving and if your coming up here make sure you check in the resort your going out of as they have been on the ice everyday
so here’s the scoop , as most fishermen know most of the resorts up here started letting wheeler and sleds out on the lake last weekend. That does not mean you can go any where you want as the winds have shifted the ice a couple times and opened up a few cracks . Check with the resort you access and stay in the areas that have been checked out.
The fishing has been pretty good.
I have had a few projects that were put off untell I got laid off from the golf course and mother nature again made my projects more challenging. I’m making progress slow and steady and maybe this time I have learned my lesson not to put these off when its 70 and sunny. Chasing breaking 80 at the golf course has got me processed.
From the looks of it there a good chance we will have all our sleepers on the lake by the 7th of dec.
My plans are again to go out of Hillmens resort and help Buddy hillmen with his road. He has built a 2 story house that may or may not be on the lake as its huge, I think it can sleep 8 to 10. Its crazy big 14 by 28.
Trying to post a fresh report on my phone is a little frustrating. As of now all resorts are allowing walk out traffic for sure. Mother nature has wiped out quiite a bit of snow to my surprise..Buddy hillmens double decker 10 man fish house is coming alo g nicly and if anyone is intetested in renting it and can not reach him feel free to contact me 218 556 6197. My buddy waynes friends were up here last saturday out of hill.ens and did limit out. He ssid it was 1 fish every half hour. All also heard of a good report out of westwind. Our books are slowly filling up ut we have plenty open dates at this time.
Not a whole lot to report on the fishing at this time. Sounds like the rainy river is hot.
We have been short handed at the golf course Oak Harbor Golf course so I have been working all most everyday.
I had the treat of seeing a bull moose on the way to work so that was a sweet. He crossed a dirt road right in front of me.
Buddy Hillmen is building a new fish house and its huge. Two stories, 14 by 28 I be leave.Its quite the sight to see. Looks like most of us that rent fish houses are starting to do the pre season prep work.
The reservation book is ready. As I always tell customers that I start taking reservation around hunting season.
The greek was here for a couple of days passing through from Alaska. We were able to get in a couple rounds of golf and had a hoot.
bob and Rick will be up to do some work on our deer trails and stands. My plan is to again try and take a deer with me recurve bow. I up graded to carbon arrows so I been doing a little shooting to get ready. I have a new spot to hunt this year and need bob and ricks help to get set up. The grouse hunting has been getting a little better as the leafs are falling off some of the lower brush and trees.
The fall colors were spectacular this year.
I still plan on doing a little more fishing as my friend Pat may be coming up next week with Jeff and his son coming up around the 21rst. So there may be a fishing report in the future, if the weather cooperates.
The fishing has been pretty good the last week or two. There not jumping in the boat but we have been able to scratch out a few limits with out fishing all day long.
Wayne , Kellie the Hammer and I got out Saturday for a couple hours and kept 6. We missed way more then we caught.
I’m not quite ready for summer to fade away so I guess I’m hoping we have another nice fall like last year..
It has been pretty dry up here this year and the lake is low. The tamarac river has next to no flow.
The bear hunters have started baiting. I got to see 4 bucks in velvet all together last week I’ve seen 3 before but never 4 so that was cool.
We may go fishing again Thursday and Saturday
Another weekend is in the books.
Kimjoy and Tim enjoyed them self tenting down at the lake. The wind played a little factor in there fishing but they were not to disappointed and plan on coming up to try a little grouse hunting this fall. They also took in bible study at our Baptist church here in town on Wednesday and enjoyed seeing everyone again.
Jeff, Jeff and Dillon came up Saturday morning and we hiked out to our land as they wanted to check it out. jeff and Dillon had to take off so me and jeff got out to do a little fishing. The sheephead were very aggressive but we managed to get 3 nice keeper walleyes for dinner.. Jeff and I had a fire down at the lake as we watched another classic upper red lake sunset.
Sunday morning we headed out to my early morning spot where we picked off 4 nice fish before jeff had to head home. I did catch a eel pout of all things Saturday?
Danny did real good fishing with his clients as he was up here for over a week.
I ran in to a old customer/friend that was camping at the park and they also managed to find a few fish.
Wow where did the month of July go? I guess its that old adage when your having fun time fly’s by.
The lake is low this year as we are in a semi drought in this area. Our good friends Bob and Rick came up this past weekend so we got out Friday eve when I got home from work. We drove past the ball fields on our way to launch the boat and Hillmens were getting ready to start there game of beer ball and it look like they were having a nice turn out for that.
We headed straight out to deeper water 12 feet where we trolled spinners and ended up picking up 7 nice keeper, a couple sheephead and one small pike. Not bad for just a couple hours of fishing.
Saturday we were in no hurry to fish so we went and had breakfast at westwind before heading out.
This time it was a bit windier so we decided to drift around the same area we had fished the night before. The first drift we had a double and things looked promising. We only needed five more fish for a 3 limits. I ended up getting a fat 19 and we missed a few fish. A couple more sheephead were caught before we had our 5 keepers.
Coming in I saw Tyler when we were pulling up to our dock and Tyler had said they did real good Saturday morning in 13 feet of water.
Danny from outdoor authority was up for the softball tournament and landed a 29 inch walleye Thursday or friday
After dinner we went and watched the mud football. This year they only had two girl teams of 4 and 2 guy teams of 4. Every year different . I remember one year there were at least 8 teams and they played tell dark.
After the games we went over to Hillmens bar tall tavern where they had a outside band and enjoyed some music.
Sunday Bob and Rick headed home and I went and watched the softball . They had 7 teams this year.
The blue berry were a bust this year so I never got my 12 pints and will have to wait another year.
My friends Tim and Kim rolled in last night and are staying a couple days so I hope they can get a few fish.
The hammer ,our god friend wayne and I goy out sunday for a bit of fishing.
Wayne had the hot hand landing 7 walleyes , 2 sheepheads and one nice mid 30s pike that cleared the water on one jump. I heard 2 guys had there 8 with two just over 18. Frank at north country food and fuel said he talked to a couple guys that also did real well.
Justin Shane? Bob Baily and Kyle got 5 Friday but the wind got the best of them Saturday. They came up to cut down a few trees for me and stayed down at the lake.
There’s a few things coming up Hillmens has there softball tournament coming up at the end of the month. I could find enough bed to host a team. Again Saturday eve they play a very mean game of tackle football in the mud pit that is always a hoot to watch.
westwind will be hosting there second annual corn hole tournament limited to 32 teams the first weekend of august. They also have some live music in there bar Friday night.