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cookie129

Upper Red Lake Fishing Reports by Cookie

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cookie129

Well its always a treat to check on customers and see at least a couple fish in the bucket. I stopped in just before dark to check on Nikki Paul and the kids . They had 3 nice fish  with Nikki having the big one so far. Paul was still not on the board but the two boys each caught one.
Joe and his crew only had one but there friends in the wheel house had 3 and 1.
I personally have caught more fish in the last 10 days then I did all season? In fact I put the hammer on the hammer. The only reason I have done so well as it slowed down enough the last 2 weeks I had time to enjoy old Minnesota and fish. I even snuck in two very quick naps, 20 minutes both times. I also do not like the houses fished prior to new customers arrival but have broken that rule twice now. It payed off for me but not so well for nancy and kevin as the third night is hardly ever as good as the first. I was handcuffed a few times because of mother nature and or truck problems. I  had a couple houses fished the 4th and 5th night with a little better result.
 Today will start off a little busy as I say good bye to nikke and her family we have to get montana moved and reset plus augur 14 holes . I also have to bank Tony"s house the old California. Jonny boy has been fishing just north of it with pretty good action off and on. This may be my next move sunday depending how the weekend pans out.
 The hot set up for me this year has been the plain glow pink hook, small northland forage minnow orange and yellow. My genze worms has been a bust but I think its a copy and not the real thing. I also had that crazy looking banana shaped lure that was pink that was on fire. 90 percent of the fish I have caught have been on the rattle wheels as the hammer uses the vex lar more then me.
 With only 10 days left in the game fish season I need two big fish for the contest I enter every year on mno fishing forum. Will see how it pans out as I should be able to wet a line off and on starting sunday. Well its getting lite out and there's plenty to do so every one have a great day as Jonny boy and I have a grand day on a grand lake that owes us nothing nothing
 
 

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cookie129

Another crazy busy weekend is in the books. I really enjoy giving out my fishing/what's happening on the lake reports but finding the time has been tough. To say its a grind is a understatement.
 I can tell you again as the season winds down I'm never ready for it to end, as I truly love being out there in my trucks, moving houses, plowing the  hillmen highway, giving advise, helping other fishermen when they do something silly, Driving into a snow bank, dropping there gun down a hole or any other important object like there keys. Every year all the workers seem to get a little grumpy as fighting mother nature, going from sun up to sunset takes a toll physically and mentally. It also seems I ruffle a few feathers every year and its never my intent  so I have to chalk it up as a long season. If I stepped on anyone's toes it sure was not planned or intended as all most every day plan a turns to plan b and c. Mother nature dictates where I go sometimes as well as any plowed roads that can make our job easier. The cookie shuffle worked very well this year as I tell everyone that gets lost in my maze of trails. I'm not a road engineer.
 Man did we get overwhelmed with wheel house's this past weekend, any fish coming from southwest had to go threw a gauntlet of hooks to find my fishermen.
 I had two wheel house's  that I set up at the end of the hillmens highway and was surprised how bad they did. I guess I should of went south not east? The nw road has gotten to much to maintain, there's one lone house out that way that will need a new trail made .
 Its all started Thursday as jonnny boy and I prepped for the weekend with Joe, Zack, Adam and   his crew arriving fro florida. Zacks birthday wish was fishing red lake, they had a blast. They went to westwind where they enjoyed a fish fry, plus they took home a few fish with a couple even getting a ride in florida fish house as we moved a small distance to put it on fresh ice for there last night sunday. Last year when they came we landed on the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie mother load? I think  they had dreams for a year of repeating that. Every year is different and again this year was no exception.
 Ben who proposed in old Minnesota to Shawna 8 years ago were in old Minnesota with there two adorable kids. Louie the fishing machine and his little sister Willa plus there friend Nelli.
 They had a blast also with Shawna getting a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie to boot. They also managed to take home a nice batch of upper red lake walleyes.
 Hunter and his two buddies were in north Dakota. It was slow but they also managed to take home a batch of fish.
 Charlie and Rizzo were in montana , They were very serious about there fishing and went home with there 8.
Jeromy and his gal were in north Carolina Saturday, sunday . They also managed to get there 8.
 Sunday was a very tough day as we had all 5 houses re rented. I was planning on moving all of them so we battled mother nature the whole time as a ne wind with 2 inches of snow made it impossible to see. At one point I was getting sea sick as I struggled to see, With the sky, horizon and the lake all the same color. wow what a struggle.
 It took us  7 1/2 hours but we got every thing cleaned, moved.
 Mother nature has given us another bout of snow so tomorrow I will let every one know how the houses did the last two days as its time to check the fluids and fire up the fleet
 

