Looking forward to seeing you again this season Cookie. Thanks for the update. Wish I had less responsibility down here or I would be happy to be your helper.
October 4, 2022 at 8:44 am #2150243
Looking forward to seeing you again this season Cookie. Thanks for the update. Wish I had less responsibility down here or I would be happy to be your helper.
My favorite season must be getting close if Cookie is posting. I always enjoy reading his messages about the life of an outfitter on URL.
However my annual trip is going to be unusual this year with the retirement of my longtime guide and friend, Jonny P. Hope he still makes cameo appearances!
Hey Cookie, how’s it going? I spose you’re working hard getting ready for the ice season. When you get time please send out an update. I know that lots of guys would appreciate and enjoy it! Thanks
Well that countdown went fast. From the looks of it plus reports from others that have walked out onto the lake, everything looks like a go buy this friday. I myself do not care for the early ice. Our friend Ben was out saturday down towards the south end of the lake. He was out maybe 1\4 mile. There is some piled up ice where the winds just pounded the ice into a 20-foot-high pile. He was standing close to open water. I would say it was the size of a big truck. just a round open hole of ice. Not sure why it’s like that. Once that glazes over you talking maybe one inch of ice. Then throw a layer of snow over that and now you have unsafe ice right next to 4 or 5 inches. I told him to ping that spot.
Most years the first time i’m on the lake as when I can drive bluethunder. The lake was not looking so well last weeks. It seemed we got an inch or two of snow every day. The shoreline was showing some slush. The winds came back in a fury friday with the coldest temps of the season. Saturday morning, I expected the worse only to my surprise 80 percent of the snow was gone. Quite a bit ended up on our shoreline and into the woods. Our property seems to have a vortex or something. I get 3 feet of drifted snow and the neighbor to the north get hardly any?
Not sure what hillmans is charging this year for an access fee, they did post they were opening up to walking starting thursday.
I have been plugging away. The boys did get the tranny in black beauty, sure nice having a comfortable warm truck to drive this year.
Bluethunder got a small workout yesterday as I cleaned up down at the lake. The red baron blew a upper radiator hose. being a 88 were still waiting on a new hose. I spose if you’re working on a hot rod you would just take some measurement then look at the Autopart’s store for something that would work.
Jonny boy and I got the window back up on big red.
I’ve gotten all the houses detailed with the heaters on. I have an inventory list. I sure wonder where all the steak knives go
The hammer and I will be heading down to the cites for thanksgiving while jonny boy and Dan hold down the fort? Now tha most of the resort will be opening up to walking the phone calls will start trickling in when do you think we can take out wheelers or sleds.
The winds were howling down there last night. Old mother nature sure can be brutal.
Rick and Bob were here for 9 days of hunting. They saw some deer this year but never got a good shot. Bob got a great pic of a buck walking by his trail cam around 7 40 am. He was hunting a different stand south of town when his phone sent him the pic. I still think it was funny.
Jonny boy and Dan also got the new carpet in old minnesota. They said they may be able to knock out north dakota thankgiving day. Time to hit the bricks, I imagine the next report I write will have a fishing report of a grand lake that owes us nothing
So it sounds like business as usual. Glad you have a warm ride! I’m looking forward to a walk on the ice.
The sunday night winds I mentioned on my last report created a little surprise yesterday morning. The was a crack in front of the beach about 100 yards out that followed the shoreline south until just after hillman’s them peeling away to the southwest. Somewhere to east is a big chunk of open yes open water. The ice piled up with one spot in front of Frank and Janas place close to 15 20 feet high. There’s slabs of ice 4to 5 inches thick piled on top of ice. Buddy Hillmans of Hillmans resort said some places it could be 3 or 4 layers of ice making it 20 inches thick. In front of their place there are a few openings, so it looks like we will not have to make an opening through it. When we pull our houses out of the woods we will have to find a route to bring the houses to Hillmans highway. Buddy had his stakes out about a 1/2 mile. The ice sheet moved them to northeast a bit. I imagine he will redo them, so his road is running straight out.
There were a few fishermen out, not sure how they did. It looked like they were out in about 9 feet of water. Sounds like there were also a few fisher people down to the south also. Some fishing in 7 feet of water the others in 9 feet.
Just as always as soon as the resort said they were going to open up to walking I get the calls. When will they let wheelers and sleds out? It so funny, once the give the green light for wheelers then the phones will start ringing again. When are they letting single axle houses out. I think they should call mother nature. I do not have her number though.
Over did it Sunday getting things ready, so I was a little sore yesterday, my back has worn out, I did have it looked at, MRI they said I have narrowing of the spine? plus the other few issues that were already there. The plan at this point is keep plugging away. Any help I have this year will be doing most of the grunt work, one thing I am trying to do is not have as many houses rented on Wednesdays. Also giving 110 percent is totally out of the question. Being a grunt, my hole working career has taken its toll. I’m sure all the golf working at golf courses have not helped. Although I never had much pain swinging the golf club just practicing putting and chipping had always been an issue.
As most should Know the limit for the winter is 3 fish 2 under 17 and the third any size. I had a spot two years ago I really liked so I hope I can get the houses to that area.
Heading to Blackduck and Bemidji, this morning. Crossing my fingers, I got the right radiator hose ordered for the red baron. If not going to see if I can find one similar. I imagine if you’re building a hot rod that what they do.
I got 5 of the 6 generators running. One will not fire. I think it might have super bad gas as it does have good spark. The small engine repair shop charges 80 an hour. That sounds like a pretty good gig.
The hammer took a new job and does not work at the cenox gas station anymore. It was a good run. 17 years, Hindsight is always 20 20 we should have looked into buying it when it went up for sale. My thought was I do not want to have to do all the grunt work, waxing floors, cleaning minnow tanks, changing lightbulbs, painting etc. Again, hindsight maybe we could have hired people to do that work.
