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Where’s Cookie????

  • MX1825
    Posts: 1102

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>cookie wrote:</div>
    Everyone coming up just remember common sense is free

    It may be free Cookie, but many times its not all that common grin
    See you in a few weeks!

    It would be nice if you could buy common sense. The only problem with that would be the ones that need to buy it would think it is too expensive and go without it anyway. doah

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Well here goes. Good morning
    Nick and Jacks crew were here Tuesday Wednesday.. they figured they caught 20 per day. They also caught one elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. This year I’m calling them a bonus fish They did land on the keepers. I should of walked out to where they were. Oh well hindsight is 20 20. I could see where they were so that’s good enough for me at this time.
    Dan and his crew also arrived for our cabin. I will see how they did today as they were out there all day yesterday. Jason and his crew arrived around 4 30 last night. They unpacked and headed out as the sun was setting so we will see how they also did. I can all most bet they forgot something as they hustled out there.
    Yesterday I spent the day cleaning all the shacks for this weekend. It’s kind of nice getting them all dialed in before they come out of the woods.
    I did talk too Buddy Hillman briefly yesterday. He does have openings next weekend. We are all full at this time. We are waiting for another ice castle but I will not book it un tell it’s here.
    Jonny Boy will be up today to help get more propane’s on the houses. The hundred pounders shot up in price? This year I will have to shut the heat off if they are going to be empty for even one night. I have always kept the heat on old Minnesota once it hits the lake. I also use it for my office on the lake so more than likely it will be status Quo.
    I also have a couple other things that need to be taken care of before the cold snap hits.
    I’m sure Johnny boy will be getting a little fishing in this weekend. I see a fish fry in the very near future say Saturday night.
    The first band of snow missed us last night. just a trace so far. If you’re on the lake this weekend watch the weather, walking in a white out could be quite the challenge. All the resort have been updating what they are allowing to go out there access this weekend. I expect tomorrow to be super crazy just like last year. Please everyone use common sense a listen to what the resort say. Quite often they are soo pumped to arrive they do not listen. I can not count how many times I have told someone ok come out on the lake drive 2 miles you will see a orange cone. wait for me there. Then they call were a the end of the road by the orange barrel’s?. Kinda funny but with the early ice conditions pay attention. Have fun and save a few fish for me on a grand lake that owes us nothing

