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shaky legs2

Red Lake Nostalgia

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shaky legs2

What a difference a few years makes on the volume of posts on this site.  The early 2000’s was filled with numerous posts during the Crappie Boom by colorful characters like Kelly P, Jiggle Stick, the Gamblers and so many others.  Clamping, lead suits, IBOTS, Crappie Highway, and so many other memories.  Some of those memory makers are no longer with us R.I.P.  I don’t come on this site that often anymore but still enjoy Kelly’s wisdom and knowledge concerning the lake and topics related to it.  I try to keep up on happenings through the URL Association newsletter but I miss the old days.  I must be getting old.

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leech~~
36 minutes ago, shaky legs2 said:

What a difference a few years makes on the volume of posts on this site.  The early 2000’s was filled with numerous posts during the Crappie Boom by colorful characters like Kelly P, Jiggle Stick, the Gamblers and so many others.  Clamping, lead suits, IBOTS, Crappie Highway, and so many other memories.  Some of those memory makers are no longer with us R.I.P.  I don’t come on this site that often anymore but still enjoy Kelly’s wisdom and knowledge concerning the lake and topics related to it.  I try to keep up on happenings through the URL Association newsletter but I miss the old days.  I must be getting old.

You start posting where the crappies are on the lake now.  We'll start talking! :grin:

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gunner55

Good hearing from you, always enjoyed reading of you & Doc's adventures.

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kelly-p

Miss the old days too shaky, we had some fun didn't we. :D I don't miss working on the lake tho.

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traveler

Not even a little kelly? Lol  

Good to see a few of the old guard still checking in ...:)

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shaky legs2
22 hours ago, gunner55 said:

Good hearing from you, always enjoyed reading of you & Doc's adventures.

 

22 hours ago, gunner55 said:

Good hearing from you, always enjoyed reading of you & Doc's adventures.

Doc was up there with a couple of his boys on Thursday fishing out of portables.  He gave me a call when he was on the ice.  I said, “. Let me guess what you got on”.  Red stripe Demon with a female fat head hooked through the pooper hole on the dead stick and a purple smelt rattling flyer with a minnow head on the other pole.  I nailed it.  He still uses a jiggle stick for his dead stick.  He had to sign off as a fish came in on the Vex.  Put it in the bucket Shaky.

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Agronomist_at_IA
On 12/16/2017 at 8:06 AM, shaky legs2 said:

What a difference a few years makes on the volume of posts on this site.  The early 2000’s was filled with numerous posts during the Crappie Boom by colorful characters like Kelly P, Jiggle Stick, the Gamblers and so many others.  Clamping, lead suits, IBOTS, Crappie Highway, and so many other memories.  Some of those memory makers are no longer with us R.I.P.  I don’t come on this site that often anymore but still enjoy Kelly’s wisdom and knowledge concerning the lake and topics related to it.  I try to keep up on happenings through the URL Association newsletter but I miss the old days.  I must be getting old.

I think the fourm would still be pretty strong....however when they split the fourm sites up & stuff and changed some things a few years ago it pretty much killed this site. Traffic is a crawl.....they blame it on new media like Facebook and other stuff......which is an excuse.....poor one at that......This use to be my favorite site, today it's in sad shape & I only come because I remember what it once was hoping that it gets back to it someday.

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eyeguy 54

start some good threads Agrom and have some fun. It aint dead yet. :) 

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Living_The_Dream

Oh I miss the days of getting lost on the lake because of Kelly's horrible directions :grin:.  Thank God Jonny drives us out there now, haven't been lost since (only arrived a day early :D).

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kelly-p
6 hours ago, Living_The_Dream said:

Oh I miss the days of getting lost on the lake because of Kelly's horrible directions :grin:

One thing has always puzzled me. How did you ever get from your home to here? As lost as you could get just going 5 miles across URL the trip here must have taken months. I can just picture you pulling up to the beach and realizing that it wasn't URL,,, it was the Pacific Ocean. Turn around and try it again. :D

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LunkerLover84

Can you fellas post some pics from the crappie hay days? I didn't have the pleasure of experiencing it!  I was a young pup still in high school in the early 2000's. 

