Day 38 January 23, 2009

Yesterday was another awesome day on the lake. The red baron’s tranny is hurting which is not good news considering it has less then 300 miles on it. It will be interesting to see what the tranny guy will do for me?
Mark and Sandy rolled in yesterday. They hope to eat fish at least twice. When I checked on them last night we had a nice visit and they landed two walleyes while I was there a small one and an 18 1/4. They were up to 8 fish either to small or to big which was good as they were getting action.
Zack and his friends rolled in last night and have a huge group rolling in today. I prepped 7 or 8 driveways for them yesterday as there bringing up 7 hard houses today.
Minnesota and Montana are set up next to each other for Jill plus they are also bring up a hard house.
Kellie and I fished Idaho in its new spot and each landed a walleye while we were trying to eat supper.
I have plenty of holes to auger this morning. Some repair work to do to a couple of our houses, bank Minnesota a little better, make sure all the house have a full propane, meet customers as they roll in, plow another spot or two for hard houses.
Utah is on a new spot and it will be interesting to see how that area does as I’m always looking for an area to ruin? Or fish the snot out of. I may leave Alaska right where it is as the fishing has been decent in that area,.
Let’s hope we have some great fishing this weekend.

Day 37 January 22, 2009

Today and only today will be the 37th day I work on the lake. Just like every other year plans change on the fly due to mother nature, mechanical breakdowns etc.
Yesterday the plan was to prep a couple of new areas I have had my eyes on. The fog that rolled in was thick as pea soup and made it a little tough to see where you were going. Buy mid afternoon it was a little better. With no wind and the temps in the 20s it was a spectacular day to be on the lake. The day before I got some great pics of a sunrise. Yesterday while banking Idaho and Florida in there new spots the quietness in the air was so peaceful. Tony and I sure enjoyed the day as we spent the day on the lake.
Dave and Dallas headed home. They fished with suckers and did decent until I made them release a fish that was just over 17. Dave said they never caught another fish after that.
Scott and his brother, nephew and niece had decent fishing after we moved Montana. They had 8 walleyes and landed a 41 inch pike yesterday.They also partied hard with Brian, Ron, Mike and Jack in Idaho.
I over heated the rebuilt tranny in the red baron twice trying to move to much snow. The v is not cutting the way its spose too and we are still trying to address that problem. I added a transmission cooler and will be changing some of the fluid as the sun comes up this morning. Tony fished a new spot for me the night before last and landed 3 walleye and a bonus crappie.
We start to fill the houses today as we have another busy day.
Idaho is still open for next weekend, 30th, 31rst and if you stay Sunday you can fish and watch the super bowl on the two TVs and satellite dish. Old Minnesota is open the last weekend of walleye and we now have are budget sleeper on the lake, Alaska, which has a few weekends open.
I better get busy as it’s getting light out.

Day 35 January 20, 2009

Yesterday was one of those days. It started off plowing out 8 miles just in case the road was drifted in a bit. Nancy, Kevin and Max were packing up and had 8 keepers. They fished from 4 pm tell 9am and managed 14 eyes and one small pike.
Heading back in I met Phil to plow him a spot and overworked the red Baron as I overheated the tranny?
After letting it cool down and talking to the tranny guy that rebuilt it I took it easy back to Idaho to meet Tonyboy and investigate a little further. Everything seemed ok as I checked on Brian and his crew and Tony checked on Dallas and Dave.
Dallas and Dave were managing about one fish an hour and were fine. Brian and the boys had a little slower fishing. They did manage to catch a 31 inch pike that had one of Jordon’s lures from the day before.
I then started to make a new area for houses when I again over heated the tranny on the red baron. Darn the luck if it’s not Mother Nature kicking you a$$ its mechanical failure.
I then got a call from Kellie the wife. Her car was dead. Now the winds picked up and just like that I’m dealing with two major problems? Now let’s throw in some snow flurries and a little extra wind gusts to make the day. After getting her car up and running it was time to install a tranny cooler in the red baron. Installation time said 1/2 hour and I spent twice that time reading and rereading the instructions. After smashing out the grill “who needs a grill” and removing the electric fan Tonyboy and I were able to install the tranny cooler and put here all back together minus one grill. The last hour was spent working in the dark all though the wind did die down as the temps dropped. Installation time just under 3 hours. They need to reprint there instructions. Oh well its water under the bridge and we will try and get back on track today.