Time to warm up the car, we did get another 1/4 inch of snow. Hope that pattern stops.
Each day we are getting closer to crunch time here on the shore of upper red lake.
We had some excitement here yesterday as the winds pushed the ice sheet opening up a wide crack down towards the south shore.
Jrs. resort got a bridge out to a spot so as far as I know all the fisher people were able to safely get across.
Last night the winds were howling out of the southwest so once it gets light out, I imagine all the resorts will be sending someone out on the ice to see what she looks like before they give the green light to go out today.
I keep hearing 3 to 7 inches of ice? I still have not gone out as again I’m in no hurry. I like to wait tell I can drive blue thunder on the lake.
I have seen quite a few pics of open water spots on the lake. She is a big lake so without flying over who know where they all could be. Once we get a good cold snap and calm winds those spots will glaze over. So, you could be checking ice that goes from 6 inches to 1 inch.? That is the reason the resort have to hold off letting machines on the ice as once there’s a green light, they may end up going all most any ware.
We do have a full house this weekend with guys staying in the houses on shore. It’s a good way to start the season to work out any details before the houses hit the lake.
We plan on going out of Hillmans resort again this year.
As I get older my memory seems to be slipping a bit, so I would ask all bare with me this year.
Both the red trucks still need to be driven around a bit to work out and bugs. Will get the plows on them once the houses come out of the woods. At this time, I think we’re looking around the third weekend Dec. 18th possibly to get out on the lake. Mother nature will be making that decision for us.
We were not home over the holiday, but it sounds like she was pretty busy out there Saturday, with quite a few fish leaving the lake. I did see quite a few pics of the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. Today I have some errands to run so I’ll know more about the lake conditions when I get back home.
The books are starting to fill in a bit more but there’s still plenty of houses open throughout the season. Christmas to new year’s is pretty much full. Gotta hit the road now as it is getting light out.
I’am not ready to battle mother nature, A dusting of snow tuesday night followed by 30 mph winds basically packed 4 feet of snow down on our lake shore in front of the houses. ERRRR. Blue thunder got its first good workout yesterday when i got home from a trip to Bemidji. I spent close to 3 hours plowing snow. I got stuck twice, where I had to dig out with the number 2 shovel. I still have some more to do today but was able to get done around 8 30 just before we had a few guests arrive., I did drive onto the lake about 100 yards . We have a few extra guest camping down there this weekend so they will be on the lake shore on ice.
Wow the crack down at JRs sure made the news as the story keeps getting crazier. Had a guy call today that wanted to know how many houses went down? The national news said 200 fishermen were stranded floating on an iceberg.
The guest we had down there tuesday all left a day early as those winds were wicked. 4 groups of 2 and 3 guys. The best figured they got 20 fish, the others were poor 1, 1, 3, with a few lookers.
Still do not have a full-time helper this year, I do have help here and there, but she is going to take some extra planning this year, then throw in mother nature. This may be the most challenging year I’ll ever have. I’ll take all the prayers people want to dish out. Time to get dressed for outside. I have plenty to do on a grand lake that owes us nothing.
I would say here on our end the fishing was good, bad and ugly.
from the guys we had here. One group that walked straight out to 11 feet of water figured they landed 40 friday with siver being the hot lure color, saturday they wanted nothing too do with jigging and hit just the set lines.
Jonny boy was giving rides out to a area he fished last year plus he fished the first day out there. One of the guys got a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie a fat 15 incher. They were fishing in 8 feet of water. Jonny also came in with 3 nice keepers, so the hammer and I had fresh fish for dinner, One of the group went out of beacon harbor. they did pretty good the first day the next day they went out from hillmans, then saturday they went back to beacons.
The guys in utah walked out of hillmans friday, they caught just a few. I worried about the into the evening as a squall of snow came through with some strong winds, they finally came in,they had some heater problems, they only had a mini sunflower to stay warm. With the temps dropping and the wind blowing I was shocked that they stayed out there that long. I had them come up to the garage and we got their other heater going as it had a bad connection.
The guys in Minnesota were cleaning fish the first night.
There were alot a lot of bigger walleyes getting caught all around the lake, I have been seeing on the web. I’m quite surprised were seeing these size fish, anywhere from 25 to 28 inch walleyes.
I also saw a local that had a pic of steam coming off the lake around sunset friday night. Sounds like it was out towards the end of big reef. Once Ii can drive on the lake I will not be driving anywhere near that area.
Beacon Harbors guys posted a couple thin ice signs to the left of their place. Maybe in 9 to 10 feet of water.
Have to make it short today as I need to get the cabin ready for guest coming in this afternoon. If you come up listen carefully to the resorts as they have been checking ice everyday.
Mother nature has put a hold on getting the houses on the lake in fishy water. I do plan on going out with jonny boys razor today. I’ll look around, punch a few holes, measure the ice myself. It would be nice to get them on the lake before the next batch of snow drifts on our lake shore. With possible snow starting wednesday mother nature has the upper hand which is nothing new.
We did have quite a few fishermen here the past weekend with no one getting skunked.
Jason had melissa, barb and Allisa? Melissa was able to land a elusive yet still catchable over 14-inch crappie to get her master pin from the club the girls belong to. She was pretty excited. They all did well and took home a few walleyes. Melissa had to release her crappie to earn her pin I be leave; Jason used Jonnyboys’ razor to haul the girls and gear.
Old minnesota had Rick and his buddy, they went down to jrs both days and were happy with the fishing.
Ozzie and his buddy fished some cribs, they did really well the first 2 days, yesterday was a bit slower though.
I never got to visit Patrick and his buddy as they were not at the shack the few times, I swung in to grab the garbage, I know they did have a wheeler issue but were able to clean the spark plug good enough to get it running.
Bob plus his crew had colorado plus 3 ice castles staying out in front of our place. They had a huge fish fry friday night..