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ozzie

if drones would have been around back then it would have been cool to have aerial pictures as it was quite the sight to see the miles of cars lined up leaving the lake at 10pm...or the cities of houses that would form overnight.  Was certainly a special time and a time period I hope I never forget!!  I have pictures of the crappies but they were only the driving force to head to red lake...the really cool thing (to me) was the vibe/atmosphere that came along with crappie bite.  Now I do admit watching one of those slabs come through the hole still makes me smile ear to ear but looking back the crappie fishing was secondary for me to the stories that were created and the visual memories from back then.  Westwinds was sure a hopping place on a weekend as it was really the only place to go

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shaky legs2

I agree Ozzie.  It was the characters on the ice and on this Forum that made those years memorable.  Some of the stories still make me smile like Halad’s dog driving his vehicle across the ice.  I looked forward to Kelly’s daily reports and musings and there was always some drama and friction going on.  When the bewitching hour of 8:00 pm came it looked like the parking lot of old Met stadium emptying out after a Twin’s night game.  Bumper to bumper traffic and a string of red tail lights as far as you can see. When the limit was 15 crappies they would fill a 5 gallon pail with tails hanging over the sides.  But as you say, catching was secondary.

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ozzie

funny thinking back of all the good, bad, and the ugly times out on Red...even the heated run in's that we had (sorry Kelly), they are part of the magical time and the stories make me literally laugh out loud!!  A time I really laugh at is one year the road had a mile long detour to the north to avoid a pressure ridge and it looped right back to the Hillman highway.  We were pulling fish house and Kelly was behind us taking clients out.  Well towards the end of the detour there was a turn so you didn't have to come to a 90 degree turn.  Well my friend driving missed that  turn and thought he was being smart that once he hit the main road that he would get out of Kelly's way and let him pass by.  Well my friend turns and hugs the north side of the highway and didn't see the "on ramp" from the detour.  I look back in the rearview mirror and see snow flying behind us and realize what just happened.  We pull over to the south side of the road and stop, felt bad, and here Kelly stops comes marching over to our truck and berates us about how he almost hit our fish house!  I was stunned over the whole ordeal and just sat there and looked dumbfounded while listening to Kelly.  Tensions were high but looking back that is one of the classic encounters we had with Kelly.  Luckily no one was hurt, nothing was damaged, and it is nothing more than a laughable memory but it is all part of the magic that made Red Lake special for me.  Heck Kelly, do you recall super bowl weekend when you broke , I think, your ankle?  Just before your mishap you had plowed a road for us and were gonna make another pass back to the highway but my dumb buddy followed you partly down the path...you plowed back to the road on a different path and said good luck to us (not happy).  We knew something was awry and sure enough the winds picked up and the snow started.  Towards the end of the game I told my friends that we cant stay here as we are gonna get snowed in and we pissed off the plow guy so we know he aint coming to get us.  Well we packed up and started the long process of navigating back to the Hillman Highway.  We continued to get stuck about every 30 feet or so and have disconnect the front truck, blaze a path for 100 yards, back up back to the fish house and try to go again.  Needless to say it took awhile for us to get off the lake that night but luckily we did.  Later we found out had we not gotten off when we did, we would have been snowed in for awhile, cuz Kelly got hurt and was the only scheduled plow operator for the time being.   AHH the memories!!!  Curious Kelly if you recall those incidents at all?  I am sure you have had many citiots cause you problems through the years that you can't recall those, but they are part of my experience and I wouldn't trade those experiences in for nothing cuz I can't recall how many crappies we caught those weekends but those stories I can vision in my mind like they happened yesterday. HAHA  Thanks for taking me back on a memory lane.

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Satchmo

I remember trying to follow Kelly thru blinding snow at mach 3 going cross country. We always caught crappies at the end of those wild rides though.

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cookie129
  • oh man the memories. I do think the fishing sites took a hit from facebook.
  •  The time I gave directions to the mother load not knowing the little green shack was labs. OOPs.
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cookie129

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dashtek

Have been coming up to Red Lake since 2005 and through Kelly until he called it a day and then have stuck with Jonny P. We had some good years and some great years. These photos are from a great year. Kelly over booked and had to pull a 2 man house out of the woods that he said was his deer shack at the time. The 2 man house was the talk of Westwind according to Patsy when she came flying out there with trash bags yelling at us to pick up our darn fish! In fact, her exact words were "how do you like being mayor?" I was puzzled. She said "well everyone having breakfast is talking about the pile of crappies outside the 2 man house. It'll be about a half hour until they all show up." Sure as heck, the wheel houses moved in. 