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cookie129

And now the rest of the story.
 Once Jonny boy and I got all 5 houses moved sunday, it was back to cleaning up the roads. In between checking in Rick, Bob and John into montana. Shell chick and Jeff into Old Minnesota. Harmonica Mike  and his two buddies Shannomn an Rod or Shane? Mike did not bring is guitar so there was no jamming for me. Oh well always next year I guess. We also move North Carolina for jermoy and his gal and a couple of the guys rode in florida as we did the cookie shuffle.
 One of the guys commented, "we sure did not move far"  Jonny boy figured he may of jinxed them. It turned out all right with the one that making the comment managing to get 3 him self.
 Joe landed a nice 22 just as they were leaving Monday  morning.
 Shell chick is the hammers sister so we visited with them quite a bit and they managed to get 8 so we decided to have a fish fry Monday afternoon . I was kinda worried they would not get 8 more but shell chick is quite the fisher woman and darn if they did not have there 8 when we said good bye yesterday morning.
 Mike and his crew in North dakota also left yesterday with there 12 but it was slow in there books, Mike did come over and visit us in old Minnesota Monday night  and had a couple beers with Jeff.
 Rick, Bob and John also went home with 12 yesterday, Bobby wanted to go for a ride in the red baron so we jumped in Monday and worked on Hillmens Highway for a bit plus made a couple driveways way out towards the end of the road.
 I also checked in Terry and his nephew Chad into florida on the same spot as it was only fished 20 hours They were only here one night and got the big fat zero?
 Yesterday Jonny boy and I cleaned up the first 3 mile of Hillmens highway. Wow was there some snow on the road, in between I had to clean montana for Dan and his daughter micky. They only had one last night but had missed 5. It took jonny boy and me roughly 6 hours to move all the snow to the south. Once we were done I headed over to old Minnesota where the house must be on the honey hole as I landed 3 fish  in less then a hour with one miss half way up the hole. Jonny boy jumped into north Carolina where he caught 5 before dark.
 We also plowed a spot for Lonnie and they had 4 last night when I stopped in.
 Ken was also getting a few fish where we plowed them a spot,  last I had talked to them they were up to 8. plus a couple they had ate the day before.
 The plan right now is head out to old Minnesota and wet a line , then Jonny boy and I will be making one more big move for the final game fish season with everyone rolling in starting Friday morning.

 

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cookie129

Another game fish season is about to abruptly come to a end . Its lived up to its expectations as being a grand lake. Were up to 14 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies as they seems to all be loners.
 Jake is fired up to get up here as he loves a fishing challenge and has a total fascination with these fish. He encourages only keeping a couple of these elusive fish and I'm right with him. The hammer would love to land a couple this year so we will be fishing after the 26th.  My plans are to take my fishing vacation wetting a line, napping and spending a few more night's  in old Minnesota. Jake and his crew  will be  up on the 7th. Last year's hunt had to be canceled do to warm, wet conditions. Plus a collapsed pressure ridge. This year I think were pushing  over 3 feet of ice so I expect the hunt for the mother load will be a hoot. Bring extra extensions guys and gals. We also have Steph and her crew joining us this year .
 Dan and His daughter Micky spent Tuesday, Wednesday in Montana and had two fish for dinner the first night. They headed home Thursday morning with there 8.
  I also had time to wet a line Wednesday night before we moved old Minnesota for Ricks arrival  this morning. With 3 fish in the bucket before dinner time, walleye and glazed carrots were on the menu. Jonny boy  and I had one fantastic dinner as the honey bunny aka the hammer was under  the weather and did not join us.  After dinner Jonny boy went to fish  north Carolina and I threw in a movie, crawled up on the top bunk for a little nap. The next thing you know a rattle wheel wakes me up at 1 am. Jonny boy said he stopped in at 10 30 pm and I was out like a light. 4 fish in old Minnesota on the same spot since sunday. All 4 fish were caught on the orange single hook forage minnow tipped with a fat head. I have been experimenting for a few years to see if the house's can have good fishing for more then 2 days, I'm still on the fence but it was hard to move old Minnesota as the fishing stayed pretty darn good.
 Yesterday was another grind, but such a enjoyable day working out there with jonny boy and  no wind and temps above 20. Jonny boy  and I moved 3 houses and augured over a 100 feet of ice as we punched out all the house's. I also had to detail montana and old Minnesota.  Another 12 hour day on the lake and I would not trade it for the world. Throw in another spectacular pink and orange sunset. The last thing I did before coming off the lake last night was vacuum old Minnesota. Again I just always get a kick out of vacuuming the fish house's. I also get a kick out of cooking dinner in old Minnesota and serving up the bounty on the china dishes I have in old Minnesota.
 

