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Fishin report for Lake Iwanttobethere..


Bobby Bass

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Bobby Bass

Nice to hear from you Blaze we always welcome comments about the history of Lake I wanttobethere. Old Lady Snaggletooth past away several years ago her son Bucky is still around. He has a place up off the interstate but still brings his mini doughnut trailer down to the ice every winter, He always tries to get close to the Town meeting trailer. Amazing Elmer has retired and no longer calls Lake Iwanttobethre home. He has moved down to that southern chain of lakes dammitstohot and wheredidallthewatergo but he does send me a Christmas card from time to time. Now you might have brought some attention with the mention of the crappies, you must have been here the summer when fishing was kind of poor. Usually just the pictures of our crappies go 4#'s and as for Tarpon we do have a few here but we try to keep that a local secret as we like to have a spring tourney for them. A nice day here today little cloudy but I had to work. Was down at the little Fire engine red cabin this afternoon, seem the boys had done a little painting with out the proper permit. That and they had color matched instead of using the original red. You know that it faded some so I had to give them a work order to bring the red up to the proper brilliance. They did get the one wall done and the MPLS people called to report a fire. Guess it is about right now. Calmed the MPLS people told them the cabin was fine. Several of us are going to go to Duluth this evening for the City of Duluth Parade we will be the very last float about a mile behind the closing fire engines. We like to keep a low profile you know. Well I have to get into my beaver coat it gets a might nasty riding on the float you have a good one.

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Bobby Bass

A warm but overcast day here at Lake Iwantotbethere I am sitting at my desk sipping some nice tea with a little something in it that we picked up in Superior WI. last night after the parade. I am also keeping an eye on my bobber floating off the end of the dock. Some of you may question still having a dock out but I like many others here on Lake Iwanttobethre use the hanging dock. I have two rather large white pines on the shoreline and we just hang cables from them to support the dock, this way we can keep it out all year long. Going to be an exciting week here this week as Thanksgiving is just a few days away and we already have had a hint of ice. I was busy this morning tuning up my snow blower for the snow blower races. When we get more then 4" of snow the main street is cleared of trucks and boats and trailers and we have our race. We line up next to each other and race down main street. Kind of our version of NASCAR lots of bumping some sound of tearing metal, I hear it is tuff to see as last year in the open division we had 40+ snow blowers, kind of creates white out conditions when everyone does not have their chutes pointed in the same direction. But after you find the finish line and get the snow off a good time is had by all. Thanksgiving also is the start of the lightning contest and there will be more on that. Whoaaaa look like my bobber went under I'll have to get back to ya. Have a good one

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Bobby, sorry I didn't answer you the past couple of days. I was on another scouting mission to Lake Iwanttobethere, this time masquerading as a just a simple tourist. I had to let my beard grow out and then fill in some of the bare spots with horse hair. Reminds me I'll never be able to get close to Crapper again. I call him crapper cause each time he see me or one of the kids he runs a shot distance and then takes a huge dump. Wonder what that means.

Anyways, I am happy to report I've put ernest money down on the old Jenkins cabin. It is just perfect for what I was looking for. It's semi-remote, has a nice 18' sand beach, indoor plumbing and running water. Reed tried his darnest to get me to but a couple of others but I wouldn't hear of it. He kept muttering something about it being haunted but I thnk that was just part of his sales pitch.

I stayed at the Dew Drop Inn and was pleasantly surprised that they had room service. The Spam was a little undercooked and I not much of a fan of white bread but other then that and the chips being stale it wasn't bad. Maw, I believe she owns the Dew Drop ?, sure does make a great cup of coffee. My own mother use to brew a pot about 9pm, drin a cup or 2, then turn it off and go to sleep. Next morning she woud drop in a few more grounds and water and perk the whole thing over again. Maw's coffee sure did taste a lot like my mothers and after I drank 2 cups I didn't have to worry about that constapation thing any more.

