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

Feb 1rst 2016

Well what the heck was I thinking? Just like I have posted this past week. Buddy Hillmens snow bank to the south of his road has sank and is a truck/fish house eating machine. Randy pulled a guy out that tried to make it across Friday. At the same time Buddy Hillmen was just up the road pulling a truck and fish house out of the berm. Another truck with fish house in tow drives by Buddy and goes 50 yards up the road and tries to cross the berm in another spot and he also buries his rig? I’m cruising down the ice road to get home and here’s Marty sitting in the red baron and two guys are buried in the berm. There trying to dig out with a plastic shovel. I stop and they say what should we do your the expert?. The one guys feet are soaking wet as he is shoveling in 2 feet of slush and water. I explain we can tug the truck across but the fish house will have to be un hooked. After tugging the truck out onto Buddy Hillmens road. I explain there is no way I can pull that fish houses trough that slush puddle mess and they need to exit the lake from hillmens, go around and pull the house out from the way they came from. Here’ s where I ‘m not thinking. I say here take my tow strap? go around and hook the strap to the front of the house and spin it around . You can just drop my new strap off at hillmens store when your done. See ya strap as it was never returned wtf. was I thinking. I guess its just another lesson learned here on such a grand lake that owes me nothing.
Now for the long winded fishing report. I had Tyler, Reid and Riley checking out a area that was good last weekend, I had Matt and his kids in another wheel house in another spot, Keith was just to the north east of me in his wheel house, Boar rolled in late in his wheel house and set up somewhere. Marlo was in a completely different area. Saturday morning and the report from all was one fish two fish very slow.
Old Minnesota had a little better action after Marty and I did the cookie shuffle. Connie and Dave headed home with there 6 walleyes Sunday morning plus a couple elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. North Dakota had Jimmy and Tony’s kids. Brock, Luke, Lexi, Monica and Audrey. I checked on them a few times over the weekend and they were enjoying themselves. They ended up with about 12 keepers plus a couple they ate. I had to do the cookie shuffle for Tony and Jimmy Saturday morning as they had horrible fishing. Marty and I will no longer be fishing my houses prior to customers arrival. They did have better action and got there 6 walleyes. 2 the first day and 4 on the new spot plus another elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Brett and his crew Rob, Jason, Dave and Andy fished portables through out the weekend and only landed 6 walleyes in the two houses Montana and north Carolina. They were both on fresh ice in what was a fishy area last week. Dave did land a Sucker of all things in Montana very weird. Saturday they fished portables and found 4 more elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies plus only 12 walleyes for the day and they moved around quite a bit.
Randy and Tammy moved Saturday morning out further and did a little bit better, Keith moved out further and had a bucket full of small ones when I stopped in to see them Saturday eve. Tyler, Reid and Riley also moved out further and had way better fishing with a few perch mixed in and one a real hog pushing 14 inches. Tyler has a facebook page and we did a quick video while I was there. I saw Marlo leaving the lake Sunday and they had pretty good fishing where they were at. I called Matt Sunday as he was gone with the kids, they also had better fishing but nothing spectacular. I did look over when I was driving by and his kids were having a ball ice skating where I plowed them a rink.
All my houses did not do that well. The rattle wheels were pretty silent over the two nights .Not sure why there not biting at night?
We will reload today and start scouting for a new area to ruin

jan 30th 2016

I guess all I can say is stupid fish. Making the rounds last night was again a little disappointing. My first stop was to see how Tyler and his two buddies were doing .They showed up with there wheel house and I set them up where Randy and Chuck pounded on them last weekend. They were marking fish but only had one keeper after 5 hours of fishing. My second stop was Brett and his crew in Montana and north Carolina on new fresh spots. Montana had gotten two and north Carolina nothing yet. They were having a big fish fry though as they had fished portables most of the day and had there 15 walleyes and 4 yes 4 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. One which had came out of north Dakota Thursday night. I then got a call from Keith. They were trying a new spot and had also caught one elusive yet still catchable red lake crappie and one keeper walleye. My next stop was Tony and his crew. The 5 kids which I have not gotten there names yet had caught 4 fish with one being a smaller northern in North Dakota on its new spot. Tony and Jimmy the kids dads were fishing Florida. They had not caught a fish but they had been helping the kids and were just starting to really fish.. Connie and Dave were in old Minnesota after we had moved them onto fresh ice. Connie had landed a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie and was quite excited. They had also landed a couple more walleyes and now had 5 in there bucket . Still not very good since they arrived Wednesday afternoon. I talked to Marlo and all though I do not know where he is fishing they had 6 in the bucket and there buddies in another wheel house also had some action. I did not get a chance to talk to Matt and his kids in there wheel house as they were trying a new area to the south west of me. Randy and Tammy’s wheel house looked very dark so I did not stop as I assumed they may of been sleeping. Boar and his buddies are also out there somewhere in there wheel houses and I will talk to them later today to see how they did over night. So over all my houses were not doing all that well. Marty and I will move Florida on the other side of north Dakota so Jimmy and Tony get a fresh spot for there second night. I will be moving Montana to a completely new area Sunday for Dan, Mel, Rob and Amy as it looks like I may of ruined another 10 acres of area. Who knows maybe I will get out there this morning and the rattle wheels have kept every one up all night as it has been known to happen in a sleeper.