Shaky - I met you and Doc a few years back when Jonny was hanging out in your house. Was the end of the season so everyone was having a good time. I think I had the best time, a few too many that is. I recall one of you passing a microwave from the back of the house to the front and shoving a bowl of stew in my hands saying, you need to eat. When I left the house you and Doc felt bad that nothing was biting for us so you handed me a bucket of 10 walleye. I thanked you and left the house...only to return lost and cold. Jonny gave me his giant aluminum mag lite flashlight and pointed me in the right direction. The aluminum flash light and steel bucket handle got really bleeping cold with no gloves and temps below zero. When I finally made it back to the house I flung the door open, threw the bucket of fish in and fell into the doorway of the house. Looked up and my dad was staring down. He asked "what the hell happened to you and where did the fish come from." Didn't answer him...all I could say since I was frozen was "I almost died" and let out a big sigh. 

Oh the memories....

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shaky legs2

I remember that day/night.  Kelly noticed the meandering tracks and heard the party noise as he quietly slipped on by.  We had a lot of fun on the Big lake.

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shaky legs2

I first started coming up to the Lake in the late 50’s early 60’s usually on the opener.  Fisherman would be lined up elbow to elbow on shore fishing the Tamrac river where it empties into the lake.  People would be cussing and swearing at each other if your bobber drifted too close.  At night the Sunset Lodge hosted a dance for fisherman that was also a sight to behold. I didn’t come back to the lake until the late 90’s when the crappie bite was just getting going.  We bought Minnows from Kelly’s Dad Jim.  Kelly’s mom was alive back then.  I can still remember the icy steps leading to the basement where the minnow tanks were located.  West Wind has not been built yet. Shorty and Marlys might have had Hillman’s store open but only for selling a few groceries.  The only resort still open on the North/East Side was Hudecs and we went out on their road.  They had a cigar box by the till where they would put road pass money which was $5 back then.  Back then we fished out of portables as there weren’t any wheel houses around.  The first wheel house I saw was on Red Lake.  Now they are everywhere.  The first time I saw Kelly he was driving a fire engine red truck and his houses were unpainted particle board.  The next year he painted them light blue so they would blend into the background better.  Always looking for an edge.  We followed him for many years always staying a respectful distance away because he was always on the crappies.  I didn’t really get to know him well until the crappie bite had slowed and they hadn’t opened up the walleye season yet.  Kelly would plow us a spot and stop by for a visit.  I remember one time we and a trucker named Glen who used to fly the flag on his house were the only ones on the road.  A big change from the crappie days when thousands of people invaded the lake.  It was nice and quiet and we still caught crappies, just had to work a little more for them.  So many good memories of those years and the people we encountered.

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ozzie

I think as fun as the crappie boom years were, the years after the boom prior to the walleyes being opened back up, was some of my fondest memories.  The crowds were not there but the characters still were!  I have pictures from back then but they are all printed photos in an album somewhere... 

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Bigfatbert
12 hours ago, shaky legs2 said:

I first started coming up to the Lake in the late 50’s early 60’s usually on the opener.  Fisherman would be lined up elbow to elbow on shore fishing the Tamrac river where it empties into the lake.  People would be cussing and swearing at each other if your bobber drifted too close.  At night the Sunset Lodge hosted a dance for fisherman that was also a sight to behold. I didn’t come back to the lake until the late 90’s when the crappie bite was just getting going.  We bought Minnows from Kelly’s Dad Jim.  Kelly’s mom was alive back then.  I can still remember the icy steps leading to the basement where the minnow tanks were located.  West Wind has not been built yet. Shorty and Marlys might have had Hillman’s store open but only for selling a few groceries.  The only resort still open on the North/East Side was Hudecs and we went out on their road.  They had a cigar box by the till where they would put road pass money which was $5 back then.  Back then we fished out of portables as there weren’t any wheel houses around.  The first wheel house I saw was on Red Lake.  Now they are everywhere.  The first time I saw Kelly he was driving a fire engine red truck and his houses were unpainted particle board.  The next year he painted them light blue so they would blend into the background better.  Always looking for an edge.  We followed him for many years always staying a respectful distance away because he was always on the crappies.  I didn’t really get to know him well until the crappie bite had slowed and they hadn’t opened up the walleye season yet.  Kelly would plow us a spot and stop by for a visit.  I remember one time we and a trucker named Glen who used to fly the flag on his house were the only ones on the road.  A big change from the crappie days when thousands of people invaded the lake.  It was nice and quiet and we still caught crappies, just had to work a little more for them.  So many good memories of those years and the people we encountered.

