Jan 12th 2016

Wow looking at the calender and the walleye fishing is winding down. 17 days that’s all that left. This weekend is going to be a grind. Andrew, Dan and Luke headed home with there nine and ate a few fish so that was a good thing. Trevor and Stu had much better fishing last night and had a few in the bucket with two dandy perch to boot. I on the other hand I had another busy but satisfying day on the lake. I checked on Preston in his giant ice castle . They had slow fishing but Preston did land a trophy. A elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie and is going to get it mounted. Well over 16 inches. Goose and the gang are up and I plowed a area for them .I was wrong about cross country travel to a point as the goose off roaded to his spot. Bryce on the other hand pulled in just at sunset and attempted to make a loop around off the path I plowed and last I saw was digging out his shovel. The goose said he lives for this and loves the adventure so I headed home with out giving them a tug. I on the other hand spent a little time in ‘old Minnesota detailing it for the up and coming weekend for Wayne. Old Minnesota came from Milac’s back in the crappie day and is Wayne’s baby. All though Kellie the hammer and I love it and is our favorite house. I did plow a couple off shoots for wheel houses to give them a couple options. Then there are a few roads that were made after the big blow sunday, monday to retrieve houses. I found a spot to set up north Carolina as Mike is bringing his own generator. I then moved north Dakota on to its new spot. Blue thunders power steering belt is worn out and it has been a bear banking houses with the crusted snow pack. I need to move and bank florida this morning then she can be addressed. Knock on wood. I have been leaving blue thunder out on the lake where she feels right at home as I need both trucks out there so that’s the best way without my good friend and helper Marty. He should roll in some time today with his wife and dad for a little r@r and fishing. Sunday 3 of the houses are re rented so more then likely they will all have to be moved on to fresh ice as I can not stand checking in new customers in to a pre fished house unless the fishing had been fantastic. The third night never seems good ? All though for some goofy reason I have seen the fourth night have good to better then good fishing. I will never figure that out. Kevin and his crew have north Dakota Sunday, Monday and are bringing there own generator so I will have to prep a new location for them. My good friends and hunting buddies will be also coming Sunday for north Carolina. Jason and his gal will be coming for Florida.. Then Monday Dave is coming for Florida and Jason and Whitney will move into Montana so both those will have to be reset. Tuesday and Wednesday we will regroup as we again have a full house starting Thursday. Looking back through out the season so far it has been a bit of a grind trying to find great fishing and I would not change it for the world as I just Love be out there on such a grand lake

jan 11 2016

Well what can I say I guess I worked Andrew, Danny and Luke to hard. There plan was to hit some way points that Jake sent them. The fishing for them in the new spot we set up produced 14 fish and two fishing rods down the holes with one retrieved and one gone to the fish gods. A wheel house moved in just to the south of them around 6pm and they had not caught a fish all night. After checking in on them I was off to finish up a little more plowing on hillmens highway. Once that was done it was back to shore too gather a few more supply’s and head back out to move old Minnesota down by montana for the up and coming weekend. I arrived back out to North Dakota and the boys were having a beer and all still in there pajama bottoms. I guess it was just to cold for them to hit any of those way points. Oh well at least they are having a grand time on a grand lake. I headed over to old Minnesota and started the process of digging her out. About 50 feet away another wheel house was set up next to old minnesota. every thing went well as I worked up a good sweat, its hard work but so enjoyable being out in the fresh air . I had the perfect plan after getting old Minnesota set up and checking in Stu and Trevor into florida, Kellie the hammer and I would be having a nice dinner and fishing in old Minnesota. Arriving back to Minnesota around 5pm we were unpacking when a truck pulls up. It was the guys fishing next to old Minnesota in its old spot. They had caught nothing and said they watched me move and wonder if the dog always ran behind me when I towed houses. They assumed I knew where the fish were as they also had caught nothing. I guess I was caught by surprise as one of them called me the fish guy? and I must know where there biting .Would it be ok if they moved down and fished in between old Minnesota and florida. I guess after busting butt all day. Working on the lake 43 straight days I told them to stick it out for the evening as old Minnesota had caught fish there in the evening and if they had bad fishing there was all sorts of areas to move to. I would rather if they would not move down by me. I have always looked at all the fishermen out there as potential customers. In hind site they caught me at the wrong time as I was trying to get the hammer and I set up for the evening. I will see how they did today and if they decide they want to move I can cut them a trail with the v plow. Now for the horrible fishing report. The hammer marked a couple fish and I lost one small scuffit at the hole. We had a supreme dinner, watched a movie and relaxed. I did not climb up on the top bunk of old Minnesota as I know I would of fallen a sleep right away, as I love taking a nap up there. We headed in with a quick stop at florida and north Dakota where the fishing was poor with a few lookers and no takers. Today I plan on taking north Carolina to a completely different area. Wayne will be using old minnesota this weekend and we will talk about moving old Minnesota after he fishes a day or two. Florida and north Dakota will also have to be moved and reset up for the up and coming weekend.