Day 34 January 19, 2009

With a busy weekend behind us its time to concentrate on the up and coming weekend.
Dave and Dallas checked in yesterday and had caught two fish when I checked in with them. Pat and Todd were in old Minnesota and head out today. They caught a total of 20 fish plus anything they caught last night. Todd flies in from San Francisco every year and they have become one of my best customers. I even let Pat beat me in a game of cribbage. How’s that for customer service?
The guys from Morton were quite the crew and I sure like them. Very fun loving with lots of ribbing. Always laughing. The young boys fished a tow behind and did well. Rodny, Dennis and the other two were a different story. They always seemed to be gone prime time either eating, drinking or showering at Westwind. I stopped in Friday night and two were passed out with one two many. With 8 holes in the house they had one line down and I’m not sure if they even had that set up properly. Oh well they will get them next time.
Suzy, Wayne and there boys Matt and Kale had good fishing in Florida.
Matt and Kale manned tip ups both days with little success. When I saw them last they had 10 keepers and were hoping for two more before they headed home. The guys in Utah were a no show and his name was Ben so if you call and your name is Ben I may be a little suspicious.
Tony and Nells fished California it started off slow 8 miles out but they managed to get there 6 for the trip home.
Jordon and Sherry were here Saturday and Sunday and head home today, they have caught a few walleyes and yesterday had some major excitement as they tagged into a big pike. After 5 runs Jordan attempted to reach down and grab the fish as he could not get it turned up the hole. After two attempts it got away to fight another day. They spent the next hour untangling all the lines that were down and retrieved the rod that went down a hole during the battle. Not sure where the gaff disappeared to in that house. I guess I may have to put my name on them from now on.
Kevin, Nancy and Max spent the night in Utah and we will see how they did today.
Josh brought his family up to fish in there house. When I stopped in Josh told me I was in the house of missed opportunity. As he was telling me about all the fish they had not landed he lost a fish on a rattle wheel. When another fish hit another rattle wheel I jumped into action to show him how it’s done. As I lifted the fish out of the hole the line broke and the fish got away with his lure. I am now convinced it is the house of missed opportunity.
Even though I have not been able to fish where I want it has been an awesome season so far. It’s great to spend some time with new and old customers. Working on the lake is a passion and makes the job a joy. I may cuss once in a while but most of the time it’s at myself for doing something that was avoidable in the first place.

Day 32 January 17, 2009

Day 32,
Jake headed home Thursday morning with his three walleyes. We moved California twice looking for a hot bite. Jake liked the new spot so we will see how Tony and Nells do this weekend.
Dale, Elaine, Tammy and Zorro fished Montana 3 nights with very limited success. We eve moved Montana the third day. Florida was also on a new spot for Jr and his two buddies. They caught over 25 fish and went home with there 3 a piece.
Dennis and his crew arrived early yesterday morning. They did not mention they were also bringing a wheel house so we had to wait until later in the day to plow them a spot.
When I checked in with them last night they had just got back from Westwind. Two were passed out and they had one line in at prime time? I wonder how many fish they will catch.
Susy, Wayne and their two boys had all caught one fish and had two in the bucket when I stopped in last night. Pat and Todd two of my best customers had landed four. Todd has graphs and charts of all the fish they have caught over the years and it is quite interesting to see the trends. They plan on taking advantage of Westwind deal on cooking fish and plan on going in for a fresh fish fry today.
Bummer the guys in Utah never showed what a shame as we had many calls for this weekend. Jordon and his crew roll in for Montana and Tony was going to pre-fish it last night on its new spot. We are fishing in an area that has small rocks and boulders
it seems if you get to far away from them the fishing really slows down. Tony is out 8 miles and we will see how they do in the muck bottom later today.
It’s nice to wake up with the temps above 0 but now we will be dealing with snow and wind. It’s amazing how much another person helping makes things run smoother. I will be scouting out a few new areas where they may be a crappie or two hiding so we will see if that pans out. The guys in the cabin may need a fish house if the weather turns bad. So we will move New York our day house further out. Mike and his crew will be rolling in at 7 and I have an area all picked out for them. Then John and his family will also be rolling in and need a spot plowed. Another busy day ahead.