I did play one game of cribbage with Jason and the guys in the cabin. We played red dog which they had never played. Jason and i won as they landed in the stink hole on their last count.
Boar his wife Lorie also camped down on the lake shore. Boar said the fishing was outstanding.
Never heard how Mason and Logan did.
Again facebook was lit up with pics of fisherman catching out of all the resorts. No clue why we’re seeing so many crappies. I guess there hungry. All those 10 and 11 inchers we have been letting go seem to be pushing into the 12s now.
Up here on our end there is a pressure ridge out 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile that westwind plus Hillmans had to bridge.. Westwind battled the pressure ridge as the warm temps caused it to expand and sink a bit.
I be leave most of the resorts are in a holding pattern until this snow comes in and then we get a nice string of cold weather again. There all different though so checking with the resorts that you plan on going out will be your best info. the next few days.
Jonny boy will be up helping now for a few weeks which is huge for us. So far, I have been able to clean all the houses. plus yesterday I took north dakota off it blocks so I can jack up the houses at this time. Digging and moving them all on a daily basest may be different story.
I did take the razor out on the lake yesterday to measure some ice . The least I found was just under 12 inches. The most was just over 14. I also checked out the pressure ridge that have bridges. The pressure ridge starts really close to shore south of westwinds.
It does sound like most of the resorts are not going to let any wheelhouses on the lake until after this storm system passes through. The weather pattern keeps changing day to day. Now its saying some snow every day tell saturday.
I think we should be able to start moving the houses out of the woods sunday, then get them all over to Hillmans resort as that’s where we go out of.
Not sure how the guys down on the lakeshore have been doing. They take off today. we now have a couple houses on shore that have opened up do to the weather. The guys also canceled the cabin.
Our longtime friend Kirk is out on the lake. Jonny boy was heading out to wet a line with him.
I’m still plugging away got a new list started so that will keep me busy. The whole fleet of trucks have some kind of repair.
Well I would say its official we now have all the houses on the lake in fishable water out of Hillmans resort here in Waskish.
With Jonny boy, Darrin and Daves help we were able to dig all the houses out of the woods, cut a trail to hillmans road, cut another road to the north. Then bring all the shacks out to a fishy area. Darrin pre fished the area and did have some action with some real good action around 1am.
We did have a full house this weekend. everyone went to different resorts with a couple fishing straight out from our place.
The crew in the cabin had sleds and were on a mission to fish a certain area they fish every year. I did talk to them briefly, they said they caught fish with a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
Travis and Jim were first time guests. they were here since tuesday so they had quite the adventures as they fished throughout the two snowfalls we had. I would say we got a total of 14 inches of wet heavy snow. Mother nature just never lets up. They did find one slushy area where they buried their wheeler. It was very close to shore, more than likely where bull rushes were growing. They caught fish with some days better then others.
Sean and Carter stayed in montana, they headed down to jrs as thats where Sean was most familiar with. It was a tough bite the first day. I did not get to find out how they did the second day as they were gone in the morning.
Bob his son Noel plus there two friends stayed in Colorado the boys went out from our place friday eve, They did have some action but only landed a couple.
Steave and his buddy stayed in old minnesota just for one night. They were headed over to beacon harbor yesterday. They also fished straight out from our place and caught a few after dark.
Lared and his 2 buddies were in california. I had to call them yesterday to tell them there sleeping quarters were now out on the lake. That was quite a surprise for them. I got them out there after dark so we will see how they did in a bit. just talked to the guys they got 7
Darrin also moved to a new area and had a couple when I talked to him last night. Utah set empty as well as florida.
The snow on the lake will make cross country travel pretty tough. Flooding will also accrue when you auger holes.
Hillmans has a bridge over a active pressure ridge about 1/2 mile out. I’ll know more about what Buddy Hillman will be allowing out later today. I did here that Buddy Haillman has some rentals still available for the season on a grand lake that owes us nothing, The store number is 218 647 6504
Of course, the first thing on my mind is to say Merry Christmas to all our friends, family and customers on such a glorious day.
I’ll start with a small fishing report from this past week. We were able to have a few guests in our sleepers as day houses before another round of mother nature showing us, she is the one in control. We had a group of 6 that called out of the blue as the arrangements they had made had fallen through.. John and his crew used florida and montana for the day. They only got a few fish with one or 2 21 inchers.. John did have a pandemonic and were seeing fish all day but trying to entice them to bite was tough. They packed it in about a hour after dark.
Robert and his 2 buddies fished old minnesota. They managed 3 nice solid fish, Robert said they had to leave just as the bite was picking up. I headed out to turn the heat off and gather the generators.
Lonnie Adam and Greg came up for the day, they fished old minnesota on wednesday. Adam did land a 32 inch pike. They also caught a couple smaller walleyes
Every year things are different yet are the same. This grand lake freezes, cracks, moves before she settles down a bit. I would say we had close to 11 inches of ice before we got our first wet heavy snow close to 7 inches followed by another 6 or 7 more. This slowed down the ice making. It also caused quite a bit of extra work on all the equipment and resort plans around the lake.
Now getting back to this week when everyone was making their decision what to do. Again, mother nature decided let’s throw in some lite snow followed by high winds for 3 days. Mys well fill in all the ice roads, cause some big drifts around the houses and customers vehicles on the lake.
We had a repeat group of customers coming in friday afternoon, so Jonny boy and I were out in all most white out conditions getting 3 houses ready for their arrival. Once we had them all checked in Jonny boy got working on the red baron again as she still would not run right, and we would be needing that big v plow asap .
We decided it had to be the fuel pump so the gas tank would need to come off. I had a fuel pump that was a little bit shorter but maybe it would work. Working under a old parachute with the torpedo heater and temps below – 10 somehow jonny boy was able to accomplish such a feat out in the driveway. I was surprised to see how much crud was in the tank with what gas was in there broken down. That had to be the culprit. He also found 2 wires that were in need of repair.