jan 10 2016

I guess that accu weather is struggling with getting there prediction right. Yesterday when I hit the lake with the red baron the winds had finally diminished. I dropped the vplow and off I went throwing snow to the south. When I got to the end of the road I cut a new trail to florida so Russell and Gary could get back on the road. We said our goodbyes and they were taking home there 6 fish. back on Hillmens highway for more plowing. That crazy 454 gets horrible gas mileage. It was burning about a 1/4 tank every 16 miles that’s about 5 miles to the gallon. Granted I’m plowing snow. My third trip out and Andrew called with his buddies Dan and Luke. perfect I had Andrew stop by the house and get blue thunder as I would be needed both trucks on the lake. I forgot to tell Andrew to hit the toggle switch for the heater and he had a nice cold ride 8 miles out. When they arrive I then recruited Luke to become the designated v plow driver and I gave him a little training as we headed back to shore for more gas. Coming back on the lake and it was Luke’s turn to clip along throwing snow to the south. Once we arrived back to the houses I used the red baron to cut a couple path to north Dakota and old Minnesota I then turned Luke loose to continue v plowing as I recruited the other two to help move north dakota and florida. I have my procedures and with a little orders we had both houses on the main road in no time. Luke arrived back with the red baron and I cut a hole new trail all the way out to montana . A little time making the new road and again with there help we took both houses down the new road in a fishy area to ruin. I had them all set up and fishing by 3 pm and finished the night prepping florida for today. I headed back on the lake around 8pm and they had enough fish for a meal and also caught a couple scufits. I totally forgot to tell them that’s a good sign for the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie? I have just a little more v plowing to do on Buddy Hillmens highway this morning and again she is in great shape. It just amazes me how nice of a road Buddy makes. I have a passion for golf,billards,and working on the lake taking care of customers. Buddy has a passion for making his road and you sure can tell by the time he puts in to it. Its a pleasure to be part of such a long tradition. The red baron has two mounts for the v plow and I think I need to take out the pins and raise the back as the tip of the plow is not quite touching the ice. I will have to wait for Marty to return as the new modification made you need a second person to hook it backup. Off road travel is now a thing of the past in my eyes. As the snow has crusted over trucks with wheel houses are defiantly going to have more trouble going off road. There is a secret to traveling with them but its a secret . If you have a wheel house I would plan on tracking down a v plow or straight blade to cut you a path. Also leave the plastic shovel at home and bring a number 2 spade shovel. It gets old picking up broken plastic shovels. Yesterday was another grand day on such a grand lake . The sun was shining all day and you could see for miles. With snow plumes to the west, east, and south all the operations spent the day opening up all the roads. Today I plan on digging old Minnesota and north Carolina out and getting them into new areas to ruin. Stu and his crew have florida rented today and tomorrow. That means Friday I will have to put florida on a fresh spot for Leroy and family. They have been coming for quite a few years and rented the cabin the first time I met them .