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cookie129

Well well another game fish season has came to a close. What a crazy weekend it was. My great plan back fired a bit with the fishing but all the wheel houses I plowed spot'  for seem to do pretty darn good. Mean while my poor houses kinda went out with a bust in stead of a bang.
 I think the first spot I plowed was for a guy named Dustin from elk river, that tracked me down on the lake. Super nice guys and threw me a 50 for taking care of them which was much appreciated. Some good comradery was made both visit and they were  catching there fish hooking the minnows up side down.
 Merl showed up and I plowed a completely different spot for him. He threw me a 20, Then the next day had two more of his buddies wheel houses there. They also caught fish?
Chuck and his wife did well in there spot, Brandon and his dad rolled in Friday night, I put them in another  new area. They left early catching 14 walleyes and no elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies.
All the other wheel house that found spots where I had set the others caught fish. Mean while down where the fleet was a whole different story.
 North Dakota was doing the best  with Greg and his two buddies from of all place north Dakota. They  did have the treat of landing two impressive pike. They also had 5 walleyes for 3 guys. Throw in a few misses and a fish that escaped. Saturday was clear sky's and slower then slow. They were gone sunday morning so not sure how they ended up.
 Old Minnesota was next with Rick, Matt and Matt"s son Joe. They only had 3 in the bucket with  a few missed as well. Crazy as the hammer and I fished the house last night for the final walleye night and she landed 3 with at least one miss while I got a big fat zero. All though I did prep and cook dinner while she was saying I got one. After dinner I checked my rattle wheel and there was no minnow? so It must of fallen off when I first sent it down or she sabotaged me while I was out side? All though she would never do that. Wayne and I had a hoot a last year sabotaging each other . From tighten his rattle wheel to cutting his line man did we laugh.
 Rick  and the boys also left early sunday morning. Not even going home with 2 limits but said see ya next year.
  Montana was  horrible fishing. Justin, Pudge  there wife's Irene and Janet had 1 fish Saturday morning. I expected it to get better after the first night but it never happened ,all though we did get a tip late saturday night. 3 feet off the bottom was working down  off of no name lane.  I was visiting when they brought a couple lines up Saturday eve, Not 10 minutes a fish  was missed with another caught a fat 18 incher. They ended up with 4 more and also a couple misses. they did say they were all ready planning for next years trip
 Florida with Mike, Vicky ,Dan and Justine. there house was the worst. I do not want to say it but I think they got skunked? They were such nice people and I enjoyed having a beer and visiting with them. They all had the right set up just a bad spot for some reason I guess.
 Jim and his Ice castle did pretty darn good also. They went home with there 16 I think.
 I'm not sure how many times its happened but a big snow fall Saturday night with again strong winds yesterday  made a mess of things. Some time was spent opening up the road and rescuing a few wheel houses and skid houses that were stuck or stranded. If there was a good note it was a very light fluffy 8 inches of snow sunday morning.
 I also have to rescue a couple houses this week. California will again be joining the fleet as I purchased it from Tony as he is moving on up to a wheel house. Darrin house is going to be a different animal as its a home made job shack. The one good thing is its not to far from the main road. Well just like that and its 9 oclock and time to check the e fluids, fire up the fleet and  it hit the lake for the 84th day. With lite winds a possible 39 degrees? I may be working on a grand lake that owes us nothing in a tee shirt.