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    So it really begins. Sitting here this morning having my cup of coffee at the crack of dawn the vehicles are rolling buy. I was expecting it to be quite busy this morning if it is anything like last year. Although Rachele at HILLMANS POINTED OUT THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE WORKING THEN LAST YEAR SO MAYBE NOT.
    Some of the resorts are allowing wheeler traffic out to a certain point. Make sure you talk to the resort you’re going out of as most have been on the ice looking it over. I personally have been out about 100 yards if that. Buddy hillman has some stakes shaped like a x and has requested to not go beyond that point.
    No idea what the other resorts are asking so thats why it’s so important to stop and check in to get the scoop.
    The winds did pick up yesterday afternoon. Red lake remote posted some pics of open water on their side of the lake.
    We may have some lodging tonight as few of the guys are worried about the possibly of snow coming. If it gets sketchy out there Saturday eve. It would be a great idea to get off the lake as white outs can be really spooky out there.
    We’re going to try a button up a few more things today before the bitter cold hits us here on the shores of upper red lake. I’ve did my no snow snow dance so will see if it works. Sometimes it does but sometimes it does not.
    One year they predicted 6 inches of snow. I got up the next morning. I went outside and was like sweet it missed us. I dilly dallied around that morning before heading out to get the houses prepped for the weekend. Holes augured etc. To my surprise the snow had come across the lake after all. With that plus the winds, all the houses were drifted in with no roads or trails even going to the houses. That turned into a grueling day. That was a good lesson.
    The fishing report from all the guy’s last night was ok. I do not think anyone got skunked. Jonny boy even landed a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. I nice 15 1/4. The hammer/wife had vision of eating it, but Jonny boy released it to fight another day.
    We all full again next weekend on shore, Buddy Hillman did say he still had some on shore lodging. I peeked into his new double decker, very impressive. Thinking it sleeps 4?
    The guys in the ice castle nick named alaska were going to play some cards. I was still waiting for some late arrivals so I could not play a few hands. Maybe tonight if they shuffle up and deal.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Wow what a weekend. I’ll start with the fishing report. Real good for some, so so for others. Some are finding the under 17 while others have trouble getting those under 17 inches.
    We had a nice treat from the air force as a couple F 16s came over the lake twice. They have been coming over quite a bit the last few weeks. Back in the 40s? They did test bombing up here. Some cool history if you take some time to look it up. The big bog state park had a presentation a few years ago and had pics of cargo planes landing on the lake. Grama said she remembers when you would here the bombs going off up north. I have also heard they have dropped bombs in lower red but not sure about that.
    In my educated guess I would say the traffic yesterday was 1/5th of last year, which may be a good thing. We need to save some fish for the ice houses.
    I Have no clue if it’s my age or my car accident a couple years ago, but my Memorie is slipping a bit and I do not like it.
    Yesterday was busy day trying to button up a few more things before the cold snap hits us. Blue thunder has started all summer, fall. I go to fire her up yesterday get click. turns out bad battery connection. I did get her running to gas up for the impending snow. Coming back I could tell it had a miss. Pop the hood and a spark plug wire has burnt from the exhaust. Today Jonny boy will help me take care of that. I’m sure I should have a few plugs wire around as I have a hard time throwing anything away. A Hour drive to get a part can make it a hassle.
    We did get the v plow on. I got the step for north dakota done. Were waiting on a new heater for florida. The old one still works but a plastic part broke. We built the houses to last 20 years. If had not thrown the other one away that we replaced in montana I would of had the part. Trying to find the part is pretty much a waste of time. I’m going to take one more look in the sheds just in case I did not throw it out.
    The phone, emails and messages has also kept me busy. I only do my emails once in the morning but may have to start checking them twice.
    Were wide open all week un tell friday then everything is full again. Buddy Hillman does have some openings. If I here of any others I will put it out there. Curt from Fishbone maybe has something also?
    I would like to keep writing but just too much to do. I wanted to try a harvest a deer one last time last evening but it did not work out. With all the price increases a deer would of been nice this year.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    We got all our guest checked in for the weekend. Jonny boy has been escorting some of them this week toa few of his way points with real good sucess. I’m going to go check out the lake for the first time today. Once we start seeing over 14 inches it will be time to haul the houses over to Hillmans . Buddy Hillman has been hard at it staking, grooming, dragging the new highway. There are a couple spots that he is concerned about. Not sure if I have done a need cold, cold dance but might give it a shot. My no snow, snow dance may have helped a bit as I think we only got 4 of the 10 they predicted. I still have not heard of any fisherpeople getting skunked , I guess they are saving that for me.
    One of our good customers Rick had to cancel the cabin next weekend. prayers for his family would be apricated.
    I’ll have a full report of how everyone does monday .
    Sounds like the north shore has some sketchy ice write now. I have also seen a couple satellite pics of open water. Once that gets a skim of ice you can easily be on 10 inches going to 1 or 2. That has always spooked me.
    All the resorts up here in waskish are still keeping wheelhouses off the ice, I have a feeling its plenty busy down on the south end. Had a couple small wheelhouses that were going to camp here but decided the last minute to head down there instead. The traffic here has been pretty consistent this morning.
    Last weekend’s Sunday snowstorms gave the lake a nice break from all the fishermen. We did have 3 younger kids that stayed out there Saturday night. They did make it through the night but said it was brutal. They will not forget that night that’s for sure.
    I picked up new plug wires for blue thunder last week. man was that a fiasco. I just turned my head and walked out of the first parts store. The second one I just bit the bullet and dealt with it I think they will work but not quite what I wanted.
    Were still waiting to hear about red baron’s electrical issue. Glad I got that mount built on the other red 454.
    I think we found someone to put a used tranny in black beauty. Getting the old one rebuilt was way out of the price range for that truck. The price doubled for rebuilding to 2800.00
    We’re getting the two-ice castle dialed in here on shore. They are nick named Alaska and Utah.
    I have seen a few more pics of the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. When they get that big now days, they seem to be a loners.
    Well, it’s getting lite out time to check more to do off our to do list.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    I would have to say it was a very successful weekend when it came to the fishing this past weekend. Our houses are still on shore. We’re shooting for the 20th after this next cold snap.
    Jamie and Karah liked the house, she also mentioned she got here personnel best crappie. An elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.
    Jason, Melisa, Barb stayed in the ice castle Alaska. Jonny boy set them up on a saved way point. Barb was tickled to get an elusive upper red lake crappie on her birthday to boot.
    Dan and his crew said they did well.
    Joe Jamie, and the two girls Shelly and Shannon? Had a grand time on a grand lake. One of the girls liked that we had pots, pans, etc. in the house. Joe stayed in the other ice castle Utah. He did well also. Paul and Effron? were two older gentlemen I did not get to visit with them, but I assume they did well. Ozzie and his two buddie hit it hard 3 days in a row. I did take a ride with Jonny boy onto the lake, so we stopped to see how they were doing. They landed 2 while we were there. One on a tip up the other jigging during high noon.
    Calvin, Nikki and Jose were staying on our cabin. Super nice people I was able to go have lunch with them yesterday at westwind. They also had some friends staying at beacons resort, so they all hooked up every evening. They all went to Hillmans bar Tall Tale Tavern. They shot some pool. Wish I knew that I would have joined them. I love pool.
    Not sure what all the resort plan on letting out this coming weekend. This cold snap should help us out a lot. Jonny P up at Red lake remote posted a short video on whats going on up on the north shore as far as ice conditions. Very informative and hands on the ice conditions up there. Every year the ice sheet freezes different depending on wind direction, snow, cold, etc.
    Jonny boy has spent quite a bit of time on the lake fishing, so we have a pretty good idea where to start the season with the houses. Finding those under 17s can be tricky that’s for sure.
    The wife Nicked name “the hammer” are looking forward to spending some time fishing in old Minnestoa again this year.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Mother nature gave us a one two punch Wednesday Thursday, with quite a scare for all up here. with the temps reaching 44 degrees the snow slowly melted away on the lake. The visibility was as thick as pea soup. I was very thankful we had no one staying here. One of the employees down at rodgers had became lost on the lake. Not good, I hate to admit but I have had a couple times out there in white out condition. I guess I would say the best advice is do not panic. The first responder were notified at some point. By 830 wednesday night they gave up deciding to wait tell morning. In the meantime the temps started to plummet with a 32 degree swing in less than 20 hours. We actually got lucky with the snow fall with maybe a inch. The wind on the other hand was gusting and blowing 30 to 40 miles a hour, I think. Searching for this young man made it all most impossible. Such a dangerous citation. As the winds finally calmed down and improved visibility, they found him safe and sound. I do not know all the details, other than he got hung up on a pressure ridge at some point. He then was able to get to a cabin on the north shore which is pretty much a miracle. There are only a couple places you can even see a cabin on the north shore. I would really like to hear more about what exactly happened so it could be a learning lesson. This lake can have a very ugly side when it comes to weather. With the winds being a main culprit. Throw in a little snow and white outs are very common out there. I guess the best thing you can do is hunker down.
    I personally was so relieved when we heard he had been found safe. I do not want to admit it but I thought the worst.
    Thursday I had a eye appointment. Driving to Bemidji was treacherous once you got past Kellier. What normally take a hour turned into over 2. I got home just as the sun was setting. I knew I would have to plow down at the lake due to high winds plus 1 inch of snow. I headed down yesterday morning to turn on the heat to the house’s only to discover 3 foot drifts. Blue thunder got her first good work out with a tank of gas and four hours of plowing. I did also go over to hillmans to help him clear some of his landing.
    We did have Quinton and Paul staying in old minnesota . They have a snow bear, they were out in those elements during the fog but stayed on shore thursday. They did fairly well with one of them landing another elusive upper red lake crappie. Jonny boy did spend some time fishing with them yesterday. He has hooked up with them before as they hit it off the first year they stayed here.
    The rest of my day was spent taking care of arrivals that are staying here over the weekend. I get to visit a bit tonight so I will have a good fishing report for the weekend.
    We’re planning on bringing the fleet out of the woods and on to the lake starting sunday. Jonny boy has been scouting, fishing since thanksgiving so we have some spots picked out to start the season. Once the house are on the lake I will pretty much be out there for the next 100 days so the real season starts sunday.
    Since I go out of Hillmans with my rentals we help Buddy hillman on his main road. At this time he is allowing side by sides pulling single axle wheelhouses out. Make sure you check in to get any other details in the store, bait shop where you buy your road pass. Same with any other resort you may go out of.
    I’ll be checking out the lake more today once we get are last guest checked in.
    A big thank you goes out to all involved in finding the young man that got lost out there. Let’s all remember to use common sense out there as this is a big lake that unfortunately can have a very ugly side. Watch the weather as always plan for the worst.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Today we will start off with a fishing report.. She was a little slower this weekend for sure.
    Old minnesota has Travis and his buddy I have not met yet. They did better yesterday then saturday and are here a nother night. They get a treat tonight as we plan on getting the last of the fleet out onto the lake today.
    Chris arrived later in the day on saturday. They were staying in North dakota. Never got the 3 young guys names. Once they were unpacked Chris called about 4 30 pm. There wheeler would not start. We made arrangements to get them out there yesterday. No sooner then I got back to shore. Chris called. Augur trouble. I had Jonny boy go out there to punch them some holes. Maybe 2 hours later Chris called again. heater trouble. By then the wind was whipping pretty good so they decided Red lake had kicked their ass and were ready to pack it in. They did get to catch one walleye 17 incher and 1 pike.
    Jana,Mike Boar and Lori were in the Alaska ice castle and Florida fish house. They only caught 6. Boar did say that his cousin about 200 yards away was hammering them. It was good to see boar again. We visited for a bit saturday night.
    Montana had Lorie from stillwater with her husband Mike? and son. They headed home a day early as thy limited out.
    California had Brian and wade. Really not sure how they did as we never hooked up. They did leave the house nice and clean though.
    Utah the other ice castle had Duane and his two buddies. They did real well having a fish fry both nights, plus they got into a mess of Pearch.
    Nathen and his buddy in the cabin also did well.
    Jonny boy and I started pulling the houses out on to the lake yesterday afternoon. With 4 down and 3 to go. So far so good. We only have one guest today so Jonny boy plans on wetting a line again tonight to see how the house does in that area. He did get one last night.
    A couple more elusive yet still catchable crappies were caught again this weekend. With 10,000 lines down that would be expected. Send a 100 hundred guys out there and it would probably be a different story on A Grand Lake That Owes Us Nothing