Day 28 January 13, 2009

Brrrrr -38 this morning was a little to much for blue thunder. I’ll hopefully get it running a bit later.
Jake and Tony have been here since Sunday helping me and what a treat to get everything moved on fresh spot before this cold snap. They also have pre-fished two houses with good walleye action and a 30 inch pike.
I do have a couple of couples coming today.
I now have the houses spread out a bit more and we will see if that helps get more action.
We again have a full house coming this weekend and our goal is to keep everything running which I already dropped the ball on blue thunder.
With the guys help I may even fish a bit more this week.

Day 27 January 12, 2009

Not sure how to start this report as it was an odd weekend. Pat and his crew of 15 rolled in Thursday in spirits. It made it tough to check them in and go over the few rules I have about our houses. Time they were all here the drinks were going down and the rules were never clarified. I believe in second chances so if they call for next year I will take care of them even though I was a little disappointed the way they left the houses. I always try and have the houses spick and span when customers arrive and ask them to please leave the house in the condition they received it. I don’t think Montana had a sink full of dirty dishes when they arrived? I also don’t think I peed in the banking on the side of the houses? At least they puked a little ways from the houses. I also don’t remember leaving fish guts in the house or fish slime in the sinks.
The older group in Utah left the house as close as possible to how it was and believe me I do appreciate that as it makes detailing out the houses go much smoother.
Now enough venting. The new area we had the houses had some decent action. Florida and old Minnesota seemed to do the best with many walleyes caught 1 crappie 1 eel pout.
Pat said Friday night he thought a school of crappies may of came threw as all the bobbers and rattle wheels went crazy as he landed the one lone crappie well after midnight while all the guys were passed out. There was also a big pike that they had on twice under Florida plus it got a rod and reel. Utah also did well and landed a couple of pike just over 30 plus many walleyes. The bunch in Montana were lost in there own world. They did not land many fish. I know of one for sure. Plus I moved there house on Friday to a fresh spot. Looking at there set up on Saturday eve was quite interesting. One of the rattle wheels had a small jig on a steel leader tied to braided line.
Another line had a lead head jig the size of a marble with a small crappie minnow under a gigantic bobber. Another line was just under the ice with a sucker minnow?
California was little slow for the guys standards. They also landed a pike or two over 30 inches and some walleyes but never had any flurries. They also landed a walleye over 25 inches. That house was also on a new spot.
John and his buddies pulled in with a tow behind and also had Idaho. They also had good fishing but never flurries just one here one there though out the weekend but consistent.
New York had customers Saturday and Sunday and also caught walleyes. Drew and his family had 4 in the bucket the last I saw them.
Mike from has steady action and packed up yesterday.
Remember to bring the portables and I can point you in the right direction for a chance at more than one crappie.