Once we got some gas back in her jonny boy fired her up. She revved up fine. we warmed her up and jonny boy took her out just in time to run her down the off-shoot road to our houses which was now completely blown in. One pass down and back and again the red baron coughed and sputtered. At least we now knew it was a fuel delivery problem.
Jonny boy headed home for the night, and we would again tackle it in the morning. I got the dreaded call around 1 am that one of the furnaces in colorado were not working. Once I got out there Rob and I were able to figure it out and get some heat going again. The regulator is freezing up. She will need a new one.
Now this is becoming a long read. We got a new inline fuel filter, plus another new pump that was the right one. Again, the inline filter seemed to clear it up but after one pass yesterday on Hillmans main road she sputters again. Jonny boy dropped the tank again, replaced the pump and filter. As I helped button up the tank jonny boy said if this did not work maybe we should put her in the burn pile. She fired up and for the next 3 hours into the dark Jonny boy helped buddy Hillman reopen the main road out to 2 miles any way. Let’s not forget the red baron also came in with a flat rear tire so that needs to be addressed asap.
I spent most of yesterday in blue thunder cleaning up all the drifting around the houses. I did Spend a little time with our guest which are some of the nicest people you could ever meet, they even have grama out there. They also invited me for their shrimp boil. I love shrimp but I had already planned dinner with the hammer so I did not make it out there. They were up to 11 fish I be leave with a few misses thrown in plus one big fish that got off.
I’m headed out there in a bit to say good morning and let them know the main road is open if they need to come to shore. The winds finely layed down, so we have a day and a half to prep everything for the week ahead.
I would say most of the resorts are either open or opening tomorrow morning. Off road travel with a wheelhouse would more than likely be impossible as the winds have drifted the snow and packed it hard enough you can walk on top of it. The old v plow will be huge this year.
This Christmas I’m so thankful jonny boy is here to help his old man the first part of the season, then I have friends, family and possibly a couple part time people that will be helping me on such a grand lake that owes us nothing.
Monday is quite a blur as it was a 14-hour day counting a 6-hour trip to Bemidji to purchase another generator drop another off for repair. Seem’ s this year my generators want to throw me fits so if you own one and are coming it would not hurt to bring it as a backup.
I did get out to say goodbye to shelly, bob and their crew. Like always the fishing could have been better but they had a grand time and plan on coming back next year. Shelly was telling me they are going to Africa hunting, how’s that for something on a bucket list. Such a nice family I already look forward to seeing them again next year. Bob sure like to ice fish. as well as fish and hunt in general.
Yesterday with Jonny boy, Jake, Darrin and his boy Joe we made the plan to move all 8 houses just a little further west to get all the houses on a fresh area. We did have a few hick ups, Blue thunder straight blade plow seems to have a bad connection, so Darrin did most of the banking with his plow truck. I have to take our flat tire to get repaired today plus go to Bemidji again to pick up new power cables for blue thunders plow.
The red baron had a hick up towards the end of the day. At this time, it cleared itself up but was flooding itself for a bit. Fuel pressure in throttle body?
No clue what’s going on with the generators, I had changed all the oil on them just a week ago. We had some bad gas one year and they all crashed within hours of each other, but I do not think that’s the problem.
We have Kara and Jeff staying in florida, they brought sleds for some portable fishing. The best fishing reports I have heard are the fisherman fishing miles away from all the traffic on the lake now. Kara jumped in upon their arrival and cleaned a couple of the houses for me. Another great couple of people. One of the perks of this work is all the nice people you get to meet throughout the season. Once we can get things find tuned and running like a well-oiled machine, I’m hoping to visit a little more with old and new customers.
Yesterday was a little comical at times as we had 4 vehicle’s out there with our big move. Quite a few times someone needed something that was in another truck, jack, blocks, chisel, shovel, generator, gas, fish house keys just too name a few. I have no idea where all my shovels have gone so that on the bemidji list also today.
I did talk to jake a few minutes ago he has gotten 5 overnight. Colorado with bob and his crew had 3 both those houses have the pandonimics and are seeing fish plus schools of shiners.
Keith and his 2 grandsons in alaska only had 1 last night when I swung in. California had 1 before dark. the rest of the houses I will see how they did today.
Mark, Tony and their crew from Black pearl fishing have sleds. They said last night all 3 places they fished they caught numerous fish.
I expect the pressure ridge to get a little active today if it warms up as much as they say so we will see.
Hillmans Road only goes out about a mile and half at this time
with a bridge at a half mile. Buddy Hillman did get his Double decker out there.
I measured 16 inches of ice where were fishing so were still getting some flooding. I have also seen some slush pockets out there at this time. Cross country travels with a wheelhouse would be quite the challenge.
We will keep plugging away. Trusty rusty our red chevy may be fixed and also needs to be picked up at the mechanic’s shop. The equipment sure takes a beating out there, I’m still a believer as slow and study, take your time, do not be in a hurry. This is what I was taught from my mentor cousin Pete.
Not sure how many times I have said I forgot, my memory is horrible so bear with me. I will be turning 63 and I have always said I’m about 5 years ahead of my time. which makes me about 68
The red barons tire could not be repaired dry rotted. So looking for a couple used tires 235 r85 16. We might have to buy new.
I’m a big chevy guy with the fleet but they sure make crappy door latches. granted these trucks take a pounding but the driver’s doors seem to work worse than the passenger doors. The red baron still has a hick up but i did get to drive her a bit, that sure felt weird after not getting much use out of her the last 2 years.
Red rusty trusty needs a fuel pump.
We did get to the bottom of the generator issue. again, for the second time over the years it was contaminated fuel. 2 gallons of generator fuel had over a quart of water and debree in tanks. Not sure if it’s coming from snow in funnels but does not explain where all the gunk comes from. At least we got that figured out.
So much goes on everyday I can never write about everything, without trying to write everyday.