Hey Shaky legs2 .  You mentioned that the first wheelhouse you saw was up at Red during the Crappie boom . I'm pretty sure the first ones I saw were up there also ,but I had to chuckle as I also remember that I would see these early houses scattered up and down Hwy 72 on the shoulder of the road with broken axles every time I went there , which was often , as I too was hooked on those slabs back then . . On another note , I have 5 of those slabs mounted on a piece of driftwood , and all 5 were over 2 pounds and two of them were over 2.5 pounds , and all from one evening of fishing ..   Back then there were 3 pounders and even close to 4 pounders caught at the start of that boom , and over the years those huge ones got picked over for the most part , but 1 - 2 pounders remained the "norm" , and remain the "norm" even today , but with much less quantity remaining.. that type of hot Crappie bite sure was something to have witnessed , I don't think that it will ever be seen ever again anywhere ..

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shaky legs2

Almost all the early fish houses had one axle and it was a common sight to see one with its wheels toed in from a bent axle as you followed it down the road. People drive too fast, especially on the ice.  I remember seeing one wheel house go airborne when the driver was going too fast on rough ice and hit a mini pressure ridge.  The house bottomed out when it finally came to rest with a bent axle.  We caught hundreds of crappies over the years on URL but I never caught one over 15”.  They mostly ran 13-14 1/2 inches like they were stamped from a cookie cutter.

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Barbelboy

Man those were the days. 15 crappie limit. A bucket of 30 weighed 34-36 lbs. Upper red lake rush hour after dark. A guy could go out there and just pound cookie cutter 13"+ crappies. There were times looking into the bucket I'd feel guilty filleting them because they were so nice. I agree with shaky legs. I must have caught hundreds of URL crappies and only caught 1 over 15".

One of my favorite URL moments was later as the crappie boom was winding down and the walleye season had been opened up. I was fishing after opener and caught a bunch of drum. To prove to my buddy that they were indeed edible I kept 5. When I dumped the bucket onto the fillet table at the campground I proudly announced to the 3 guys busy filleting walleyes that I had finally caught some crappies. Despite all their insistence that I was wrong, I told them they were just jealous I had caught crappies and I wasn't going to tell them where! Their faces were priceless. And it turns out, after a long day of fishing, a few beers, breaded, deep fried and put on a bun with cheese and ketchup or tartar sauce drum are indeed edible. And a great fish to give to inlaws who beg for fish..............

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Bigfatbert
1 hour ago, shaky legs2 said:

Almost all the early fish houses had one axle and it was a common sight to see one with its wheels toed in from a bent axle as you followed it down the road. People drive too fast, especially on the ice.  I remember seeing one wheel house go airborne when the driver was going too fast on rough ice and hit a mini pressure ridge.  The house bottomed out when it finally came to rest with a bent axle.  We caught hundreds of crappies over the years on URL but I never caught one over 15”.  They mostly ran 13-14 1/2 inches like they were stamped from a cookie cutter.

Yes indeed 17 plus inch crappies were pulled from Red in the very , very early days of the so called "Crappie boom" . These huge slabs were mostly caught by a handful of "Red Lake locals" , who for he most part tried to keep these huge fish quite secretive , eventually the word started to slip out , and these size fish were depleted quickly , as I'm sure there numbers were limited to start with ..  As the crowds started to flood the lake with pressure the size of these slabs seemed to get somewhat smaller , but still very respectable at 13, 14, and some 15 lnchers . I'm sure there must be some pictures that were taken of the 17+" fish that some of the locals who were lucky enough to have caught some of these size fish  might want to share with this Nostalgia Post . These fish were GIANTS ..  I sure hope so , as I'm sure there are some non believers ...

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