Day 22, January 7, 2009

Day 22 and it’s impossible to ever take a day off which is fine with me. I’m always a day behind though and there’s always something that’s unplanned to deal with. Hopefully Bruce, Tubby and Brian caught some fish in Montana and I do not have to worry about letting them fish in another house. It’s always been a problem of mine putting fishermen in a house that may be burned out. If we could have the houses on some sort of structure I think the houses would stay fishy longer.
The way the snow is piling up I would suggest guys bring portables if they would like a better chance at crappies.
I sent a few guy out of Hillmen’s last weekend. Mitch and his two buddies caught 4, Keith got 3 or more. Another guy hammered the walleyes. So they are still a few to catch. Hillmen’s is still your best bet to get into the best crappie grounds although I will keep scouting for them. We managed to catch a few stragglers at 3.7 miles out of Agassiz but never any numbers. Not sure why its just one here or there wish I could figure it out.

I should have all the houses out of that area by the end of the day and there’re trails all over the place from the Red Baron. Who knows maybe there’s a school in that area and I never landed on top of them. The lure of Upper Red Lake is in my blood. Kellie the wife will be tickled pink to land a couple this year. She gets so mad when I can not put the house on a crappie for her. Well I have plenty to do before light so I better get busy.

Day 17, January 04, 2009

Day 17 started as a quick trip to Bemidji fro supplies. Jake arrived and went and met the Greek out in Florida to have breakfast and talk fishing. Coming back fron town the roads turned horrible and it was 45 all the way home.
The Greek checked in on all the customers and I decided I still wanted to move Idaho. While I was gassing up blue thunder and getting things organized the Greek started prepping the new spot we would be parking Idaho.
Rather then move California I would upgrade Pete and his crew into our new house. Things went well considering we were working in extreme conditions. Good practice incase of an emergency I guess. After getting Idaho all ready we were off to check on Wayne and see if the boys in California wanted to move to the new house. Again everything went rather well as we made our way out 3.5 miles. After the guys were ready we headed back and that’s when it got ugly. Most of the day I had said to myself we may not be beating mother nature but we were going toe to toe. Just like that the road was gone. With no gps or compass” Opps “we struggled to find the birm that would lead us back to shore. What the day before was so awesome turned into Just get me off this lake for the Greek.
Back on shore Jake called to give me the bad news my sled had broken and he was out 10 miles in the area we fished last year. After the great fishing he had there with us last year he just had to go there even though I suggested going out on a sled in those conditions was not a great idea. Oh well we all learn form our mistakes. The Greek was kind enough to let me use his sled to go rescue Jake. As the daylight faded I arrived to pick up Jake. My sled “The rocket” will have to sit there until late today or tomorrow before we can cut a trail and go retrieve her. The boys in California landed a 41 inch pike and 5 keeper walleyes. Wayne only landed a couple of fish and Andy and his crew had the best fishing and were well over 20 or more walleyes.

Day 15, January 2, 2009

As I headed out on the lake yesterday I stopped at all the spots I had people fishing. Thad was in the closest and had limited action with 4 keepers in the bucket. Joe Jenson rolled in late and had a nice flurry in the morning but only landed one keeper. Phil and his wife son did the best with 5 keepers. Brian’s spot was not very good at all. I fished with Wayne for a bit last night and landed one just under 17 and Wayne lost another at the hole. We also were marking fish which was a god sign.
Rob and the guys in California were not doing well even after I put them on a fresh spot. They did have some action though and were marking fish that would not bite.
Mother Nature slapped me in the face yesterday. After prepping three areas to move Minnesota, Montana and California I headed in to get blue thunder, About the time I arrived back the wind and light snow was playing havoc on the areas I prepped. I was not a happy camper as I struggled to get California to its new location. What normally takes under two hours turned into over three hours. I had no choice but to throw in the towel and coma home after I got Rob and his crew in California. Joe and his group are drifted in as well as Phil and his wife and kid. I will be heading out at day light to open up a new trail for them and then do my best to get Montana, Utah and old Minnesota into new areas.
I placed Utah close to the road so I could grab it on the way in. That turned into a hassle as that trail had drifted in. I open up a new spot and left it there and when I came back later that trail was also drifted in, very frustrating to say the least. Oh well today is another day. The Greek will be helping me today, so at least I will have both Blue Thunder and The Red Baron at my disposal at the same time.