Feb 9th 2016

Just as I figured the roads on the lake were quite drifted. The nice thing about Buddy Hillmens’ highway as even though the snow had drifted there were still areas of bare ice and as long as you go slow even in blizzard conditions you can navigate your way off the lake. I talked to Buddy before I hit the lake with blue thunder .He told me to start on the north side and cut a new edge all the way to the end of the road. I got on the lake only to be greeted with high winds out of the northwest. With some lite snow coming down on top of the 3 to 5 we got she was blowing across the lake pretty good. I don’t quite understand where it all comes from. You would think the way it was howling it would all be blown away in no time but it just keeps coming and coming from the north west. Time I got to the end of the road and turned around the edges I had created were all ready catching snow. I headed back towards shore with a quick stop to check in on Russle and his dad in florida. The easiest thing to do was cross country to the house from the eastern side as the well maintained wide road I had made was pretty much full of snow. Stepping in to the house I from out of that extreme weather and it was just like stepping in to florida 70 degrees and no wind. They only had one keeper? Wow that surprised me as bobby joe and Darrel had left early in the am and had caught there limits less then 200 feet away. I was in a hurry and told them I would be back later. getting back on Buddy Hillmen’s highway and pretty much all the work I had done was now filled with more snow so I basically started over only heading east. Once to the end again I turned around and back I went for my third trip. I was clipping along pretty good letting the wind take some of the snow to the south .Another trip to the end and back and half way back I find my square shovel. It had magically fell off the truck. The next trip back I again stopped in at florida but this time I decided to plow into my old road bed. I new I had lost it but had to check it out . Once there a quick look at the box and generator and the extension cord coming out of the box had frozen into the puddle of water created from the exhaust. A little chiseling , repositioning the box and I walked over to old Minnesota. The weight of all the snow from drifting causes water to some how rise out of the holes and oozes out from under the house where it freezes like hot lava and somehow rises above the ice sheet. There under all that fresh ice is my extension cord. Frozen at least 10 feet under two inches of ice I would not be saving that and will have to roll it up hang it on a stick and come back and retrieve it in march when every thing starts to melt. Another quick stop in florida and still no more fish. I spent a few minutes giving them a couple tips,lures and tricks of the trade and off I went again. I met Buddy hillmen v plowing on the way in and his helper Kelly with the straight blade. What a mess as I think the winds had picked up. I was out of gas and needed to get to town to pick up the red baron so off the lake I came. Arriving back home around 5pm I had to put the v plow back on. With Barnys new design It changed the way the plow lifts and I struggled getting it back on. What I could do I my own in the past now I need a second person. Chandler was nice enough to help me and after a couple different atemps we got her back on. I was eager to get back out there and give her a test. buddy and Kelly had called it quits and open up only half the road as I think the winds had picked up when that stupid weather man kept saying on the radio all day the winds would be diminishing. Who makes up these weather reports? I gave the red baron a good work out on the way out and every thing performed just like it was designed. A third stop at florida and it was nice to see some more fish lying on the ice. My tips , tricks and lures had done the trick or the fish decided to swim under the house. Another short visit and off I went to get home for a nice dinner with the hammer and rest up for another day of plowing? Not sure what the plans will be today as the stupid weather says high winds for a third straight day. I hate to cut a new trail to the houses as the drifting will just fill it in. I will have to base my decision when I arrive out there as Russell and his dad are in a car, Andrew Jakes brother will be arriving some time today for north Dakota. Jake said they will help move the house but with the extreme weather not sure if that going to happen today. I also rented florida tomorrow? I may get the chance to see if the house can catch any fish on the fifth night on the same spot. Making any new roads to the houses will only fill in as fast as you make them. Mother nature is the real boss and winner out there and no matter how hard you try she is in control. I plan on hitting the lake at first light this morning and we will go from there. As Dave the old timer said . ITS A GRAND LAKE AND IT OWES ME NOTHING, NOTHING