Reed is going to check with the owners of the Jenkins cabin to see if I can purchase the funrishing. I was complete right down tot he linen on the beds and the dishes in the kitchen. Sure would be nice if I could. The family and I might be able to spend Christmas up there this year.

Do you remember seeing their pontoon boat was running and if so when was the last time? I haven't made an offer on it as yet but it looks like it might be in fairly good shape. Other then that one hole in the left pontoon itself, that is.

I ate a couple of meals at the Sundown Cafe, nice people those. Hammerin Hank came in one morning and saw me talkin to the widow. After that I had the strangest feeling that I was being followed the entire time I was there.

Well, gotta go for now and let me say it will sure be a pleasure to meet all of you and join your community.

Say I was just thinking, being from SE MN I can get a whole hog from one of my friends for just letting them use the cabin. Sometime after closing I'll bring one up and have a hog roast to meet and greet everyone. I understand most of you on the Lake, as I can now call it, like Old Chief Wahoo Pine beer. I'll bring a couple of cases of that along to wash down all that pork.

Take care.

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Bobby Bass

Foot we sure could have used that pig last night for a pig roast as we had our Monday night Vikings/Packers tailgate party down at the landing. Half of the town showed up and we set up the big screen 25" TV and the Honda generator. Has been an annual event here ever since one of the guys went to a tail gate party in the Big Cites a few decades ago. Lot of good time was had by all and having the Vikes win made it all the sweater er sweeter still feeling it a little this afternoon as I was one of the judges in the home made brew contest that we also had. Yup at half time it was all the cheese you could eat and every time the Packers score it was yogurt for everyone!!! Jenkins place eh.. there are a few stories going around the ice houses about that place but now might not be the time to bring any of them up. It is coming with the pontoon eh. I thought they patched that hole up after they caught all the blood off but then again that is another story.. You are just a little far wase from my cabin.. I would say about 10 Tiger woods drives a Daily slice and then maybe two long Jack putts would put you right at the edge of my beach. Looking forward to watching you move in. Of course I will have to do an inspection of your property but that mean I get to work another day still this fall. Well Thanksgiving day here in just a few with the tailgate party that kind of became the lakes big get together Dr. Burriem was given a new surprise silver flask for his birthday, he had worn the cap off the other one. Willie Wrenchead was going around telling anyone that would listen that he had found the love of his life. Widow Hess and Hammering Hank were seen holding hands all night, we found out this morning that they super glued themselves together some how. Days have been in the 30's and even a few boats were out fishing. Here at Lake Iwanttobethre it looks like we are settling down to a nice cozy winter. Later today we will have our fuel assistance give out to the locals that stay over. 1 roll duck tape ( with feathers ) 3 gals kero 1 roll of shrink wrap with double face ( on one side ) tape and a coupon for even more cheesseeeee...Well mid afternoon here and I need to start the mower and drive into town. No sense in letting that gas winter over. I will look up Reed and pick his brain and see what is happening. More then likely will swing by the landing and make sure it got cleaned up.. Have a good day and welcome to Lake Iwantobethere..

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Bobby, just a quick note. I didn't see any wood for the fireplace stack around the Jenkins cabin anywhere. Can you give me a name of someone who would be willing to put up a couple of cord for me for this winter?

I've got one of them 36" 7.5 hp Timberbuck specials so I should be able to cut all my own wood for next winter but this year might be a little cold. It's also got the New Mexico chain which I understand is much better then them Oregon Chains. As the salesman said "you ever see many trees in New Mexico, huh well look at all those trees in Oregon" "If those Oregon chains are so darn good why are there so many trees in Oregon". Made sence to me.

Also, can you include Dusty McMurtry's phone number? I understand he is your local chimney sweep and I figured it would be a good idea to have the chimney cleaned before I get a good rip roarin fire going.

I like the idea of the floating docks but I didn't see any trees big enough to hold a dock. I wonder if I could use a couple of old telephone poles.