    Jesse Krook
    Posts: 6403

    Thanks for the updates. waytogo

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Been a busy week here on the shores of upper red lake. Jonny boy and I spent sunday monday getting all the houses on the lake. We had Lonnie Craig, Dave fishing old Minnesota just for the day. They ended up landing 15. I even got one when Lonnie stepped outside. I got my first walleye of the season on his fishing pole. About 9pm tell 11 they had some real good action before they came off the lake.
    We also had Steave spend 2 nights monday tuesday in the utah ice castle. He only took home 3 He did also catch some perch. Not sure how many total fish he caught but he was happy with the accommodations.
    Jonny boy and I also helped out on Hillmans highway. I think the road goes out about 3 miles now give or take.
    We did have a family of 10 check in friday afternoon. Shelly made the reservation, her and her hubby Bob live in montana so they flew into bemidji. Shelly’s mom Jana came from hayward Wi. where she owns a resort. Rob and Kathy were also staying in old minnesota with her. Kathy was a foster child Jana raised. Jason his wife Lauri and daughter were in montana fish house Jason is a cousin his wife stayed up all night friday fishing.. Montana had the best fishing, old minnsota had the biggest while north dakota had the slowest. I can tell you they seem to be having a grand time on a grand lake. Rob, Kathy, Jana winter in Texas so they had brought up a pile of fresh shrimp.
    After a christmas dinner of turkey and all the fixins.. I went out to visit for a bit. They were just finishing their dinner of fresh walleye and shrimp. There all staying tell dark tonight then heading home. Another great group of people I so glad they got to catch some fish.
    Sheel chick and Sandy were fishing in florida. Sandy got a nice chunky 22 incher friday. They got there 8 for the trip home and were catching and releasing yesterday.
    Jonny boy fished the ice castle last night and they got 7.
    Mel and Dan rolled in with their fish house. Dan was putting the smack down on them friday during the day with a pink jig with rubber legs. The magic lure.
    Today The season kicks into high gear for all the outfits up here. Of course, mother nature is going to throw in her 25 cents. With snow and winds if you’re coming up prepare for the worst. We have all the houses full for the next week with turn overs every day. Our goal has always been to have the houses on fresh spots. If it’s a fishy area sometimes the move may not be too far, but the holes are fresh.
    There is a bridge out of Hillmans. We have an active pressure ridge out about 1/4 mile. I have moved the bridge 3 time all ready. I’m not too thrilled about the potential snow so again I will be doing a less snow snow dance a few times today.
    Were still waiting on some parts for the red baron. We did have front axle, but it was not the rite one. We do have the v plow on the red 3/4 ton so that’s good. I even had the hindsight to fix the broken window so at least it will stay up this winter. I also have a straight blade that Jonny boy and Dan are going to get out of the woods for me. I be leave it is heavy duty as I have never had it on the trucks. It is a manual plow. You have to angle it by hand then lock it in Left, right, or straight.
    I did blow a radiator hose on blue thunder Wednesday we were able to track down a used one for now. Today we need to move north dakota, florida, Utah, california.
    Well, it’s time to get to work on this grand lake that owes up nothing

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    I have a little time to write this morning so here goes.
    We said goodbye to Shelly and her crew yesterday, they were such a nice family, I think we all made a connection and feel they could become life time friends.
    They also left all 3 houses just like they got them which makes them much easier to clean. I did get a very nice text also. she said They felt very lucky to catch so many quality fish. The fishing has been pretty darn good.
    Dan and Mel have been having a riot.
    Dan helped us move houses yesterday as my back is not doing so well. My original back problems going back to my painting car days including 22 years of working at 4 different golf courses, playing golf as much as I could has finally taken its toll. My plans are to keep giving it 100 percent but also doing some more doctoring.
    Mel enjoyed catching some nice fish yesterday while Dan was outside helping us. I think she is hoping he will want to help again today. She got a 24 incher Saturday night. They have some family coming up today so we will be moving montana over buy them.
    Old minnesota also will be doing the cookie shuffle as the fishing was also good in that area. Alaska needs to be moved over by Utah as Keith and his family have both of them for a couple days.
    We checked in Pat, Scott and there 5 boys yesterday. They are in north dakota and floida so we will see how there doing some time this morning.
    I’m herring all kinds of reports about the weather. We have 2 inches of fresh snow on the ground so far. my weather says the winds are going to slowly calm down then changed to the west later this evening? I guess if anyone is coming up today they should check what the other resorts are going to do. Buddy Hillman gave the green lite yesterday for any vehicles and houses. The roads will not be plowed tell the winds and weather cooperate. Everywhere you leave tire tracks collects more snow. EveryWare you plow causes more drifting so the worst thing we can do is plow in the snow and wind. Curve and corners are the worst when it comes to drifting. I’m always trying to figure the drifting out but hardly ever get it right as mother nature is the boss out there. she swirls, switches and just causes fits.
    One year I thought I had her all figured out I pulled monatana and florida off the main road away from anything. I would just leave them there tell after the big blow. I get out there and the snow is so packed under the house I had a heck of a time digging then out. Hindsight I should have banked the ends so the snow could not go under them.
    Well, its time to check the fluids and fire up the fleet on a” Grand lake that owes us nothing

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Hard to remember everything this past week. The fishing has been good for some, great for others and so so for others.
    From Christmas to new year’s is and always has been one of the busiest weeks of the year. Our friends Dan and Mel were here for a week. Dan helped Jonny boy and I move houses and deal with small issue. He was a tremendous help. Mel always has some food for us to replenish ourselves as we bust butt out there.
    Mother nature had to throw in a few curve balls along the way with 2 dumping of snow, then a nice little cold snap to make things just a little more challenging.
    During the second snowstorm we lost a lower radiator hose followed 2 days later with a water pump. Throw in a dead battery on my car during the cold snap. Now the red chev with the v plow has rusted out a fuel line. She is down for the count at this time until our guy can tackle it. We limped it to Barny in Kellier to tackle it asap. If it was a older truck, a couple hose clamp’s, a hack saw, flaring tool couple hose clamps were back in business? Instead, were looking at a much bigger project. Were now down to just blue thunder for a few days.
    Its pretty much impossible to report who caught what, which house, when they arrived when they left, what got moved etc so I will try and share a few highlights.
    The Bodee family had the two ice castles utah and alsaka ,they had decent fishing.
    Pat his buddy with the 5 kids had North dakota and Florida, they started off slow, we got them a new batch of bait and there fishing did turn around. The kids played outside on and off for 3 days, They did take home a dozen fish I believe.
    Joe and his dad stayed in old minnesota for 3 nights. They ate fish plus were able to take home 7 or 8 fish plus bring in the new year in old minnesota.

    Tim, Amanda and Emma were in florida for 2 nights over new year’s. They figured they caught 35 fish in 2 days. Amanda and Emma also got the personal best sized walleye. North Dakota running on the same generator had Tim and Joy. They landed 2. Jonny boy did try and help them by bringing them some smaller lures and bait. Even though they only got a couple they already are planning for next year.
    Roman and Bob did really well in california ,plus left the house in outstanding shape which always makes my cleaning much easier.
    Ellein, Dan and the two kids were in alaska. They only had so so fishing. We also had a propane issue the first, morning when the temp hit -35. Once we got a nice warm 30 pounder on her the furnace kicked back in.
    Jeffs house also had propane issue, I suggested they dump hot water on the tanks. The trick worked and the pressure came back up.
    Utah and Chris and his gal Tosha. They had trouble getting there deisel truck going so Jonny boy scrambled to gather everything to cover it up with the parachute and get some heat under her.
    Montana had Ryan Joe and the two boys leo and Jack. They took home some fish plus ate a few. Joe said the two boys can eat some fish. I ask if they use tater sauce? yes ketchup and miracle whip. I think they name it pink stuff.
    We also set up a few wheelhouses. As far as I know most did well. with 2 houses each catching a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.
    I’m hoping I can try and blog at least’s every other day. Knock on wood.
    Buddy Hillman got the double decker out on the lake. She sleeps 10. He also is finishing up another that has a sauna attached to the outside. He said he always wanted one with a sauna.
    The main road goes out about 3 miles. I expect another mile will be made soon. Off road travel is possible but watch out for field’s of broken ice which has gathered quite a bit of snow. I did find a small pocket of slush in one of those areas when I tried to cross country to my houses rather than back track on the road.
    She is getting lite out time to check the fluids and fire up blue thunder. happy new year to all