 

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ozzie

Was nice to hear my buddy found you on the lake Cookie!  I had told him awhile back that if he is ever in need of help on the Hillman Highway to contact you and if they took care of you, you would take care of them!!!  I asked him to get me one of your new sweatshirts so I am hoping that he was able to make contact with you again.  Thanks for taking care of them and also thanks for posting your experiences on the lake so people like me, that aren't able to get up there and fish, can still feel as if they are up there with you.. 

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cookie129

yes I did meet your buddy Dustin. I will be ribbing him quite a bit in the future as I liked his personality . They were having a hoot watching the saprano's while I stopped in to see if they landed on the mother load. He may of mentioned a hoodie but not sure . If you would like I can ship one out to you. Just shoot me a email . We have two colors black with red lettering  or red with black lettering. On the fronts says cookies on upper red lake and on the back either Its a grand lake and owes us nothing nothing, or home of the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.

 

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cookie129

Its always amazes me how fast the house come off the lake when game fish season ends. I totally understand though as once there home and safe its a relief . Plus no more plowing or road cost the sooner you can get them home your done battling mother nature. On the other hand I seem to find my second wind and head west while everyone is headed east. I guess I'm a gluten for punishment . On the other hand its a time I get to relax, fish and enjoy Old Minnesota. I have squeezed in two naps out there all ready. The hammer, Jonny boy  and I enjoyed two nights of fishing, having dinner. We closed out the walleye season, then  spent Monday night on the lake looking for the mother load.  I told Jonny boy to be watching his bobber at 6:05. I was off by 10 minutes when low and behold I landed my first of the year. A chunking, thick,13 1/2 inch elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. The hammer followed me with 2 in a row with the bigger one pushing 14 1/2. Jonny boy followed up with one more so the mother load was a total of 4. The hammer is looking forward to eating them as they are one of here favorites.
 The Dnr did swing in to check on us and said there was 8 people on the lake. So with 48,000 acres I sit her and wonder if I'm going to fish where some one is going to go, someone's way point, or cut someone off .
 Buddy  Hillmen's Highway is again plowed and ready for the next big wind or snow. Buddy brought his big double decker off the lake yesterday and I can just imagine how he felt getting that monster safe to shore. What a sight as they drove by. Duffy was standing out side on the upper deck and gave me a wave as they drove by. That 1 ton truck with a v plow of Buddy's looks like a tinker toy towing it along the ice road.
 Jonny boy and I headed out yesterday to rescue Darrin's house and also rescue California which has rejoined the fleet. After getting them dug out and moved. with the temp close to 40 I  got to enjoy a beautiful day on the lake, even working with out a jacket for part of the day. After unhooking California I headed to old Minnesota to again relax for a hour before the hammer and I headed to baudett to do laundry while Jonny boy held down the fort and again waited for the mother load to possible  swim under montana.
 We did get a great pic from him around 8 pm with a fat possible male that he released to fight another day or maybe tell the others we will let them go if they bite?
 I'm on my own part of the day as Jonny boy starts a temporary  job in tell he heads to Alaska to work with the greek in Alaska for the summer. The plan is to dig out the last 3 house and get them to the main road for now.
 All the house's are wide open for the weekend if there's any one out there that would like to try and land a true trophy fish.
 Jake is pumped to get up here as well as Sean as last year get together/crappie hunt got canceled due to mother  nature ruining our plans. All the house's have to be off the lake by the 15th so I have a couple weeks to fish and relax.
 Sending pics to Jake just fires him up and is hilarious. He dreams of landing these fish.  As the days get closer he will have a hard time sleeping . It will also be a treat to see all the guys again.
 