Well gotta go, talk to you later.

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Bobby Bass

Foot your man to see is.... Hammering Hank he also does some wood cutting. Reminds me of a story about Hammering Hank. He was down at the local Stihl dealer and he was looking for one of them new chainsaws he heard so much about. So he got him self sold on one of them 0-0 29 saws that the wood guy says will cut 10 cord a weekend. Well Hank took her home and came back on Monday and tossed it on the floor. " I only could cut 3 cord and I worked all weekend with it" he said. Well the salesman took him out back and pulled on the starting cord and the saw started right up.. Hammering Hank yelled out in surprise "What's that noise"

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Bobby, well I had the guys over last night for some poker and a few barley pops. We all had today off so last night was an addition to our weekly game.

Anyway, about half way through our session I broke the news that I was buying a cabin. For about 3 seconds you could have heard a pin drop and then all h--- broke loose. Everyone started to talk at once. Where, when, what's it like, how many does it sleep, any women close by, how many bars, huntin or fishin or both, who gets to go up first, wives aren't invited are they, what type of fish etc etc etc. I'm sure you can imagine.

Tony three toes (Tony likes to hunt deer with the safety off so he can get a quicker shot) wanted to know what I was going to call the cabin. Danny said I should call it The Up North Shak. He doesn't have much of an imagination. Spooner (likes to shoot Spoonbills) came up with Foot's Folly. Seems like everything he names always has folly in it, including his daughter, Francine Folly Fordham. He and his wife conceived Frannie in the back seat of their 67 Chevy while he was dating 5 other girls. All of the sudden Junie (Spooner's wife) became his one and only. Especially since Junie Dad showed Spooner his Model 12.

There were a couple of other names that came up but they were just as rediculous. Then Dave hit upon it. The Office. It's simple and sure has a certain ring to it. Ya know like when someone asks "What ya doin this weekend" you reply "Ah I gotta go to the office, work is never done".

Barry (AC) he's a tim bender for an air conditioner firm took one look at the pics I had and said we are going to have to put on an addition. There just isn't enough room for all of us to have seperate beds and he ain't sleepin in the same bed with none of us. It was decided the addition will be a bunk room with space for 6. That way I still have my own bedroom and I might be able to auction off the use of the other bedroom each weekend they come up. Just kiddin, it'll go to the person who buys the most beer.

I know it might sound like the guys are over stepping their bounds but you need to remember we've known each other since grade school. As a group we've hunted and fished more water and woods then most people.

Well I've told you a little about the guys or at least 4 of them so I'd better fill you in on the other 3.

Mike (Sparks) works for the telephone company. He got into the telephone business while he was in the military. They Army made him a "Pole Jockey". That's a person who climbs the poles to fix or string/connect the telephone wire. When Mike went to Vietnam he found out the average life expentancy of a pole jockey was about 45 seconds he learned real fast how to get up the pole, fix the problem and get back down. He would climb like a startled monkey, do what he had to do and then kick his spikes out a free fall back to earth. Problem was he was always getting a massive amount of wooden slivers on the inside of his thighs. Now when ever his thighs get to close together it sets off sparks and/or a fire from the friction. A little fact not lost on his wife Char, as in charcoal. Trouble was Mike never was in Vietnam. Nearest he got to Vietnam was a 6 month tour in Hawaii. I guess with all of those Hawaiian jungles his mind just took over.

Dave (Thumbs) owns his own Tile & Rock business. No great explaination needed to see why he's called thumbs. He has the largest, flatest and uglyist thumbs in the business.