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    3 days seem like a month, mother nature on the mighty red never lets up. What started off as a strong ne wind came a inch of fresh powdered snow followed by a strong north wind followed up by a strong nw wind all in 30 hours. Then to boot we had fisher men hunkered down out there.
    Keith Bodee returned to give it another shot with some pals in fish house Alaska. I think they ended up with 8 as the bite was horrible.
    Fredrick and his gal Mel did well saturday sunday in florida. Monday we are blaming the high pressure as the bite was tough, brutal. Even the liars got skunked.
    Steve and His dad Jerry were in montana, I do not remember how they did I don’t think too well. Steve and his dad were up here 15 years ago. I think they rented from cousin Pete my mentor.
    Tom and derrick? were in california sunday monday they did go home with 8.
    I made the rounds monday night before the snow started. It was quite depressing as the numbers were ugly 15 fishermen 3 fish, I think. Jonny boy stayed out there and managed to get 5.
    Charlie, Mason, Quade and Nolan were a group of younger guys that all work at a prison in Wisconsin. They leave this morning I think they may be up to 8.
    Joe and his buddy were in north dakota after the poor bite on monday it did pick up the next 2 days as they were leaving this morning.
    Tim and his gal are in florida one more night. There happy and getting a few.
    I’m sure i missed something as I just turned 62 yesterday my memory is not as good as it use to be. Uggg.
    Today also marks 43 years of marriage. She was 15 we had to wait tell I turned 18. They all said it would never last.
    The fleet has turned into 1. Not much of a fleet. Red baron is still waiting on a front axle. The other 454 has a fuel leak. Not like the old stuff where a piece of fuel line, a couple hose clamps your back in business. Sounded like the whole intake manifold has to come off wtf.
    Yesterday we did move 2 houses as we dug out and re-opened our road system with the fleet of one. Blue thunder.
    I had just walked into the house when Jonny boy called, I’m stuck. I headed out. cut a new road to him, got him tugged out so he could get to shore. I then proceeded to keep making a new road. Not 10 minutes after Jonny boy left, I buried blue thunder into a area with 3 foot drifts. I do not think Jonny boy could of even gotten to me so I broke out the cracked number 2 shovel and proceeded to start digging. After 2 attempt’s I was able to get her out. The new road now has a bend in it.
    We then got the call from Buddy Hillman as some snow had to be moved away from the bridge area. As I worked on that it felt like I was plowing a kmart parking lot. Jonny boy took over when I needed gas so I came home for my birthday dinner of soup and grilled cheese.
    Time to check the fluids as today we need to move 5 of the 7 houses and say goodbye to our customers. Plus I need a new shovel.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Most years I do not count the days tell the season is over. With all these crazy winds I’am tempted to say the least.
    I was going to have a procedure done on the 7th so I had to get the covid test. To my surprise tuesday morning jan 4th got the email positive. Another weekend I would not be making the rounds . I was pretty much delegated to staying in the vehicles. I never felt anything. Maybe a slight headache one day. I did hit a wall on thursday but i think i was just burned out with a average of 4 hours sleep for a few days. Mother nature has been so brutal.
    Our friend Darrin came up to help us get all the houses moved and reset for the up and coming weekend.. We abandoned the area closest to shore.
    We cut 3 new trails to the houses running straight north.
    Matt his dad were on old minnesota. The fishing started off again horrible. It did pick up saturday as it warmed up. They had to leave early sunday morning so I got the call around 5am the winds saturday eve. had again taken our roads.
    With blue thunder I had to make my way over to them, the winds had packed the roads to the point there was no sense even trying to plow. Another new road was in order. After I got them on the road I spent the next 4 hours cleaning up the mess mother nature created. From old minnesta I headed west elimnating the road running north to alaska and montana.
    Josh his dad and 2 boys had a grand time fishing montana. They all landed at least one fish with a 22 being the biggest. I know they did eat a couple fish also. Josh said his dad got to catch fish and see him and his boys catch some.
    Alaska had the owner of that house. They managed a couple but tough bite for sure.
    Florida had Nick and his friends. Saturday morning, they were up to 7 when I checked on them. Sunday they were gone? before I could say goodbye.
    North dakota had Pat and his crew they also got a few on the new spot but again the bite was tough at first, picked up saturday then went downhill again.
    I also was able to plow a couple spots for wheel houses Rod got 3 saturday.
    Another group That were friends of our old helper Richie called. i set them up they got two. saturday they decided to go over to westwind. saturday night around 7 pm when the winds were again howling I get a call. Cookie were stuck in a snowbank can you come give a us a tug, were just off the landing coming back from the bar.
    i ask again your right off the landing yep. I’m right in the middle of making dinner. I fire up blue thunder, get over there, They are 1 mile out errr. Then the truck is 4 truck lengths into westwind berm. There is no way I can even get to them. I tried to move some snow but only gained a little bit. The snow they were in was at least 4 feet deep. I backed up as far as I could got out my stap. I was 3 straps to short. Totally disgusted I had no choice but to have them find more help.
    Jonny boy is in kellier trying to make some progress on the red truck. Were still waiting on a axle for the red baron We sure need one of our v plow trucks now as the snow has become rock hard form all the high winds.
    Today will again be a grind fighting the elements with the teps hoovering a – 20. Were planning on moving california, north dakota and Utah. Jake is here fishing with his boys. They will be helping me today.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Just looked at the weather. The predicted snow went just to the sw of us.
    Its been a busy week here on the shores of upper red lake. We had guest coming and going.
    Jonny boy was able to take the red chevy trusty rusty his her new nick name. That truck has some rust for sure.
    He was able to fix the gas line leak but it was not easy. He said we should replace all the fuel lines this summer.
    Is sure nice having the v plow back on the ice as it opens up alot more fishing grounds for us.
    More good news as the red baron is also done. hoping to go pick her up this afteernoon.
    We has some interesting guest this past week. Mark and renet managed 5 small ones as they were on a fresh spot for one night.
    Steave and Cindy were a retired couple, that were trying a sleeper fish house for the first time. I sure enjoyed visiting with them. Cindy did get a nice one over 20 inches plus they did get a few others, but it was slow on that new spot also.
    Jim and Gale were two nights in old minnesota. They moved right in and were home away from home. They had a few the first night. I think they went home with 6.
    We moved John s and his crew after the second day with 7 fish. It was a big move that did not pay off. Tom did say it was better where they were.