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cookie129

Last night our good friend Thad that works for chad benson out of boondocks landing came out to wet a line  and have taco Wednesday with us. It was good seeing him. We had some laughs and reminisced about how we met and how he ended up here in gods country,
 We did have some excitement  with a couple fish lost that may of been the elusive yet still catchable crappies we are after. About 830pm the beeper went off on my rod, the the same time the hammer set the hook on a fish and the fight was on. It took a  minute to realize that one of the two, the hammer or Thad had a big pike on. It was quite hilarious as we tried to figure out who had the fish on. The hammer would fight it for a minute while Thad left the bail open, then they would switch and the hammer would open her bail as thad would fight the fish, with me looking down the holes with the flash lite. Once we determined that Thad had the fish we were able to coax it up the hole. I quick pick and back down the hole she went. A very feisty  32 inch pike that thought he was  a 44 incher. I expected that the hammer and I would not catch a crappie after releasing him as they have a tendency to lay on the bottom for quite some time after being released. Jonny Boy came over from montana holding a nice 14 incher. He also got one Tuesday night so were closing in a limit caught since moving into that area.
 We again spent the night out there but had forgot to get our new license so when we shut her down around 10 30pm. The rattle wheels were pulled up which was nice as I was  not awakened by that ding ding ding.
 The plan today is moving the last two house over to the new area where we will be spending more time trying to catch these elusive fish. Lonnie and Lisa are here for 1 night so we will be visiting them later tonight. As of now 3 of the houses are wide open for the weekend as there not much interest in catching such a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie

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cookie129

What a treat . Phil brought up two of our grandsons Mathew and Jacob. 6 generations catching fish and having fun on such a grand lake. Yesterday I piled up some snow with blue thunder  and spent a little time building the kids a slide for there saucers. With some more grooming its only going to get faster today.
 Phil said last night this was his first elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.  With 2 in the bucket so far. Mathew lost one at the hole fishing with his uncle Jonny boy. Every elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie we have caught the last 2 weeks have been after dark.
Again I was cooking a big dinner, fresh crappie, fried potato's and glazed carrots were on the menu. As I was cooking up a storm I had my one chance and what ever I had on I pulled the rookie move and bounced it off the bottom of the ice. Oh well! The hammer, I and Wayne did not fair so well in old Minnesota. The hammer had one on that may of been a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie.
 She was the only one with  a vex. It was quite humorous watching her get ticked off as they would come up 3 feet and they go back to the bottom.  As I was leaving the lake last night I spotted my next move. With Wayne's help we will put old Minnesota on another fresh spot  I plan on fishing tonight and its someone else turn to cook dinner.
 I was the big winner at cards so they will be gunning for me tonight.
 I did plow one spot for a guy named joe and his dad. They only spent one night and told me they got skunked? Only to find out they landed 2. Its so funny even though I plowed them the spot. Fishermen are still tight lipped about there catch. Oh well!
 The big get together with Jake's crew starts Wednesday  so all the houses will be moved one last time starting tomorrow. The weather looks good after last years crazy weather. Time will tell though as today I need to do a no snow snow dance. Looks like its time to fire up the fleet and check the fluids. If every thing works out I may even sneak a quick nap in old Minnesota today.
 

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cookie129

Monday morning and again the winds are howling out of the east. Saturday while wayne ran to town with our grand kids, Phil walked over and helped me move old minnnesota to a new spot. He said man does this bring back memories. Hindsight is always s 20 20. After all the fish the hammer was marking Friday night I should of never moved . Other then winds predicted over 20 out of the east it was a good move for old Minnesota for the door to be facing west. Fishing wise it was a horrible move.
 Wayne took charge of dinner while I fished and  the east winds must of effected the fishing as it was the dead sea Saturday night. Jonny boy did have a big pike on , stupid fish can eat a fish a third its size and eats a half inch crappie minnow. Jonny boy had a gas fighting the fish though. Jonny boy did land a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie around 3 am . Over the years my observations have found  find small scuffit walleyes, big pike and there will be a few elusive yet still catchable upper red lake  crappies around.
 Cards with Wayne and the hammer was again a fun time. Lots of laughs to boot.
  Sunday morning I was on the lake early to get the grand kids and Phil off the lake. He drove up in his semi so we had to shuttle them on and off the lake. I fillet up his two crappies plus 1 perch and sent them home with a fish meal any way.
 I was also able to send Wayne home with some fish as we had a poacher forget his take under there shack when they left Saturday? My kind of liter I guess. I was not sure what I should do with them so I sent them home with Wayne rather then throw them away. I did look at the fillets and they sure looked like walleye. I'm thinking maybe I'm naïve some times when it comes to people poaching as it may happen more then I think? Something to ponder.
 It's kinda nice that I do not have to be in a big hurry this morning getting out on the lake.
 The hammer and I fished again last night, We again had fish for dinner. I was hoping the second night on the same spot was the ticket? Jonny boy also fished montana. will see how he did later today.
 The plan right now is again to dig out all the houses . Get them all cleaned and inventoried for the final weekend. Jake is pumped . 
 From the looks of it we may  have the whole lake to just our crew, There were 3 wheel house on the lake this weekend.
Buddy Hillmen has all ready gotten his houses put in the woods for the season. It look like the big double decker came off with out a hitch, so I imagine that was a nice relief. I know how I feel when mine our tucked away for the year.
 I had Phil peek under neigh  the red baron. We have some major repairs so I will be babying her the rest of the season. New ball joints , two new tires,plus whatever else we find.
 White lightning has a few more issues, as my summer list just keeps getting longer and longer. Oh well its times to get to work as we have 2 days to get re set
 