Mother nature was not so cruel to us this past Christmas week, Last time I measured ice we had 16 1/2 the houses still flood so brings your ice cleats.
We lost our pup Bella yesterday. She sure enjoyed all those days spent running on the lake with us, when I moved houses she would run in front of the trucks, she would follow me all day long at the golf course or mowing for the township. If we had fishermen she knew how to get a few snacks with those brown puppy dog eyes.
We did push the whole fleet westward over the past week. Now were fishing in 9 to 10 feet instead of 8 or 9.
Joe and his pa did all rite fishing montana until we moved them. Ashly Poo our granddaughter fished the same house after they left and Only got one 18 1/2 incher.
Chris and his gal were in utah they ended up having to go home a day early. They pounded on some nice perch plus got 5 keeper walleyes.
Bob the owner of Colorado has some decent fishing as he hosted a couple guest.
Keith was with his son and grandson in alaska. Keith had me laughing so hard as he ask if I remembered when we met back in the crappie days, he said him and his son were struggling to find some crappies. I somehow met him and said if I were you I’m not saying but just saying if you go rite over there you may be surprised. It was 20 below when they pounded the fish. Keith said after catching fish they went to the old hudecs to get a room; he had never been here and expected there would be lodging everywhere. They said we have an old cabin that might have a few mice in it if they wanted to sleep there. Keith said all the mice running across there sleeping bags traumatized his son.
They only caught a few fish this time but again had a great time.
Matt and his 3 gals had north dakota, they ate a few fish plus took home a limit.
Haily and her crew caught a few fish in alaska over new years. Not the hoy house
Brian and Stacy old customers showed up with their new used wheelhouse. I had a spot plowed for them. The first night they did really well. Stacy then had a big pike on. After that the bite went south, or should I say west as the couple wheelhouses to the west did fairly well. I think that pike may have been laying under the house for the next 24 hours.
Tim and Amanda were here in florida over the new year. They got 12 the first day and I think another 10 the next day.
Old minnesota has had Tim and Joy all week. They have caught a couple fish but there also here for the atmosphere besides the fishing. Jonny boy fished it last night and got a chunky 23 1/2. I think he said it was his personnel best on red lake.
Jonny boy, I and Asley Poo our granddaughter worked on moving as many houses as possible. Asly got to pull California out of the hole. Mopar Richard, Jeromy their buddy did pretty decent in there over the holiday.
Blue thunders plow quit for a bit yesterday, Jonny boy dug into it and found a loose connection. Really need rusty trusty home so we can get that straight blade out of the woods.
black beauty’s driver’s door decided she would not close. I got it closed then it would not open, so I had to move a few things to crawl out the passenger side. I crawled back in get on the lake and the door pops open. Now it will not close again so i did the Red Green duct tape trip. She never popped open all day but getting out the passenger side got old by last night.
We did get everything cleaned and moved by 1 pm yesterday, the hammer also came out to help, a couple hours later she was towing a fish house, on the lake. Only took 21 years to tow a house.
I also got all new guest checked in. she was a long day on a grand lake that owes us nothing. Another 12-hour day is in the books. Jonny boy was going to make the rounds out there last night so I did not have to go out again.
Today I would like to take a little tour of the other accesses plus kirk is fishing out there with bear paw.
We do have to get old Minnesota on a new spot, ready to fish by 2. Plus make the daily rounds to visit our guests.
getting old sure has caught up to me. Seem’s it takes a lot longer to get going in the morning for sure.
Jan 9th its been 6 days since i was able to write. Again, remembering everyone plus all the hustle and bustle has been impossible. Will shoot for some of the highlights.
All the houses have been moved at least twice since I last wrote. As always, the fishing could have been better for everyone. we keep pushing west driving over millions of fish
Johnn v and his crew rolled in Monday the 2nd. They have been coming up for years. the first night was no good so we moved north dakota further west where they did have better fishing. we also moved old Minnesota with Dana, Doug and their daughter Nevaeh . They also did better in the new spot the second night.
Joe and his crew had Montana and Florida, we also moved them after the second night. Again, they did better on the newer spot.
California had just Bob he got fish in both spots we had him. He did eat a 18 plus took home his 3 I think.
Tim and Laura were in Alaska they had plenty of room. They had action with the third night the slowest.
Quade and his crew were in Utah , they also caught some nice keepers .
Brad and his family in Colorado also got action where they were.
Thursday we moved everything that was open. Then Friday was a very busy day, although all days have been crazy busy
With the turnover Darrin was here to help as well as Jonny boy and Ashly poo. Went much smoother then 2 weeks ago. We did break a fish house window that we will have to deal with this summer, I guess.
Never did get a wiper motor working on the red baron so still no wipers.
Rick Ry and his brother Mike rolled in friday they have been coming up here for years. They also had Matt his son Luke and matts day in old mn. Then matts brother Shwan and chris his coworker were in florida. Of the 3 houses old minnesota had the best fishing with Rick and Mike not doing that well.
Andy, Andy and Blake also rolled in for the weekend in utah. They did well as they were a 1/2 mile form everybody else.
Dayne and his wife Sarha with their friends were in Colorado. There best fishing was the last night. I did have to escort them back to the shack late friday night as they could not find it.
Gary and his guys were in the cabin, they had a couple houses rented form another outfitter . they did not do well.
All the houses were moved again for 4 arrivals yesterday. So we will see how they did today. It’s pretty much been 12 to 14 hour days Since Christmas.
I get jonny boy one more day than he has a flooring job out of town. Big Tony that worked with me 13 years ago has come up to help me as I cannot do all the work on my own anymore :pouty: Oh well, Ashly poo will be back next Sunday so tomorrow it’s just me and big Tony .. The crazy run of rentals slows down now so I guess that’s a good thing. We have quite a few little projects we need to also get done when were not on the lake. I’ll make the rounds today and see how everyone did on such a grand lake that owes us nothing.