    kellie and I had to make a run to Fargo so jonny boy was in charge of cutting us a new path further out. He found an area we have fished before. Some fish have been caught there. I was excited as we got the whole fleet over the new area.
    Seems the very end has had the better fishing.
    Making the rounds friday night there was some excitment as Kyle and his guest were having some action in montana when I stopped in. They had 5. and had missed a couple.
    California was 200 feet away with Chad and his dad Jeff they could not by a bite? It was dark when I went buy there last night.
    Florida has our crew from Iowa. Sarah, Ken, Carl and Terry. They also had action friday night. Not fast and furious but some action. They loaded me up on breakest burrittos for jonny and me Venison Jerky, steak bites. They sure enjoy there trip every year and have it dialed in.
    Old Minnesota Had Ryan and Devin. They had also had no action the first night. That sure surprised me after seeing all the action in montana just to the south.
    We also checked in guest that were coming yesterday so we will have to see how they did. As of last night it was slow slow slow. I sure was bummed coming off the lake last night as all the houses are on fresh spots further out.
    We will have to figure it out today and go from there.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Will start with the fleet and go from there. Picked up the red baron sunday late afternoon. Our electrical problems are still giving me grief as I only made to 3 miles out of town before it blew the ecm fuse. Another fuse and it popped again. One more same thing so now we have to tow it back to town with nowhere to turn around, The 3 mile tow turned into a 15 mile tow as we had to turn around at lost river road.
    I sure miss having that truck.
    Sunday we had more guest checking in and a couple still here from friday.
    Bob and Rick were in old minnesota, Inever got to play any cribbage with them but did spend a little quality time with them for a bit as the winds picked up to white out conditions after 3 inches of fresh snow. They did go home with 6 walleyes and rick snagged a elusive upper red lake crappie plus they ate a couple
    Mother nature can be relentless out there. I had all the guest hunkered down hoping I would not get a call/ Jonny boy spent the night out there to fish plus come to the rescue if we had any problems. We did have a problem with alarm in the alaska ice castle. The guys survived but it was annoying to say the least. They had the best fishing landing 20 fish with 8 elusive upper red lake crappies. They did keep the two biggest over 14 and released the smaller ones.
    We also checked in Randy his wife Cindy? into montana ,there friends checked into florida. I think Gary and Mary got there 8. Randy and Cindy also caught some fish bot nothing to brag about. Gary said the bite was so lite they were tough to get.
    Wednesday we spent a better part of the day helping clear Hillmans road as the winds had taken all the roads and trails. All our houses also had to be dug out. Just about dark Jonny boy lost a cv joint on rusty trusty. One trip to blackduck for the wrong part. Thursday we had him go to bemidji for the right one, He then got back to install it yesterday. Buddy hillman was nice enough to let us use his shop. doing it in the driveway would of been miserable.
    I think I hear the wind howling out there. ERRRR/ with some more snow coming followed by some more winds its going to again be a long weekend here on the shores of upper red lake. I’ll try my no snow snow dance but do not have one for the wind. Tryng to plan for the snow and winds is all most impossibe. We have a busy day today as I do not want montana and florida stuck where they are as there is a ton of snow.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Wow Mother nature was mad friday as we worked are assess off moving 5 houses in white out conditions. Clancy, john and Zack in north dakota got to enjoy the show from the comforts of a warm cozy house. They did get 8 fish and a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie thursday night.
    We had to have Gary and his two grandsons Luke and Will pack there things on the bed as Florida had to be moved. Thay had 6 keepers from thursday night. The new spot was not as good but the house was safe again.
    Montana was next. Mitch and Tracy would be arriving around 2. We got them checked in a little late as again the conditions were a battle to say the least. Sometimes you were lucky to see 100 yards. Mitch had been here over 10 years ago. I never got to spend much time visiting with them. They only got 3 keepers. Again at least the houses were safe.
    I checked in Jerry and Susie into old minnesota. they got 4 nice keepers the first night with the biggest coming at 230 am. Super nice couple that are still here.
    Alaska and Utah had the owners in them. Alaska got 4 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies with my old helper Big Tony landing 2 over 14 inches. They also got a few walleyes. Utah had also gotten at least one elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.. No idea how many walleyes they caught as he left early sunday morning.
    California had Jarrod, Rupa, and Landon. They arrived saturday just after we got the house moved. We had moved it before the big blow so we just had to dig it out and take it to a new spot. The door was cracked open when I walked in. There was basically a truck load of snow in the house, I was not planning on that. They have also caught 2 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies and a few walleyes.
    Still trying too get the electrical problem solved on the red baron. I did talk to my old friend Tommy that owned a street rod shop I worked at 25 years ago. He is a wiring Genius so he gave me some things to try to find where the short may be..
    Blue thunder was mad at me yesterday morning. I managed to flood her when I went to start her. At 20 below I screwed up pumping the 4 barrel carb. I plugged her in for the first time ever? A couple hours later she was running again.
    Jonny boy, I and Dann then got montana, north dakota, utah moved. We were behind schedule as blue thunder caught me off guard.
    I have to go to bemidji this morning as we have a generator that got looked at. They said it had bad gas? How bad gas could of gotten in there I have no clue. All the other generators avoided the bad gas?
    Jonny boy will hold down the fort. He did spend the night out there, so we had fishermen in 5 houses out there last night.
    Buddy Hillmans road is in great shape with plenty of areas too find fresh fishing spots. It goes out about 5 miles straight west. The south side of the road has sank so going south would be a very bad idea. I’m also planning on doing some fishing this week so everyone wish me some luck on ” a grand lake that owes us nothing”

    Adam Steffes
    Posts: 440

    Cookie – I will preface this by saying thanks for all the info! I don’t know you and I have never fished red lake, but I have some questions. The first is why do you prefer to use pickups with plows over other options (big track vans, tracked trail groomers, bombers etx) for your business? It sounds like you frequently struggle with equipment as anyone surely would with an operation like you have (fighting mother nature all winter is obviously hard). I guess if it were me, I would have a little lighter duty fleet for early ice and a heavier fleet to kick winters butt when the ice would hold it. I would also have a shop with heat and a floor drain to make sure the equipment started every day.

    Don’t take any of this as an insult – just honestly curious why you choose to do it this way.

    John Rasmussen
    Posts: 2424

    There is no room for a shop on his land. As for a fleet of vehicle’s that don’t break down, well that is expensive and you can still expect to have problems. I have met Cookie a couple times and he is a great guy that runs a smaller resort than some/most up there. If anyone is looking for a great place to rent out of or use in general up there, it is a much different experience than going out of JR’s and such. Nothing wrong with them just a different feel if you will. Thanks for the reports Cookie!

    PS. Adam I know you did not mean any offence and hope you don’t feel like I meant any towards you either.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    hi adam. lets say im old school when it comes to vehicles. the last thing i need is engine codes? I have never borrowed money from a bank . Not a carpenter so no clue how to even go about building a shop . It is on the wish list though. as far asequipment. my boss plow has taking care of me for 17 years? Now i have to knock on wood. The red baron is a tank. the 97 is a sweet truck also .it has eaten twwo radiators 2 cv joints plus all the other things that this lake eats for a snack. like wipers, wiper motar, heaters, shocks etc.
    Were a ma pa and son operation. not a resort . Would love to own a bar though. :Cookies “I would have the best food at leats I would hope anyway.
    I have to enjoy my work or I’m miserable. im a perfectiost that has excepted perfect is impossibe; but you sure can try.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Mother nature will just not give us a break this year. The winds were again a nightmare out on the lake yesterday. Buddy Hillman was dragging the road last night when I came off the lake. As I was traveling in off the lake in blue thunder, I heard a slapping sound. Stopping to investigate. I had broken another tire chain. The left one broke on tuesday the right one on wednesday. I did have one spare but now need to track down another set. I really do not feel like making the track to bemidji this morning.
    I have also started plugging in blue thunder, knock on wood, why I did not start doing that when I first saw she had a block heater. wow what a difference.
    We are seriously planning on building a shop this spring, summer. Ideally, we would like a lift plus a drain. Not sure how the fleet would react to spending the night inside though.
    Jonny boy moved a house out to a way point from last year. Him and Scott had pretty good action there the first night. Will see how he did last night before we make the big move. We also had another spot that did real well last weekend we have our eye on for a couple wheel houses this weekend.
    The icog event is this weekend. The fireworks show they put on is well worth the time spent watching it. Were roughly 7 miles from jrs so the traffic will not affect are fishing grounds.
    Yesterday was again a busy day on the lake. Steave left from utah with his 4 walleyes plus he took home 3 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. Steve owns a pole lumber yard in new brighten.
    Matt and Chris were in montana on a new spot as well. They landed 7 not so elusive upper red lake crappies. They ate some walleye plus took home a few.
    Jerry spent the night in california where he struggled to catch any fish. he did get a 19 inch walleye.
    The hammer and I had dinner in old minnesota on a new spot. She was a little rusty and missed a couple fish plus lost a elusive crappie at the bottom of the hole. I got a fat 18 off the northland purple buckshot followed by a elusive 11 inch crappie on the rattle wheel. Just like that I was up on the hammer 2 nothing. She was not taking that and proceeded to land a fat healthy 14 plus elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Then she landed 2 walleyes back-to-back plus lost another at the hole. We enjoyed a couple movies and called here quits around 10pm still marking fish.
    With the wind howling and of course a little snow squall we plugged away yesterday. Putting montana ,north dakota, alaska , and utah on new spots. Today we need to move california and florida while we again battle nw winds. Plus I’m sure we will be doing some snow drift cleanup.
    We also added a skid house to the fleet. It will sleep 3. It does have a oven with 4 burner stove at is open this weekend plus the rest of the season. I have not given it a state name yet but will soon.
    Montana canceled next weekend. feb 4t 5th. beside the new skid house that sleeps 3 all of the houses are rented every friday saturday the rest of the season.
    Time to do the books and track down another set of tire chains to finish out the season.
    We did have Alaska and Utah with customers last night so will see how they did later today. Until then if you spend time here on upper red lake just remember as the old timer Dave told me “It’s a grand lake that owes us nothing nothing!!