feb 8th 2016

Yesterday was not a day to be on the lake. Marty and I headed out around 8am to gas up the generators and say goodbye to all our customers from the weekend. I had a sneaky suspicion some would all ready be gone with this major weather system blowing in . We met Tanner and his crew coming off the lake and said our goodbyes. I never got to spend much time with them this weekend so only remember Amanda and brads name the other two I forgot. They had the worst of the fishing in north Dakota but did catch enough for a fish fry and said they were taking some home. Tanner also said they would be back next year for sure. That’s always nice to hear. We also met Bobby joe and Darrel on the road as they were headed to westwind for breakfast. Kellie the hammer and I spent a couple hours Saturday night visiting them and doing a little fishing. When we arrived they had 3 in the bucket. I got the hammer set up and Bobby s rattle wheel went off. She set the hook and got a nice keeper. The hammer lost one at the hole a short time later . Then Bobby had two misses on the same rattle wheel, they sure seemed to like that corner of the house. I stopped in to check on Rolly and Kevin if Florida. They were eating some fresh fish. Kevin said they had caught a few and had enough action to keep them entertained through out the weekend.. Andy an dandy had the best fishing of the 5 houses they figured they landed 20 even though they had a parade of trucks driving by them part of the day. They hooked up with there buddy Sam Saturday and spent the night in his wheel house on a way point from last year. I’m not a huge be leaver in way points out there as the fish move so much with the lack of structure. There are patterns out there and I spose certain areas can be good year to year. They ended up with only 3 fish and no elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. Oh Rolly did land a nice 14 1/2 Saturday morning. I stopped and talked to a wheel house that had set up just north of florida. They did not do well at all. I also stopped and talked to Boar as I had picked a spot for him. They had pretty good fishing and caught some nice ones and took home 12 nice keepers. We had a couple good laughs about a shovel. I found a shovel he left on the lake weeks ago ,when he ask me if I had found a shovel I said yes I did but he would have to buy a new one as this one has become part of cookies operation. I ask him if he would also pick me up a spade shovel and I would reimburse him this weekend for both. Saturday morning when I stopped to get my shovel I left in a hurry to say good bye to Rick, Matt and Mike. I got a text from boar a bit later that he had found a shovel and it now had became part of his operation. he is coming up again next weekend with a group of 4 h kids so the pressure is on to find him a good spot. Marty and I worked on detailing the houses as the weather quickly started turning for the worse. We had a couple small mishaps that were again to funny. I had a dandy perch laying on the ice in front of florida, when Marty rolled up with the vacuum he made it into a pancake with blue thunder as he did not see it there. Then when is was vacuuming Florida the extension hose fell in the hole and he sucked up a pint or two of water through the vacuum. Coming off the lake a 11am and the north west winds with the snow had started drifting across the roads and things were getting real ugly out there real quick. I would be making another trip out there when Russel and his dad arrived for florida later in the day. They rolled in around 230 and heading out it has become a whole new world out there. I got them checked in and told them they would be hunkering down and do not venture out , I also talked to Bobby and Darrel and left them a spare generator in case any problems developed as I would not be coming back on to the lake in less it was a emergency. The road I made to the houses is completely gone and I imagine it will be easier to cut a new trail then open up the old one which is a shame as I had put quite a bit of time in making it nice and wide with only a big berm on one side. In hind site I should of built the berm on the eastern side and not the west. The way it was blowing it may of not even made a difference. It only made sense to have the berm on that side as all the houses were to the east of the road. I’m not sure what Buddy’s plans will be reopening the road but do know that we have a big work out coming for blue thunder and the red baron. The red baron is still in Kellier but is spose to be done today. 800 hundred dollars worth of work as Barny is reengineering the whole thing and beefing it up . He said with the design the way it was if I ever hit something to hard I would rip the plow right off the front frame horns. With the new design maybe it will be bullet proof. I expect not as the conditions are just so extreme out there. Marty will not be back un tell Friday as he will be bringing his wife up for a weekend of fishing in Montana. Since Montana was only fished 1 day I plan on leaving it where it is and just moving all the drifted snow away from it. I would like to have north Dakota on fresh ice some time before Andrew arrives tomorrow. Old Minnesota needs to be on a new spot by Wednesday and the rest of the fleet by Friday. It should all work out but there is a lot of plowing to do once this wind settles down. I have my eye on a whole new area so we will also see how that pans out through out the week. Randy and Tammy set up right on the spot there were last weekend and did terrible I know I’m not going there