I have heard of a few limits of crappies being taken plus one here one there.
Tammy and Randy were also up. Tammy got a 25-inch walleye Saturday around 3 pm. Was nice seeing them as it had been a few years.
We also had some wheelhouse we had plowed for and of course they seemed to have the better fishing. The only thing I can figure as there is more activity around our fleet then the wheelhouses. She is 8am time to fire up the equipment and hit the ice.
yesterday was one of those days I guess. Everything was going smooth we wee in the process of moving Colorado when the front crank up came apart. i think they call it a bull dog. I pulled blue thunder up to give us some room to try and fix it. I get back in blue thunder hit the key and nothing, Figure it might be starter, i shimmy under the truck check the wire and we got a connection, Tony is at the same time wiggling the battery connections. Gotta be the wire on the starter. Now i cannot get it to work again. with customer arriving we have to come up with plan B. I was able to get everyone checked in as they all arrived on time.
we then tow bluethunder home. Every once in a while, the ignition comes on,. red lake helped us find the problem as it was a connection on the battery. Thank you, red lake that owes us nothing.
A update on the fishing. It has gotten better since we moved the whole fleet west again.
Tim and his crew were in north dakota. They caught a eel pout maybe a walleye. We moved them to a new area and they still had horrible fishing. Tim had a nephew working on the south end and they were doing really well, but Tim stuck it out with us,
Florida was 200 feet away from them, Curt and his buddy caught some smaller ones. We moved them when we moved north dakota. Less than 200 feet away they did better taking home 4 walleyes and 1 big perch.
Colorado had Cory and his buddies. They caught fish all 3 days with most caught during the bewitching hours and after dark.
Monday we had Mike his wife Catalina and their son in montana on a new spot. They ended up catching 10 only staying one night. They were all nice fish.
Lee and his buddy were in utah. They did get a few but nothing to brag about.
Last night I made the rounds to make it another 14 hour day.
Alaska was not doing well. north dakota had 2 elusive yet still catchable crappies 2 walleyes.
Utah had Mike and his 2 friends they also had two elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies plus 1 17 1/4 inch walleye.
Tony stayed out on the lake he also managed to catch a few. The hammer and I will be having fresh crappy for dinner tonight.
Big Tony was going to make the morning rounds, again we have plenty of things to do before tomorrow.
I have been so busy I have not gotten to the end of Hillmans Road. Not sure how far it goes out. Mother nature has been so kind with no crazy wind or snow since that dumping weeks ago. Knock on wood. As soon as they predict some nasty type of weather the whole fleet will be moved closer to the main road Hillmans Highway.
It still has never been easy with my short time memory it is making it quite a bit harder. Then throw in all the aches and pain. There is no way I could do any of this without our good friends Darrin, Dan the carpet man, Ashly poo our grand daughter, Jonny boy and big tony my right-hand men plus kind of the left.
It does slow down quite a bit but we still have more work.
I did get a treat yesterday as we plowed out some spaces for his big crew of wheelhouses. Jared brought us 2 new tires for the red baron plus a big box of meat.
Were still seeing some flooding around fish houses.
Jan 17 2023
Will start by saying after this past weekends fishing were making another big move as the area that was full of good fishing fizzeled out just like that. All these years of doing this and I have no clue what’s going on. How one spot can be so good then turn so bad . I would love to blame mother nature but then you here how someone hammered them catching fish all day and night.
Old Minnesota had Richy and his buddies, on a brand-new spot in a fishy area and They may have caught 6 fish?
Are big crew form Iowa. Sarah, Kenny, Carl and Terry. They did not catch very many fish , they did have a grand time and I guess thats what really matters.
The group with them in North dakota also only caught a few fish. Again, my memory has failed me with names. They are the same crew that came with them two years ago. We had both those houses set up close to where Joe and his buddies caught fish for 3 days.
Tammy and her family were in Utah. They did have good fishing with one of the boys catching his first walleye. I think they took home 10 walleyes plus a couple elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
Montana Had first time clients Nicole, Rob and their friend. When I stopped in friday eve they had 2 walleyes, one elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. Plus, they missed two fish while I was visiting and landed a small walleye.
Alaska had Joe and his 3 kids all the way from kansas, again a fresh spot and the fishing was horrible, I had also plowed a spot for their buddy and his 3 kids. I’m not sure what happened but by time they left monday morning there was standing water all over that area?
Big Tony has been camping in california and catching fish. every night.
Jamie was in Utah sunday night after we moved it, they did get a few walleyes with his son catching his first walleye also.
Craig and his buddy were staying in the cabin fishing in portables with their sleds. They did real well all weekend.
Yesterday Jonny boy and Big Tony started moving the whole fleet to two new areas. Jonny boy loves his way points so that’s where some of the fleet went. while a couple other houses are going back where we had good fishing 2 weeks ago.
I spent the morning cleaning and prepping all the houses for the big moves. Then I was off to get the new tires mounted on rims for the red baron.
We have to keep an eye on red barons radiator as it has a small leak along a seam. Stop leak helped for now but I will again be having to replace the radiator. I’m thinking maybe we can add some more cushion on the bottom radiator support to help some of the bumps she takes out there.
Again, today we have 3 houses to prep for guest arriving today. Ashly poo made it up to help us out today as Jonny boy had to go out of town on another flooring job.
With all the elusive yet still upper red lake crappies being caught I’m not sure there will be any to chase come march.
We did have our Utah house open up this coming weekend Jan 20th, 21rst. Time to do the back exercises as it’s getting lite out. Darrin rolled in last night as well as scott so we will see how they did sometime today.
We’ll all I can say is the big move paid off for now, Will it last throughout the weekend we will find out this weekend.
After such a busy few weeks a little bit of a break was needed to find my second wind. We did get the new tires on the back of red baron. I have not even had a chance to drive her as Big Tony has been behind the wheel. Today I plan on plowing a couple spots with her to see if I remember why I love that truck.