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    With a slower week were hoping to have some time to regroup as it has been go go go. I sure enjoyed visiting customers these past few days.
    We opened up a new area that has some potential. Jonny boy was scouting it out last night. It sure is nice having him spending nights on the lake as he can keep track of the times the fishing is best, worst, no good, good etc.
    I do have to do list that keeps growing. Yesterday we were able to knock out a couple of things as we got montana and florida moved to new spots. Of course, the spots we plowed out for wheelhouses had some darn good fishing.
    The elusive yet still catchable crappies were biting all over the lake the last few days. We have heard reports all over the place. Last year them 9, 10 inchers we were seeing are now 11 and 12 inches.
    Old minnesota had jerry and his buddy. They rolled in late friday night. They had 2 keepers saturday morning when I swung in. They had some odd bait, so I had them go get some regular minnows. I ‘m not sure how they finished as they were gone early sunday morning when I got out there at 630 am. I did notice some corn in the holes?
    It was nice to see rick and matt they were in north dakota. Rick got a fat 15 plus crappie. They also landed 2 more elusive yet catchable upper red lake crappies. They took home 6 walleys,3 crappies, 5 perch plus threw quite a few smaller walleyes back. I have always said if you’re getting small walleyes the crappies could be in the area as well as a roaming pike. We did not get to visit as Rick has a baby at home with some health issue, they are dealing with, so we wanted to be very careful.
    Montanna had Mia and Randy, Randy was nice enough to pick up my new tire chains from fleet farm, I had to go there Saturday to drop off my generator for the second time, I also had to pay for the chains as when he picked them up, he did not pay. The manager was so nice that I told them as they had no clue. She gave me 20 percent off.
    They had some good fishing with Mia releasing a 15-inch elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. They sent me a message how they had a wonderful time making many first experiences In there 28 years of marriage.
    Florida had Jake his wife Katie athere 2 kids Otto and Sophia. They had some good action the first night with some misses. the second night was much slower. Jake did take the kids out exploring but did not have much luck. He did say he put on a show drilling holes…
    Alaska had Will, Bill and the two boys, they had descent action. Bill had a giant of a pike on saturday night. It was quite the battle only to lose it after 30 minutes. They also caught some nice walleyes plus a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies landing 4 the last night. They enjoyed a fish fry plus took home some fish.
    Utah had Allen they had a hoot landing 9 yes 9 elusive yet catchable upper red lake crappies with a few over 14. I think he said they only got 1 walleye. He did send me some pics but but have no idea how they were sent?
    We also had kevin and his son fishing in the new skid house we acquired. They only landed a few keeper walleye’s.
    I still have not added it to our web site. It can sleep 3 has a 4-burner stove, oven. tv and dvd player. I think we will name it Alabama.
    I did talk to Jake; he figured the bite was so good due to the new moon.
    Glen was out there last night on a new spot. They only landed 3 keeper walleyes on a new spot.
    Fred and Melisa are in California they have had good action. They leave today so we will see how they did last night.
    We did get down to jrs for the firework show that the ice castle group put on. I heard there were over 400 ice castle registered. Another great fire work show, plus we had a fish fry at jrs that hit the spot. They sure have their fish fry dialed in.

    It looks like another inch of snow is coming followed by more high winds. Mother nature sure is mad this year. Looking back though, she is really about normal as your always battle her on a “Grand lake that owes us nothing”