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cookie129

Well we weathered the storm with a direct miss. My no snow, snow dance may of worked? Or the weathermen have no clue. With the warmer temps, then colder temps, then winds out of the east at 30 mph. Buddy Hillmens highway is in great shape for the up and coming weekend.
 Yesterday 2 jets came out of no where and gave us a wave as Jonny boy and I were moving a couple houses on to fresh spots. I think they have gone over every other day for the last 10 days. Last week I'm sitting in old Minnesota with the hammer looking out the picture window and here comes a jet right at us. I told Kelly quick look out the window. She looked out the back window just in time. Wow what a treat as Jonny boy said, they never get old ,so impressive.
 Today the plan is to reset florida, north Dakota and old Minnesota. The hammer , I and Jonny boy will be doing some barbecued ribs, with bake potato's, as I vacation and try and out fish the hammer. She has me 2 to 1 on the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. I also built a s ice slide for the grand kids when they were here. I plan on going for a spin or two to get a chuckle out of the hammer.
 Jake and the  crew arrive tomorrow for a annual crappie hunt, It does not look like I can get to where I would like to be  so I'm hoping  some one brings  a sled. All the crappie's we have caught in the area I'm working have been after dark so that should work out nicely.
 I have all ready made a few liter stops on the lake. A red wheel house left 2 buckets, 2 pieces of carpet, a beer bottle and a sh load of cig butts? I just do not understand why people do this.
With the temps down to zero tonight we will be making ice. The bite was horrible the last 48 hrs. so I expect the fishing to get much better. Will see if I'm right.
Time to check the fluids, fire up the fleet and enjoy another day on such a grand lake. who knows maybe we will get another jet fly by as they never get old
 

 

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cookie129

Looks like we have about 10 fishermen coming for the last weekend before the houses come home. The ice is in great shape with the snow slowly melting down. Ii have found a couple areas of slush but that has been where a lot of snow accumulated through out the year.
 Jonny boy and I moved all the houses one more time, The hammer and I fished Monday night.  We had dinner  and spent the night with out ever catching a elusive upper red lake crappie.
 We gave it another shot last night as I grill burgers with oven baked French fry's. Same house Old Minnesota, same spot we fished Monday and we were rewarded with 3, yes 3 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. I'm thinking fresh crappie for dinner tonight.
 Mean while Jonny boy was fishing Florida where he also landed a couple that were released to fight another day. Its always nice to educate them as that makes them that much more elusive.
 Its been pretty darn quiet on the lake, Yesterday I did see 2 trucks headed down Hillmen"s highway to the end of the road. I also saw one truck on beacon Harbors old road.
 The plan as of right now is start bringing the fleet home sunday after we say good bye to the guys.
 As the snow has been receding. I have had time to check out a few old spots, so far the liter had been very minimal which is nice to see. Every year I try to go back to every area I have ruined. I like to  police the area one more time, reminisce  in my mind  all the fun and memories that were made on as Dave the old timer told me A Grand Lake that owes us nothing! nothing!
 