Asly poo has been driving blue thunder. She is getting better plowing everyday. Yesterday I turned her and tony loose to move and bank north dakota and monatana. as I cleaned all the houses. They seemed to work well together and got her done in a very reasonable time.
I think last night may have been the first night since Christmas that we had no guest on the lake. I still hd to go out there just to check on things.
Scott and his fishing partner checked into colorado monday. They had pretty good fishing if you count the smaller ones they also caught. The second night they even got a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. I have said for years that the smaller scuffit walleyes hang out with the schools of crappies as well as a big pike.
Tuesday I stopped to visit scott . As i was sitting there his partner tagged into a pike. In the process of fighting her all of a sudden one of Scotts fishing rods shot down another hole. Once they landed it was not a monster, but it did have 3 hooks in her. Taking their time they were able to retrieve his rod up the same hole. They caught 23 walleyes,4 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies, 5 perch and 1 pike.
Jaron, Chris and Josh were in north dakota tuesday wendesday. They also had good fishing with a school of crappies coming under the house the first night. I think they landed over 25. Jaron said it was crazy fishing for a while. They only took home 4 walleyes but they did take home a batch of the elusive upper red lake crappies.
Montana had Andy, Chris and Kaden, they also had good fishing. Not as good as north dakota but they ate some fish plus took home a few including 5 upper red lake crappies.
Florida had Bill and Sharon. The first night they did not do so well. I stopped in to check on them, they had there set ups 6 feet off the bottom? I helped them out. The next morning, they had only got 2 walleyes. Since we wanted the whole fleet moved, we moved them out a little further. They ended up having much better fishing even landing 2 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies and a big eel pout.
It will be interesting to see how the fishing pans out this weekend. Our good friend wayne / wacker. He will be staying in old minnesota so I expect a little card playing may take place. Plus, I personally will be fishing more than a hour or two.
We had a full house this coming weekend but ended up with Florida canceling yesterday. At this time it’s still open in a fishy area. It’s time to get out there and fire up the heaters. As that old timer told me with so much passion years ago, ITS A GRAND LAKE AND OWES ME NOTHING! NOTHING! it silll chokes me up when I think about that day fishing with him.
t’s just so crazy how every week can be so different. Last week all the guests were showing up early. Things were breaking, customers were calling. Were here! This week they were all rolling in after 2pm with the latest coming in well after 1 am. I have to admit I got a little frustrating waiting for our last guest as it had been another long day on the lake. Big Tony, Ashley poo and I had all the houses ready to go before noon.
Tony his wife and the 2 kids checked in to north dakota, Tony said he has been going by here for 35 years and never stopped to fish. I would say it was a pretty successful trip. The walleyes had become the elusive yet still catchable
upper red lake fish. On the other hand, the cookie shuffle worked well on that house as they were well over 20 upper red lake crappies but only a couple walleyes so far. I hope to get out there this morning to say goodbye.
Big Tony was out in california 2 miles away from north dakota Thursday evening he landed 10 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
We filled Florida Friday Saturday after a cancelation. They had forgot to call? John and Jason checked in after 8 pm by 10 pm they called to find out what the limit was for crappies. Super nice guys that left the house just like I ask as close to possible as how it was when you check in. john stated he has rented other fish houses and this was by far the nicest, plus I’m the first one that my crew or I came and checked on them off and on all weekend.
Mike and his gal Haily checked into montana, they also had pretty good fishing with a couple walleyes and a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
Haily is Jared’s sister, him and his buddies checked into california saturday so we had taken california from its hot spot to set them up next to each other. They had a few fish, but the better fishing was a little to the south.
Utah had the late comer with his gal, I hate to say it, but I never got to visit with them but once. They only caught a few fish.
Alaska had John the owner of alaska and his buddy Alec? They were to the east. They managed 18 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake walleyes. 2 crappies 2 perch plus quite a few misses.
Corado had Dan jr and his buddy’s. They also checked inn after dark, When I got their last guy out there, they had a half a bucket of elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies and just a couple walleyes. They did not have any live bait and were catching them with pink crappie nibblets.
Old minnesota had a good friend Wayne. It sure was a treat seeing him as we always have a grand time on a grand lake. The hammer and I joined him saturday eve, for some cards, pizza and fishing. The hammer put on the clinic living up to her name landing 4 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies, 2 walleyes plus a few misses. I landed the biggest walleye. Wayne did hit the road yesterday with 10 crappies 3 walleyes. Wayne also helped me get a good door on black beauty as crawling over to the passenger door was getting old.
A wheelhouse we had plowed a spot for Tim called sunday to say thanks as they caught fish all 3 days they were here, they were in quite the fishy area as they caught walleye, perch, golden eyes, walleyes, and maybe a pike. We had plowed them a spot well to the west.
Another wheelhouse with Brock and his wife was amazed at how many crappies they caught. We had them close to the main road of all places.
I was talking to jake we figure the fish were seeing are from a huge crappie hatch from 2019.
Jake and the boys are on their way today and Jake is possessed with the upper red lake crappie. He probably has the auger already warmed up in his truck still 100 miles away.
The red baron radiator is hurting. The stop leak worked again but today I plan on tracking down a replacement.
Sounds like Jonny boy will be out of town again this week. Darrin is also on his way up to help out.
Wednesday all the houses are open. Plus Old minnesota, florida and possible montana are still not rented for this coming weekend jan 27 28.
Another week has flown by here on the shores of upper red lake. What looked like an easier week turned into another busy week with 3 trips to Bemidji 2 tracking down a radiator for the red baron.
Jonny boy got back home to help us get ready for the weekend. We tried our best to prep for the snow and winds that rolled in last night. I would say we got at least 2 inches. Big Tony stayed out on the lake last night in old minnesota to be closer to the guest. Just in case anything came up. I have not heard from him over night, so I hope that’s a good sign.