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Just like that its thursday.
    Monday Fred and melissa packed up. They had action all 3 nights. I headed out later in the day to clean houses. Old minnesota was my first house. I decided since there were minnows in there, I should drop a rattle wheel line down. There must have been a pike resting under the house. The next thing you know I’m battling a pike hand over hand. After the third time she made a run taking all the line. I decided to quickly strip the line off another rattle wheel and tie that line on. The forth time I got to see her before she took another run. She peeled out the line again this time taking some of the extra line I had just tied on. I then laid the line down to get the gaff. No go the gaff was missing. I jumped into the car and drove over to north dakota to borrow the gaff in there. Arriving back to the shack I again started pulling her in. After one more short run I got here. I expected the state record? Nope just a nice 38 39 inch pike. Snapped two quick pic and released her to fight another day. Yesterday when we moved the house there was the missing gaff under the house.
    Glen arrived Sunday afternoon with Margreet. They fished in montana and took home 5 walleyes monday morning. Bingo fished the same house after glen left. He landed his 4 before dark and headed home. Perfect with the snow and wind coming we would have no one on the lake for the next 3 nights. First time since the house hit the lake.
    Jonny boy was putting new shocks on rusty trusty and giving her a oil change, The rear shocks looked quite rusty so jonny boy decided we should leave that can of worms alone for now.
    We also got blue thunder oil changed.
    Tuesday the winds were howling out there. I was so thankful we did not have to go out there.
    Yesterday we paid for the day off as all the roads going north were completely blown in, with the drifts rock hard.
    New roads had to be made to even get to the houses. Old minnesota was the worst of the bunch as there was only one way to even get to her. Alot of hand shoveling, ice chisel chipping followed by a repair on the runner we were able to pull her out of the hole she was sitting in from all the weight of the drifted snow. If the heat would not have been on she might have been frozen in.
    Darrin also arrived to drop off another 3-person house. We now have two houses open for the remaining weekends.
    I nick named the first one Alabama. I have not even had time to really look over the second house.
    Today we will be setting up north dakota and Alaska for guest. Then get all the other houses ready for tomorrow.
    I got bad news on my generator. They said I need to send it too dewalt, I bragged about how nice they were, I even purchased a third one this year.
    We had to replace a broken cable on utah.
    Darrin spent the night in Alabama last night, they had 3 crappie and one smaller walleye last night when I talked to them.
    Mother nature decided she is not done. Waking up to minus 31 this morning. We will have another somewhat brutal day on the lake. It’s still amazes me you can work up a sweat when its that cold out there.
    Gotta go someones regulator quit so I need to see if we can help him.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Been a super busy few days here on the shores and lake of upper red lake.
    Of course, we again had to battle mother nature. Friday night into saturday eve, the snow kept floating down to earth. Of course, we had some wind to fill in all the driveways we had running east to west. The one good thing as it was not a crazy wind so we were able to just run the plow trucks through the powder and drifts around the houses..
    had some crappy news about the dewalt generator. Fleet farm can not fix it . Turns out the generator is a genarac brand with a dewalt casing. The 800 number for dewalt promps you to some places to get it repaired. The catch is they will only work on generac not dewalt ? Wow just wow. The manager at fleetfarm is going to dig a little deeper, for now I’m out a generator.
    Friday eve I was so worn out when I got our last customers checked in I was not able to go back out to make the rounds.
    We had also set up a few wheel houses.
    Friday eve the fishing was not that good. with all the houses on fresh spots I sure expected better fishing.
    Saturday evening it did pick up for most so there was some good news.
    Old minnesota had Justin and his crew. A big shout out to justin he sure left the house in immaculate condition. They ended up with a mixed bag of fish. 7 walleyes 1 crappie and a couple perch.
    North dakota with Robert and his crew had at least 7 walleyes plus a couple they ate. 3 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies a few perch plus the big bonus. Around 5 30 am Robert tagged into a monster pike. Everyone in the house had to get up to deal with the battle. She got every line down tangled up., Robert said they got some video that needs to be edited. He also said I need a tape measure in the house. They did land the fish as a team. A couple great pics and she was released to fight another day. It was well over 40 inches.
    Montana had Joe Cindy and their grandson Jadden. They caught a few perch and a dozen walleyes. They enjoyed their stay I think it was Jadden’s first ice fishing trip.
    Florida had Rollie and Kevin, they drew a short straw and never got a fish the first night. This is a annul trip they have been making for years to Florida fish house. They did manage to get 4 or 5 keepers. What really surprised me was the house was about 50 yards from some fantastic fishing last weekend? All those elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies must of headed east as they sure did not come south west.
    California had Brian and Will they had a livescope . Man, what a tool that can be. They had a few fish but they were gone sunday morning before I could talk to them.
    Danny Jr and his crew drew the shortest of short straws. Danny said they never catch fish together he was not fibbing.
    Utah had 3 guys I did not get to spend much time with. The first day I set them up on a spot witt here portable They landed 8 fish. Friday we got Utah set up for them to check in. They did end up catching more fish saturday eve then friday. Super nice guys that I’m embarrassed to say I cannot remember their names.
    Just never got to spend much time with them. I know their trip was a Christmas present from one of their wife’s.
    Of course, Mike and Matt did pretty good in the wheelhouse. Taking home 10 walleyes 7 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies and a few perch.
    Pat and his buddy did all right. They were here again last night so yesterday we plowed them a new area to fish so we will see how they did this morning as again when I came off the lake last night, I was a bit tired. I hate to admit it, but my age is catching up to me. I’m not getting that second or third wind like I use to.
    We also plowed out a spot for Jim turns out I use to play pool with him 25 odd years ago. They had better fishing saturday eve then friday.
    Yesterday we moved 3 house’s before 3 as we had 3 crews coming in. I will see how they all did this morning.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    The weather gods sure seem to be mad at us here on the shores of upper red lake. Tuesday with the temps above freezing as a slight mist started early afternoon turning into a freezing rain. The perfect storm. It seemed the ice rain would settle down the top layers of snow from blowing. No not to be. Waking up to 2 to 3 inches of powder snow the winds again picked up blowing all that lite snow across the now frozen layer of snowpack. We battled white out conditions all day. Again, all the roads were blowing shut.
    So yesterday started off early on the lake as we had 2 houses rented for the day. I also had 3 groups that would be leaving in white out conditions. Then checking in Norm, Paul and Bob. Our friend Darrin is up fishing, so he jumped in to help us as we had to get down are 6 mile road to get 3 houses out of there. I cleaned and prepped florida and montana for their moves as Jonny boy made a couple new driveways for them. Now were facing another batch of snow followed by more high winds out of the nw. I have heard that some of the resorts may close the access for wheelhouses if the winds get too nasty.
    Now a short fishing report.
    Florida had Nick and his dad Chris. They did go home with 8 fish plus had a couple to eat the first night.
    Bev and Mark and there 2 dogs Misty and Walker were in montana they also ate some fish and took a couple home.
    The crew in alaska were here 3 nights form oklahoma. They had action, ate a few fish plus took a few home. They also landed a couple elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
    Dennis and his crew were in north dakota sunday monday. They landed 8 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie’s plus a few walleyes.
    Jen and the girls fished california in a new spot monday. They fished just for the evening taking home 7.
    Today we are quite busy again as we move more houses plus check in customers plus battle mother nature. New roads will have to be planned and made as the weekend approaches.
    I’ll try my no snow snow dance, but it seems to of lost some of it ju ju.
    Time to check the fluids, look over the trucks on such a grand lake that owes us nothing.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Man oh man did that last storm pack a punch. Most of the resorts lost reservation this past weekend as again mother nature showed us she is the boss. I had Norm, Bob and Paul arrive wednesday for caifornia. Friday morning they were staying a little later than expected as the road was completely gone.
    Thursday as the snow started it came with a very strong wind. Jonny boy, I and Darrin were out trying to get all the houses moved. After digging out old minnesota and North dakota getting them out of there spots onto our main road it became impossible to see to plow new driveways for the houses. We made the decision that we would have to abandon ship.
    I had marked our road with tree branches. We decided the best thing to do was follow each other off the lake. The guys staying in alaska from Oklahoma had gotten to shore in just the nick of time. They had a grand time, caught some fish, ate like kings. As we worked our way back to shore at times you could not see 10 feet in front of you. Safley back to shore the snow started to taper off giving jonny boy just enough time to gather some supplies and head back onto the lake as Lori and her crew were here for monatana. Jonnys plan was to stay out there with Darrin. There would be no doing the rounds thursday night.
    As the winds changed directions, she picked up to well over 30 mph with even higher gusts. Jonny boy and Buddy hillman tried to save the road by plowing well into the night. They thought they may have saved the main road
    Friday morning was a no go getting on the lake. No one would be going out or coming in until the winds subsided.
    I had to call all our customers and give them the bad news. Tanners crew were scheduled for 3 nights so I let them know we could possibly have the houses ready saturday by 2.
    Dane and Sarah were going to stay in our cabin friday night. The winds were going to subside in the evening. Darrin was able to come off the lake with jonny boy plowing over to Norm to get them off the lake around 3. All the work thursday night had saved some of the road but not enough to get fisherman out onto the lake. Buddy Hillman was out on the lake with his tractor and snowblower working his way through the mess. Gregg was running his v plow. Jonny and I headed out about 630 pm to move four houses in the dark. She was minus 20 with a full moon as we worked well into the night getting done about 11pm. I went to plow some on Buddy Hillmans Road while jonny boy set up Dane and Sarah in north dakota. I rolled in around 1 am beat tired. 7an came awful early as jonny boy and I had to get all the houses prepped augured, heat on for Tanners crew.
    Loris crew in montana hammered the fish friday catching fish all day. saturday was just the opposite as they would not bite. They headed home yesterday with 16 plus they ate fish one night. They are already planning on another trip next year. I think that will be there third year,
    I’ll see how Tanners crew did later today. They have been catching some fish.
    Sarah and Dane went home with 7 from north dakota.
    California and Florida set empty all weekend.
    Utah canceled for next weekend Feb 18 19th
    Wow what a week I think we also have another round of weather coming mid week.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Another week of mother nature has worn me out. Being 62 does not help.
    Trying to keep track of the past week has been tough. With the impending snow and winds predicted we had to decide if our best move would be to get the fleet closer to the main road. At least this way we would be able to get to our customers if any problems arose. I would say last thursday may have been one of the hardest days I have had on the lake when it comes to moving houses. We moved 9 houses. The weatherman was right on the money with the snows and winds. Friday the access was closed to wheelhouses. We were able to get our customers checked in. With our house spread out from 2 miles to 5 i expected some good fishing could be had from at least some of the house. Saturday we spent the better part of the day moving 4-foot drifts away from the houses and reopening all the driveways as they were completely filled in.
    Utah with Andy, Doug and John had the best fishing of the fleet. That house was out about 2 miles out, Super nice guys. They were happy to go home with 9 fish plus they did eat a few .
    Florida and Montana were out closer to 5 miles with a few fish caught both nights.
    Old minnesota and North dakota were not rented tell saturday.
    I sure expected better fishing in those spots only to be disappointed. Wayne and Paul headed home with 5 walleyes 3 perch and a pike.
    Alaska had Fred, Melisa and there 2 friends they did also get some fish but again nothing to brag about.
    Today we have a flat tire to deal with, an alternator that going out plus a couple houses that need to be moved.
    Wish us luck as we try to finish off strong here on the shore of upper red lake that owes us nothing