Feb 5th 2016

Another interesting day on such a grand lake. Marty and I rolled on to the lake around 830am. I was hoping to be on the lake by 730 to catch the sunrise but got delayed. Oh well cant catch them all. Andy and Andy always want to be off by them self ,they bring there own generator and I do my best to get them off by them selfs. When I get out there to my surprise there are 20 rentals that have advanced to the east and now are much closer then where they were the day before. Then there is a new trail to the east. Oh well they still are off by them self and I just hope that the fish are not coming from the north as they have a gammit of lines to get through before they get to montana. The house is on a fresh spot and there is no time to move it and the v plow is out of commission for a day or two. For some reason there is quite a bit more snow in the new area I’m going to ruin. Stopped to see how old Minnesota did and they had better then average fishing .That was great to here as that is really the goal. Putting the houses on fish. We then spent the next 2 hours getting north Dakota and north Carolina set up for tanner and his crew. tanner and his group showed up and I checked them in. Then it was off to prep florida for Rolly and Kevin.Old Minnesota and florida would be running off the same generator. I go to plug it in and I’m 10 feet short. OOPS. I try and keep the houses about 200 feet apart and missed it by 10 feet. rather then go all the way back to shore I was able too borrow a extension cord from Tanner so it all worked out. Just as I was finishing florida Rolly and Kevin arrived. Perfect timing. Marty and I headed home to get the red barons v plow off and get her to town. Arriving back home it was time to rest a bit before taking the hammer out to have dinner with Randy and Tammy in there fish house, cabbage rolls. They were very good. We took Marty’s dodge 1 ton. I think great I will dress lightly and where my tennis shoes for a change. After having dinner I jump in the 1 ton diesel and meet Boar on the lake to point him in the right direction with his wheel house. I take him half way down the road where I have my rentals and pull of to a area I like. Boar comes over to say thanks and says I have your new spade shovel. Oh great I will get it tomorrow as I don’t need it tonight. I then drive down to the end of the road to check on Andy and Andy. Turns out they have had company most of the day as 5 trucks have driven with in 2 feet of the house to get around to the very end of the trail. Then the whole group moves just after dark and sets up out in front of the picture window, again driving right next to the house to get there. Oh well! I say good night and drive over to say hi and see how there doing. Turns out they are looking for the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. I then turn and drive towards the trail and proceed to get stuck in 10 inches of snow if that. I jump out to survey the situation and I’m in my tennis shoes. I look in the bed and no shovel. One of the guys says if you have a strap I can tug you out. Looking in the back seat and all I have is a over sized ratchet strap. That would have to do. A little more improvising and they were able to tug me out. Still not sure why I got stuck and I have a sneaky suspicion Marty’s tires are a little worn out. Two last stops to top off the generators and check on Tanners group and pick up the hammer and we were on our way off the lake. half way home a jeep decided to cross the south berm and was buried to his running boards. There was a truck helping them out so were headed home. Tired and worn out from another day of fresh air a grand lake

Feb. 5th 2016

Another day on such a grand lake has gone and passed. Marty and I had a fantastic day yesterday working on the lake. Were still working on better communications on the lake though. Having some fun with walkie talkies reminded me of when I was a kid in Denver. I got a new set of waklie talkies for Christmas. My uncle Lester showed up and took one in his car to see how far he could go and still here each other. He dropped it out of his car window and ran it over in the driveway.. I was about to throw mine out the window yesterday.

We were able to get the whole fleet in to new fishing grounds. Rick ,Matt and Mike arrived right on time. They have been here many times so giving them directions out was a breeze which made it much easier for me to keep working instead of driving to shore to meet them. Once they were checked in Marty and I cleaned up 3 miles of Buddy Hillmens highway from the dusting of snow we got. Montana is just what Andy requested and they will be bringing there own generator . A dodge truck decided to jump the southern berm and they had there plastic shovel digging it out. I guess they did not want a pull? If your going to off road bring a number two shovel as the plastic ones usually end up as liter when they break. Florida is all banked and ready to augur. North Dakota and North Carolina are together for Tanner and his crew. We still have to position them, block, bank and augur them out. I lost track of how many holes we augured so far this year. I will do the math at the end of the season. I know I’m on my 3rd gallon of gas. So I’m moving Florida yesterday and a truck with chains, towing a old large homemade trailor/fish house comes down the road and stops right in my path. I take a hard right on a old trail and when I bust through the edges florida comes unhooked an d almost passes me. Them steal runners are like ice skates. The guys in the camper swing around when I’m re hooking it up and ask where they biting. I say where did you come from and they say Rodgers. I say how did you get here and they say we have chains. I stopped in to check on the guys in old Minnesota they were sleeping. They had a long drive from il. I lost my spade shovel the other day. My replacement was a old one that has been on the property for ever I imagine. It lasted one day in Marty’s hands and broke in two. I made it last a whole week. That brute force of Marty’s. Coming off the lake last night and the red barons head lites got broke off as well as the patch work we did last year on the plow frame broke. We will be taking the v plow off today and having Barny repair it asap. Wayne said it would not last when we repaired it last march. I also plan on installing the new injectors. The park ave needs some work to get it road worthy as I spun a bearing on my chrysler car. OOPs. The bravado is leaking antifreeze and is not a head gasket so we also have to look in to that. Well I’m again excited for a awesome weekend .I expect a little better fishing soo time will tell