We started the week with Jake and his boys rolling in monday morning. Jake was on a mission to catch some elusive yet catchable upper red lake crappies. If I remember right, they landed 17 keeping 6 to eat.
With Darrin also coming up we were able to move california for Jared and his buddies as they had been here since saturday. That moved payed off as the mother lode swam under the house for there last night here. Even though they were not walleyes they were tickled pink to have all the action. I’m not sure how many they kept but they caught well over thirty.
We had Jim his wife and their granddaughter Brooklyn in florida. They did all right having action both nights. With my crappy memory I cannot remember the numbers but I be leave they got a couple walleyes and a few crappies.
With all the help we were able to move the whole fleet to new grounds before Jake and Darrin headed home.
Wednesday, we had joe his son in montana with their neighbor Jason and his 2 boys in california. Joe said they caught 18 crappies and a few smaller walleyes.
Jason son did get a true 14 1/2 inch crappie that he was very proud of. The action last night was much slower for them. I’m not sure if it picked up after I came off the lake.
I did wet a line myself last night. I maybe fished for a hour landing one. Jonny boy showed up and landed 4 or 5 with a couple smaller walleyes.
Mother nature decided it was time to show us she is in control. with the high winds out there, I expect she will be a long day. All the old roads that have been open are now more than likely gone.
. We had two groups roll in yesterday. We also plowed a few spots for wheelhouses.
We have 2 more groups rolling in today, looks like we will baby the red baron and tackle the radiator in the next 48 hours. I have changed more than one radiator in my lifetime, but my aches and pains, age, have caught up with me so Jonny boy and big Tony will tackle it.
Its been a year since we have had to deal with a snowstorm followed by high winds so she will be an interesting day. Not sure why they seem to fall on fridays but we know that part is out of control.
While Jake was here, I got to watch the side imaging in action. He saw a school of crappies 50 feet away from the house. He went over augured 2 holes came back grabbed his rod with a plastic mister twister. he proceeded to land 3 fish in less than 5 minutes during the middle of the day. I think it’s almost cheating.
I think it’s
Totally agree. Boring.
Will just start by saying for some reason this coming week has always been a little slower for rentals? At this time we have 3 houses still open, north dakota,montana, and utah. the fishing was real good this past week.
The past week was another busy busy week here on the shores of upper red lake. We had 2 groups rolling in thursday Nick,Deeann,Aron and Char were checked into north dakota ,. Asley and her 2 fiends form Oklahoma which had never been on the ice arrived late afternoon. They were a little nerveis being the first time driving out on a frozen lake.
Ashly had also booked them a snowbear trip friday morning, so they were in for an adventure. Then throw in a couple inches of snow followed by some gusty wind friday. They caught a couple fish Thursday night with the best window from 5pm to 9pm. Remember how many a few fish are or how many a couple are or some from my previous writing? Friday morning their snowbear trip got cancelled, so there fishing was right where they were. Friday night the action was again around 5 to 9 they with quite a few more fish caught. A couple were even the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake walleyes.
Nick and his crew were here for 3 nights. The action was super slow during the day but each evening the fishing picked up quite a bit. We even started seeing some good action at 1 am and 4 am..
Marlo got 7 nice walleyes thursday morning. Nicks crew went home with some nice fish. More than a few?
Steff, Bill, Reed, and Brandon in Florida went home with 40 yes 40 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.plus a couple walleyes.
Montana had shell chick with her grandchildren Kaden and Chasity, Jonny boy got them all set up as the house was not rented. Him and Heather/Featheralso stayed to fish with them. They had a blast with Kaden 6 years old caught 2 walleyes back-to-back his first fish ever he nicknamed himself fisher. They went home with a couple walleyes and a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. WINK WINK.
Willam and Brian were in California they both had livescopes. They ate some fish and took home 10, plus released another bunch. They also saw what they were assumed walleyes but had a hard time getting them to commit.
Alaska had horrible fishing friday night with Jim and his son. Plus, we had some issue with the 30 lb propane not flowing. They only landed 2 fish, so our plan was to move their house saturday after breakfest. Jim’s brother John showed up with 2 boys and they got all set up on the new spot. They ended up doing much much better landing fish all night long. They took home a bucket and half of fish with the majority being elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
Colorado had Kayla and her friends they kept about a dozen fish with perch, walleye and crappie. I think they had the worst of the rentals as far as fishing.
We also moved Utah for Venessa and Jamid. They were only here for one night. They were gone when I got out there sunday morning. I did get a text from him later yesterday. They took home 8 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
The extreme cold was not too nice too us with some of the fleet. When we were making the road for alaska and utah we broke something in the transfer case. It will not stay in FWD. Plus there was some grinding and growling.
Jonny boy and big tony did get the new radiator installed under the parachute with the torpedo heater. Black beauty’s starter or battery took a shi. Not sure on which yet. The hammers trail blazer also may need a new battery. The cold always does a number on the equipment.
Jonny boy had to leave town again so Darrin will be coming up tomorrow to help get everything moved for the up-and-coming weekend. It’s actually slow for us they next few days. Which is a good thing as I think I have been going on adrenalin the past month.
The wheelhouses we had plowed spots also did fairly well.
Jigglestick showed up with his grandson Dominick. His words not mine were” once again the lake that owes us nothing has given us so much”. Dominick had a blast pulling up 90 percent of the fish.
Tammy and Randy rolled in thursday. They also had fantastic fishing with once again Tammy landing a trophy of a fish a true 16 inch elusive upper red lake that she released. Randy also landed a big one 16incher while I was checking in on them friday evening. They only took home 10 a couple, but caught 14 walleyes a few, and 30 crappies a bunch.
Darrel caught 25 walleyes and no crappies, I also talked to another that did about the same.
Elvis caught a few fish while he was here also.
Seems the cold snap turned the fishing on this past weekend. Let’s hope it continues into next week.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.