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    My guess is mother nature took a good look around the lake and found some snow she had not blown around, so yesterday a north north east wind put a nice chill in the air and again drifted in the main road to the point of needing plowing most of the main road again. Our driveways at least did not fill in but there are some drifts to knock down.
    I have never really counted down the days tell the season ends but this year with the amount of snow on the lake I have caught myself counting them down. 4 nights to go 5 if you count sunday night.
    With predicted light and variable winds today and tomorrow Jonny boy and I may be lost out there.
    The hammer and I decided we would get in another night of fishing and have dinner out there. I got her set up first. she missed her first fish of many within ten minutes. It was quite comical as I tried to get my set up, she kept losing fish or missing them. Every time I was threading my line on the jig she would have a fish on. I would drop what I was doing go pull her vex line up only to have her lose another fish. A couple of them may have been keepers but we will never know. She commented there were all sorts of fish down there as I turned on my vex only to have her batterie die within seconds of me getting my line down. I set her up with mine so we could put a charge on hers.
    Now it was time to start dinner, so my fishing was done. dinner turned out ok with fish, Brockley, and noodles.
    The hammer did land 3 fish but there were just little scuffits. One may have been pushing 15. After dinner we fished for a little longer then decided to pack up as I was beat. Packing up is a big chore also. Coming in we had made the right decision of bringing red rusty trusty as we would never of made it in with the car.
    Brian and Stacy have been in florida we checked them in tuesday, this is there tenth year staying with us on the anniversary. They did all right the first night getting a 18, 16, and 15-inch walleye,6 keeper perch, and 1 very elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Stacy had commented she sure would like to catch one. She was rewarded with a nice 14 incher.
    Jake was also up sunday , monday. He helped Jonny boy and I move a couple of the houses. They caught enough to have a fish fry at westwinds monday eve, Jake and Gabrial just love the way they do their fish there plus Gabrial always has a bowl of westwind famous wild rice soup.
    Tyler also came in with his 2 boys, we had plowed them a spot and they had 6 fish to eat. They also headed home yesterday with at least 5 more they caught yesterday.
    I also set up mike and his two buddy’s in north dakota so we will see how they did today. They were only staying the one night.
    Of course, we have another busy day as montana and old minnesota have guest coming today as well as setting up Darrin’s 2 houses for his cousins. Friday will be busy as old minnesota and montana will need to be moved and reset plus, I be leave we have a couple wheelhouses coming. With all the snow they are basically getting a driveway off the main road.
    The final weekend we have 5 of the seven houses with repeat customers, just the way I like it on a grand lake that owes us nothing.

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    Every year is different here on the shores of upper red lake. This year was no exception. It sure seemed we would get just enough snow every week followed by huge winds from two to 3 different directions. Followed by bone chilling cold to battle. It only takes a small dusting of snow with high winds to create 3-foot drifts around every snowbank and object out there. The red baron never got to see the ice this year as the electrical problem never got solved.
    The red chevy rusty trusty had to do all the trail blazing. Blue thunder was my daily driver as black beauty is still waiting for a used transmission to be installed. The red baron has always been our back up truck for moving the houses.
    I babied the hell out of blue thunder this year. She had a few hiccups but being a chevy she has heald up pretty well this year. Knock on wood as she still has plenty of work to do as I slowly bring the fleet close to shore for now.
    Old minnesota will be the last one to come in so I can relax and do a little fishing as I try to land an elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.
    Last night our fucus was on getting at least one more walleye dinner. The hammer came through after a few lost fish with a fat 17 incher. I followed up also after a few misses and lost fish with another just over 17. We pulled the plug after watching 2 movies and having a grilled cheese and soup for dinner. Jonny boy stayed out there just in case a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie swims by.
    The fishing report from the past few days is not anything like last year’s last weekend of game fish season.
    We had a nice area all scouted out that was very fishy. The houses were way spread out. The cookie shuffle was done on a couple houses that had done pretty good last week while the other houses were placed into new un fished areas.
    Montana and old minnesota had Butch’ s crew wednesday thursday. The first night montana got 9 walleyes. while old minnesota got a 14-inch elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie and only a couple walleyes. Old minnesota got another 14 inch crappie thursday night. Monatana only got a few mor walleyes. Friday we had to move 3 houses for a turnover. Montana had alisa and her guy she also landed a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. another 14 incher to boot. They also landed a few walleyes with one over 22 inches.
    Florida had Tony and Tela They did get a 33 inch pike out of that house and a few smaller walleyes. Sounds like both couples would like to come back next year.
    Alaska Had joe,chris,rock and Zack. They have been coming for years. Jonny boy use to work with them many moons ago. They did not pound the fish but Joe said the good time they had made up for it. He said nobody on the lake had as much fun as them. They did get enough fish for a fish fry at jrs saturday afternoon.

    Utah had Jarred his brother and friend. Jarrod has been here a few times. They only managed to get 4 nice keeper walleyes plus a few smaller ones. Jarrod said they plan on coming again next year.
    Old minnesota and Todd, Danny and Drake they only took home 4 or5 keepers. Drake is 4 but still remembers me eating a minnow last year. Danny is a nephew of ours.
    Northh dakota had Jim his boy and son inlaw. They had a few fish also but nothing to brag about. They were here last year also the last weekend, so they have got to see the good with the bad in there two trips.
    california had by far the best fishing. Tammy, Bob and Tony. They ate fish plus also took home there 3 limits. They want to come up this summer and stay in one of our cabins. They also were repeat customers.
    We also plowed a few driveways for wheelhouses. Nicks house land 8 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
    Presstons house got a elusive 14 inch upper red lake crappie. plus a few walleyes.
    Rods house did so bad friday night we plowed them a new area where they managed to get 5 keepers plus a pike.The few other wheelhouses I’m not sure how they did.
    Lonnie’s crew of 5 wheelhouses did pretty well I believe, they were the closest houses towards shore to boot. The hammer and I spent some time with them saturday night, Lonnie and Lisa have become pretty good friends over the years. Lisa even got a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.
    Hillmans had the band the crappie floppers but we missed out this year. Its just a group of guys that jam together once a year at hillmans. Last year I played harmonica with them for one tune, so much fun.
    Jonny boy is going down to florida this week for a must deserved vacation. He sure has come into his own up here in god’s country. As parents kellie aka the hammer and I cannot be any prouder how he has stepped up and helped us get through these tough winters as we are not getting any younger.
    My plan this week is to just plug away and dig out the last 5 houses. I’ll pull one in every time I come to shore this week. If I find a couple elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies all the better. We might have a guest this coming sunday depending on mother nature.
    To all our new and old customers be leave me with all my heart you all keep me going. Thank you so much. As I get older its harder to make the rounds after a day working on the lake. After dinner I’m spent. This year at least 2 to 3 days a week was dedicated to fighting mother nature. Gotta go for now

    waskish minnesota on upper red lake
    Posts: 774

    I see it as been quite a while since I have written any fishing reports.
    The summer has just screamed by this year. The fishing on this grand lake was very good throughout the summer. The water level was high all year causing quite a bit of erosion done on our lake shore. Plus, when we get higher winds out of the southwest the water floods the whole yard down there.
    We added another wheelhouse this year nick named Colorado. I should of some details and pics on our web site later this week.
    Jonny boy took a new job this summer so he will not be working on the lake with me every day. He does plan to still help out as much as possible so that’s a good thing as my age is catching up to me. I ‘m looking for a full-time helper so if anyone has any interest give me a shout. I do have some help from good friends when they are available, but they will be on their schedule not mine. I have a plan in my head so will see how that pans out.
    Jonny boy and Dan are going to get the used tranny put in black beauty,
    so, I have a lake truck for hauling propane and other supplies on and off the lake.
    I have started inventory on the other houses plus started some cleaning. The red baron is back home after being down all last winter. I love that truck so crossing my fingers she stays running this winter. Blue thunder will, need some tlc the next few weeks. Our other red chevy Big Red seems to be running rough so I have to try and figure that out?
    Working at the golf course Oak Harbor this summer we had quite a bit of damage from the high water up on the rainy river as it flooded part of the golf course most of the summer. The water has finally receded but there is quite a bit of work to do up there to get here back in shape.
    I’m all most positive that we will be battling mother nature again this year. Be nice if the winds are a little kinder this year.
    I was going to hook up with my old friend the Greek last week but plans changed as he had to get down to naples florida to take care of the damage at his place plus try and help the community in is neighborhood.
    I have a pretty big to do list to get started on now that I’m done at the golf course. I’m hoping I can try and bow hunt again this year but we shall see.
    We also may have to adjust our prices just a bit,
    I will decide on that in the next few weeks.
    Stay tuned as the countdown starts for another ice fishing season on a grand lake that owes us nothing

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