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cookie129

Wow just figured it out 105 day and counting that I have gone on to the lake. There may of been a day or two that I did not go on the lake but I guess I do not remember when that was. Its been another fun grind if that can be such a thing.
 My blogging has not been as much as I would like. After a couple days you can not remember all the little things that happen. Such  as  as all the fishermen's names that I meet along the way. How many fish were caught and released, who did what, why they drove there, what mother nature threw at us.
 I would say that not as many fishermen drove into the pressure ridges or snow berms this year.
There were again more wheel houses this year then last year as they just keep pumping them things out. There were some lake politics that I do not get to talk about, about the same as every year. I hooked up with snowbear Josh as he has become a new friend, I tried to give him some pointers and helped him out where I could.
 If I graded the fishing 1 to 10 I would give her a 8, we had 3 really slow weekends in our spots. It seems that they are always biting somewhere on this lake, its just getting to them places can some times be impossible.
 If I graded Buddy Hillmens road/highway it gets a 10, but I biased on that as I help with that. Our crappie get together has gotten smaller which is fine as I get to spend more time with the guys and gals. My working vacation started  the day after walleye closed. I'm defiantly burned out with cooking the 3 course meals in old Minnesota, all though the cooking space is about the same size as our kitchen just no running water.
 I would say we have to be around 150 to 200 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies since walleye closed. Which is pretty good considering we can not get to where we want to be this year. I've really had to stay on the move to get the houses on new spots to improve the chance of catching such a elusive fish, but I always wonder if I should of stayed where I was.
  When Wayne came up this weekend he drove into the maze of trails I have made in the last 3 weeks and  said  "your right you really do ruin areas" man did we have a laugh about that. They say Laughter makes you younger and again I may of gained a year or two.
 Having Jonny boy working with me was a treat, as any time you can spend quality time with your kids is a bonus in life. Auguring holes with all most 3 feet of ice has become quite the chore , he makes it look easy, as after 3 holes I'm spent, I'm not sure how I ever have been able to knock out 40 holes on a Thursday or Friday. I guess I have to chalk it up to age.
 He is also a fishing machine compared to me. He had spent every night out there since walleye closed. As our good friend Ole has said in the past. "he is a trophy hunter" you can not catch them if your not out there. Every one of these elusive crappies in my book are trophies'
 Yesterday I started moving the fleet home after saying good bye to the guys. I have 3 of the 6 houses staged close to shore. Were going to keep montana and California out there for a couple more days I think, It all  depends on mother nature, and how cutting the trail to Hillmens road goes today with the red baron. The houses can be out there after the 19th as long as there occupied and Jonny boy has no problem staying out there a few more nights.
 Now for the fishing report, Ryan and his son Ripply arrived Thursday and spent  two nights in florida. They were rewarded with 3 elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappies. I also had 5 in the cooler so we sent him home with 5 total enough to have a great meal. The hammer and I ate the other 3 out there last night.
Wayne made it up for old Minnesota, I managed to snag one Saturday eve so he also got to have fresh crappie dinner when he got home last night.
 jeoff, Jeromy, Larry and Kevin were in north Dakota and montana. North dakota got 5 the first night and Saturday morning, montana got 2 I think, then Saturday night it  was the opposite. They figured they caught at least 20 counting the fish caught hole hopping during the day. The crew of 4 only kept 8 or 9.
 Jonny boy and I also moved California and Florida Friday , Jonny boy picked a good spot for California and has caught  more then a few, yesterday Dick and his wife came for the evening and had 2 last I heard, Dick said both are going on the wall.
Marty and Tony came down from low Saturday and fished in florida they left before dark so no fish for them.
 Sounds like Darrin is going to come up tomorrow for a day or 2. Jeoff said he may come back as he has a hard time putting the ice fishing gear away, kinda like me putting  the golf clubs or the fish houses away. I took the hammer fishing last night for her birthday but no elusive crappie for her all though I think she may of lost one or two, as well as me.
 Hillmens highway is still in good shape, with the lake completely snow covered at this time. we have not lost much if any ice other then the landing which is not that big of a deal as its so shallow .
 