Jan.28th 2016

Trying to beat mother nature at her own game. Knowing we had some high wind predicted for Wednesday marty and I busted butt Tuesday moving all the houses into position for the up and coming weekend. Time ,gas, and where and tare on blue thunder as I tried to make sure the plowed road into the area we are fishing was nice smooth ice with the berms all to the south. The generator box for north Dakota, florida and old Minnesota would be set up when Dave and Connie arrived Wednesday. Any object on the lake would be getting some drifting and I tried to plan for that with a nice wide trail/ice road.
I knew the wind was howling out of the south and I expected some snow to be drifting across Buddy Hillmens plowed road but most just sliding across the smooth ice heading north. With the plow down I clipped the edges of the snow drifts and let the wind take it away. Arriving at our turn and darn even with all the snow built up on the east side and nearly none on the west side the snow was still building up . Oh well so much for that plan. Every ware you disturbed the snow the rest of the day was going to catch more snow. We headed down the trail to augur out a couple holes in florida so marty could relax and fish while kellie and I were in Bemidji. We set up the generator box and extension cords and powered up all three house’s. I plowed away the major drifts around the three houses pushing all the snow to the east of the houses. I checked on dave and sarah in montana and marked th etrail with tree branches to prepare for whiteout condition. Heading to shore around 12;30 to meet Coonie and Dave from Ill. and that crazy mother nature had done a complete flip flop and was now howling out of the north west? Didn’t see that coming. Now all that snow that had been swept to the north was coming back in force across the road the other way. Plus now it started to snow and it was a wet heavey snow to boot. I again dropped the straight blade on blue thunder and clipped the edges of the drifts to let mother nature carry the snow to the south. The berm has now collected quite a bit of snow. Busting through that berm is no longer a option and any fishermen that tries will be getting towed from the same way the came from or doing a lot of digging so bring a number two shovel if you decide to save 10 dollars to access the north side. I greeted Dave and Connie at Hillmens where they got there pass for 4 days and bait. Heading back out to old minnesota and the wind and snow were starting to create white out conditions just like I expected. After checking them in and going over a few rules I stopped to check in on dave and sarah and told them I would be gone the rest of the day and marty would be fishing in florida if any thing came up while I was gone. I was a little concerned or should I say a lot as Marty would be heading back out in the worst of it after he gathered his gear and I don’t think he has experienced what mother nature had in order. I did have him call me when he arrived and just as I again expected it was a eye opener for Marty.
Arriving back home around 8 pm I headed out to check on every one and see if marty caught a couple fish. first stop was at Montana where the fishing report was not what I expected. Slow with only a couple big perch and one walleye caught. Sarah said when the wind would lighten up they would get a couple nibbles through out the day. I was excited to see how Connie and Dave were doing in old Minnesota as I expected they would have a couple fresh walleyes on the ice. To my surprise they had only landed one little scuffit walleye and lost one on a rattle wheel that broke the line. They also had caught one nice perch and had a few nibbles through out the day. Oh well I guess if we catch them all there will not be any left. I then went over to check on Marty and see how he did. He had the best action and had two nice keepers and yes. One elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. He told me the bite was so very light that if the line moved across the hole you tried to set the hook as they were not even pulling the rattle wheel line down. Marty does not use any electronics as he is kinda old school like me. All though I do use a vexlar when the hammer is not fishing with me. Oh forgot to mention the new generator stopped running for no apparent reason again and I call will be made To acme in Bemidji and a little bithing will be in order as I again demand a new unit as that piece is a lemon as far as I’m concerned. They can not blame the cold as it was above 32 degrees. Buddy’s road was in pretty good shape but the red baron will be hitting the lake this morning to give the newly re built v-plow a good work out and a taste of what she was built for. Brett and his crew roll inn around 10am today.

Jan,27 2016

Well we’ve been busy the last couple days. Marty rolled in late Monday night with his young neighbor Dylan in tow. I had a list of things we needed done before we pulled the houses onto the lake for the up and coming season. I did have a few fishermen here and with there portables in tow they all seemed to find a few fish. Andy and his crew camped with there ice castle on the river and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Kyle and his crew were in the cabin. I set two of them up to fish north Carolina but they never did make it out there. Yesterday was the big moving day as we broke all the houses loose and headed on to the lake. Do to the ice condition this year I had no choice but to start out in front of my place just off the last break in 8 to 9 feet of water. There should be no reason we will not catch fish there with most coming after dark. I augured a few test holes and found 13 inch of ice close to shore. I then started walking to the west auguring holes every 25 steps. Checking the ice with a tape measure I was a little disappointed to find 11 inches not 50 feet from 13 inches . The next 6 holes all showed 10 inches. We are just not having the super cold weather that makes ice. Every year is different and this year is no exception. Last year we were driving 6 miles out at this time with well over 20 inches of ice. Right now as it stands I will have to stick it out close to shore un tell the ice conditions improve .When the time is right I will head north and get all the houses on to buddy hillmens road. The lake has been a very busy place the last couple days as all the outfitters and resorts are trying to get houses out to fishable waters. Last I heard Hillmens would only be allowing 16 foot and under ice houses on to the lake towed by wheelers and side by sides. I have no idea what westwind is allowing at this time. Eva and Matt will be fishing our new house North Dakota starting today. They are here for two days and then the house is open Saturday. They will be the first to land a fish in our newest addition. I had Marty and Dylan in montana last night so will see how they did later this morning . Rick and his crew roll in for Minnesota Friday, Cory and his family also arrive for florida. Mitch cancelled montana and Travis and his wife will be using it Friday night. Pat will be bedding down in north carolina Saturday eve. Its nice to be on the lake . She’s a grand lake and as David the old timer up here told me its a grand lake and it owes us nothing.

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