Feb 5th 2016

So I’m tooling down the ice road yesterday and I see a black garbage bag on the west side of the north west berm. I always try and stop when I see liter and pick it up. Some times I may have to get it a little later if I’m on a mission. I stop walk over to grab it and its full of frozen fish guts. That’s the second bag of frozen guts I have picked up this year. WTF? The first one I picked up a few weeks ago I threw in the back of blue thunder, I stopped to throw it away and when I’m walking to the dumpster it rips open and splatters all over the ground. There not frozen and of course I do not have my glove as there in the other truck. I ‘m trying to scoop them up and getting poked to boot. Very frustrating. Who ever does this please stay home and go fish in your toilet. Last year picking up liter was ridicules. Being on the lake every day for 100 days I am quite aware of some of the liter bugs. Rodger a old customer of mine that now has a skid house left quite the mess last year and I’m still waiting to see him so I can chew him out. It looked like he left a whole basket of laundry out there. Sweat shirts, jeans, tee shirt ,towels etc. Another outfitter left every block he used for his rentals? One spot I know he never went back to as when he pulled out there was his customers grocery’s. Milk, butter, beef sticks, eggs, cheese . etc. that were forgotten under the house . Some times I can not rescue a block that has completely froze in. Later in the year in march I try and go back to every area I have ruined and double check for any thing left behind. When we had are little crappie get together last year I would say 30 wheel houses showed up in the area we were working. Only a handful came out of there houses and said hi. When they all rolled out Sunday and Monday I found 1 pop can driving around. They may of not been the friendliest fishermen but they were very respectful of the lake. Yesterday driving home off the lake I had a big bang and thought I blew out a tire. I stopped to check it out and a bungee cord had snapped. Wow was it loud, I would of swaryed it was a tire I was thankful it was not the tire . I then backed up and gathered the two pieces laying on the ice. I also stopped last week when I was helping Buddy with the extended road as I saw something black and did not want to plow it in. It was a piece of the red baron. I never did look at the red baron to find out what it was. Its was plastic and I imagine it was a some type of splash panel.
Now for a very short fishing report. Mel, Dan, Amy and Rob did a little better in the new area I’m in the process of ruining. Not quite what I was hoping for but a dash better then where I was at. I planned on fishing another spot last night out of blue thunder but after moving north Dakota, old Minnesota, cleaning Montana, chipping out blocks left behind when I moved north Dakota. Washing the picture windows for Andy and Andy when they arrive Friday for Montana. I was to tired and worn out to augur any holes and wet a line, plus I had to make my homemade pizza for dinner. I will keep trying to check out the area I have in mind. On a side note accu weather had a big swing and a miss They said gust to 26 with a nw wind. I dressed for it and it was a lite southwest wind with sunshine all day, I was so over dressed. Marty made it up today and we have a very busy day today. Not sure how I’m going to dress better check accu weather.
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Feb. 3rd 2016