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cookie129

It was a little bit of a chore cutting the trail over to Buddy Hillmen's highway . I sware the way our landing is and the shape of the shore line all the snow that blows ends up on our landing. Its just amazing how the wind just packs it in there. It did not take long to get stuck as the snow was up to the red barons door handle. Once I could not go any further I went back around to Hillmens and was able to come from the other direction and get through . But I again got stuck going through Buddies berm. Man did we pile up snow there through out the season.
 Once that was open I headed out to start bringing the fleet home. Just taking my time I was able to bring north Carolina, north Dakota and florida home . Since the heat was still on I spent the extra time to go ahead and get them vacuumed and cleaned up from the past weekend.
 Jonny boy stayed out there in montana. While Darrin showed up for California with his buddie Mike. Big Tony showed up with his daughter Katrina. Tony was my helper years ago.
 Darrin was up to 4 or 5 last night. Jonny boy has picked up just a couple over the last couple nights, Tony and Katrina were also up to 4 or 5 with a couple bonus perch. katrina did catch a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie and has kept her streak alive, she is 9 as has caught at least one every time she has came fishing with her dad. I'm thinking she is Tonys lucky charm as one year they set up in the middle of no where and landed on a few.
 The lake has been pretty darn quiet, all though a couple young guys we met during our crappie hunt were out there. Jonny boy had invited them over to fish by us as they had only caught one that weekend. They showed up that sunday eve and after talking to them they may of landed on the mother load that sunday night before they left.
 I drove over to talk to them yesterday as they were just south of us . They had a different trailer so I did not know it was them. They have been testing some new gadgets from Garmin all winter . Turns out they have been fishing up here since they were young. Over 20 years . Two super nice guys. The equipment they are using can pick up fish in any direction from 100 feet away. It will show you if they are 10 feet away or 27 feet away. It also shows bait fish . Its all most not fair? But you still have to get them to bite? You can drill right over where you spot them. Then turn it  looking down with another setting.  If you had 8 holes you could see all you jigs . Turns out just as I had pulled up  they had landed on the mother load not 300 feet from the houses. they figured they caught over 20 . They kept 4 .  Then just like that they were gone. With there gadget they spotted them 75 feet away to the sw and moved there Yettie over there for the evening bite .
 Coming off the lake last night I'm thinking one more move should be in order. There's plenty of snow to bank Minnesota and montana. I do not have any more fishermen coming up so its time to get California home. Then I need to decide if I want to fish in old Minnesota one more night at least. I know Jonny boy will have no problem staying in montana as many nights as he can. I see it s time to check the fluids and head out to check on the guys and say good bye. Who knows maybe tonight will be the night the mother load swims underneath old minnesota

 

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cookie129

Some one hit the panic mode and somehow they were able to dig out the channel going out of the tamarac starting Friday.  Before opener. Quite the sight coming out in your boat and driving by two tractors and a backhoe sitting out in the lake Saturday and sunday.
 The fishing should stay pretty good for a few weeks. We do have the two cabins here with plenty of open dates during the week.
 Saturday day was pretty busy but buy late afternoon the landing was wide open.
I still have not found any morels mushrooms but maybe this week.
 

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cookie129

Another weekend is in the books. The guys in the cabins did all right but the fishing did slow. maybe due to the water getting stirred up from the winds and the cold front that moved through.. today Monday looks like its shaping up to be a beautiful day. ken is here for a couple days and scott and his parents are coming tomorrow for a day or two. The kids will be coming for the holiday weekends so I guess I better get the boat in the water this week. I held off due to the low water but the park was able to jump through some hoops and dig out the channel so I think I'm ok.  The access was crazy busy yesterday and I still have no clue where they all come from. I guess its just a combination of  other resorts and people with cabins with in 100 mile radius.

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SkolVikingsGuy

Wondering if this coming Memorial Day weekend would be a good weekend to come up or if the fishing is slow?  Would love to have the kids catch some easy walleye if possible.

 

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ozzie

The fish are out there and they go hot and cold on the bite but they are catchable!  Anytime you can get the kids out fishing is worth it in my opinion!  Take them up and wet a line is about the only way you will find out if they can catch anything or not.  The main thing to look for before going to Red is the week leading up to the date you plan on fishing is to watch the wind speed and direction.  If blowing from the west for a few days the water stirs up and gets hard to fish. 

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Mitch K
      Nah it was maybe 6-7 inch, maybe it'll be a keeper next year.
    • Stephen L Johnston Jr.
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    • Nix769
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