Oh my gosh! What’s the old sayings. You should not be allowed to have this much fun? Laughter is the best medicine? Having good friends and or family is what’s life all about. I have been fishing most of my whole life. I started fishing in Colorado for trout in the streams and lakes of the rocky mountains. The first time I came to Waskish I was 6 years old and my dad brought us up here to see my grandma Olga. My first cast in the tamarac river I caught a 5 lb northen pike. Grandma is the one that gave me the nick name cookie and my dad hated it. He said no son of mine will be called cookie. Dad died in a car accident leaving Waskish after a hard day at the farm in 1978. My parents were divorced so I only got to spend a couple weeks a year with my dad and I be leave if that would not of happened I would of ended up raising my family in Bemidji working at his car lot just north of Bemidji. Dad would take me fishing on red lake and we would troll spinners. I would get sea sick and puke over the side of the boat . Dad loved it as they always bit when I was chumming. My mom remarried when I was 15 and moved me to Minnesota where I met my sweet heart Kellie the hammer. I met her on my 16th birthday and it was love at first sight. We raised our family in the forest lake area and would come visit grandma mostly on holidays when we had 3 day weekends such as the 4th of July etc. The greek and I became best friends when we met as he heard my step dad took me hunting and he wanted to learn how to hunt. We hunted up in swift west of Baudett and always stopped here to have lunch or dinner with grandma on our way up and on our way back home from hunting. Grandma nicked named Billy the greek because he turned her on to greek seasoning salt. Fast forward to this last weekend good friends, good food and fun times were had by all. I’m headed out on the lake yesterday morning to fish with Wayne and maybe get in a game or two of cribbage o before I get to work for the day. As I’m driving out I get a text from Wayne of a pic of a 14 1/2 inch crappie laying in a 14 inch frying pan and the caption says Why do they call them pan fish when there bigger then the pan . I arrive to old Minnesota and say. I want to take that same picture and I put the crappie in the pan where I take the pic. I bend down and pick up the pan and his fish does the crappie flop and goes head first right down the hole. A perfect one and a half gainer with hardly a splash. Oh my gosh it was so funny . I don’t know maybe you had to be there. It was so funny and what were the odds. I know my good buddy Jake possessed with upper red lake crappies would be proud on releasing such a trophy. Wayne headed home yesterday with his 3 walleyes and the crappie the hammer caught. I got to work on the lake about 10am . With Dan the carpet mans help we would be making a big move with Montana to put them in a new area that has not been fished. He was my helper as Marty has not made it back up yet. Some how in the process of moving I missed that I had not cinched the 2 hundred pound propane’s on the back of the house and one of them fell off during the move breaking the line and falling off the house. We dealt with that and I got them all set up in the new area I’m about to ruin by 2. I then headed back to eat lunch and dig North Dakota and North Carolina out for the big move. Old Minnesota and Florida will be dug out today and also be moved. If the weather man is right the wind is going to be brutal out there today with gust out of the nw at 26 mph. Where’s good help when you need it? Drive safe Marty and will see you when you arrive. Old Minnesota will be the next house moved as Rick arrives tomorrow at 10 am for two nights on such a grand lake. When I left the lake I stopped to check on Amy, Mel, Rob and Dan and they had 3 more walleyes in the bucket and were anticipating a good bite as the sun set on such a Grand lake. On a side note yesterdays sunrise was nothing short of spectacular

feb. 2nd 2016

Dan Mel Amy and Rob rolled in Sunday afternoon just as I was finished moving and auguring out Montana. They are a great group and have been coming for years. Dan is my carpet man and we did some bartering as I would like to replace carpet in 3 of our 5 fish houses next spring. They are having some good yuks out there and missed a couple fish with in minutes of wetting there lines. Then Mel landed a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Again it was slow for the location were at. Its a fishy area but its time to find a new area too ruin. My good friend Wayne is also up. He is the person I acquired old Minnesota from and is still his house. He turned me on to ice fishing in style and spoiled me years ago fishing on chisgao down by forest lake. Before I fished in his house we always set on a bucket or fished out of a vehicle. He is also one of the three best fishermen I know. I have learned many sudel tricks from him. The greek is also one of the better fishermen I know. His secret is he never sets his pole down and is always jigging. His favorit jig is the white flu flu jig.
Kellie the hammer, me and Wayne fished old Minnesota Sunday eve. The third night old Minnesota was fished? 3 bites with one keeper walleye landed. Wayne decided he wanted to stay again last night so yesterday instead of starting my migration to better fishing I again did the cookie shuffle and only moved Old Minnesota to the back side of Montana only a 100 yards away. The hammer and I would again be joining him for dinner and cards with a little fishing to boot. It did not take the hammer long to land her first fish of the night and she was giddy when she landed a elusive but still catchable upper red lake crappie. Wayne followed up with a swing and a miss and I landed a nice walleye keeper on a rattle wheel tipped with a fathead. Wayne followed that with another keeper shortly there after. A couple more misses ,a couple jigs missing there minnows while we were playing cards and the action was again done. Dan, Mel, Amy and Rob got another elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie and are going to stay one more night. They also have just a few walleyes with quite a few misses. Since there staying a third night I will be moving them today to new fishing grounds. Gene and Sue are coming down from lotw to fish in Florida this morning. Marty will be coming up later today and picking up a new used tire for the red baron as it has a flat from dry rot. The dodge prospector has a issue with the front end that needs to be looked at before it breaks. The bravado looks like it may have a leaking water pump and not a blown head gasket. Blue thunder is still the work horse of the fleet and I just love my trucks. I may of also over revved the crysler car yesterday and damaged the motor. Oops