Now this leaves us to Jerry. Jerry is a different kinda of a cuss. He'll sit for hours and never say a word and then will all of sudden break into song. He prefers songs from the 5o's even though he's only 47 years old. He'll also sit in the front of a boat huddled in a wold's hood parka in 60 degree weather just because it's opening weekend. One year he was hunched over in Spark's boat as it trolled past. The fishing pole Jerry held onto was banging off the front of the boat and making a heck of a racket. I yelled to Spark's that Jerry might have a bite. Sure enough after Sparks woke Jerry a heck of a fight was under way. The fish was taking Jerry from one side of the boat to the other and back again. Never did Jerry move, he just stayed hunched over. After about 35 minutes the line broke. Jerry looked up at Sparks, who was now standing over Jerry's back holding a net and said "Gee I think I lost him". Well let me tell you Sparks really set things to cookin then. We had gotten a glimpse at the fish and it was a Walleye and not just any Walleye but one for the record books. Sparks was soo upset he threw down the net breaking it on the boat and having it flop into the water, sinking to the bottom. We always put $5.00 per man on the largest Walleye and Sparks was probably thinking this was going to be the year Jerry could pay him for some of the boat gas. Anyway, Jerry just tied on another hook, slipped on a minnow and went back to fishing. We never have been able to come up with a nickname for Jerry, even though we have spent many a sleepless night trying.

Lookin forward to coming back up there, Bye for now.

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Bobby Bass

Well Foot with all of your friends coming in with you we might be able to change that light in the center of town now. Has been burnt out for, gee I don't remember when it was lite last come to think of it. Just another one of those things that just don't get decided on at the Town Hall meetings. Just so much to do. Well I hope you have a good Thanksgiving we have a sleigh ride here and we ride around passing on good Cheer to all here at Lake Iwanttobethere. The hardware store will be open at 7 instead of 8 on Friday with their annual start of Christmas sale. I think they are offering buy one get one free on nails and bolts. Of course the big deal is with the ladies. I think the day after Thanksgiving is even bigger here then the opening of deer season or even opener. The lights will start clicking on around the lake about 4am or so and you will hear car and truck doors slamming at about 5 as the ladies start heading into the city to be the first at the doors of all them big stores when they have them early morning sales. Pretty quite around here for the day as no women folk around. There is a lot of sitting by the men folk and a few bottles of cheer might be open well before the sun even thinks about setting. I went once to a Walmart and about got beat to death over an empty box that had a sale sign on it. Never again... Well have a good holiday and I hope to get myself invited to one of them poker games you and your buds have, Perhaps we can get some locals involved..

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Bobby, just a real quick note about the street light in the center of town. Go ahead and get it changed and send me/us the bill.

As is the custom every Thanksgiving morning the guys and myself meet down by Silver Lake for a morning walk. Danny always bring a couple of Mason Jars of Arkansas Lightning to keep everyone warm. This started several years ago when the women folk started locking up the beer, wine and spirits due to the Thanksgiving Day Riot of 1973, but that's another story for another time. Sufice it to say Oscar and his wife Naomi are not longer welcome.

Anyway, while on the walk I mentioned the need for a light. Well good old Three Toes came up with the idea that we should cover the cost of a new light thereby endearing ourselves to the local inhabitants.

Opps, kids are arriving and the wife is a yelling for me to get out there so gotta go make the gravy, my specialty.

Have a Happy Thankgiving. smile.gif

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Bobby Bass

Well it looks like things are going to get quiet around here now, The temp has dropped to single digits and there is a lot of smoke to be seen coming from cabins around the lake. No ice yet but that will be here soon enough. Looks all the readers are now on Ice Fishing string so no one reads about open water and Lake Iwanttobethere I'm going to settle back in my easy chair and wrap myself up in my buffalo robe and lite a good cigar, with any luck it will last me to when the misses comes home from the all day post Thanksgiving shopping spree. Yup I think things will get a tad quiet for awhile. Foot have a good day I have to go see if I can find some spark.

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Bobby, I think you are correct, everyone is on the frozen water post.

Things look like a go for cabin. I've been lucky enough to pick up some spare 2x4's, 1x6's, tar paper, sheet rock and various other items to fix up/add to the cabin. We have a couple of "swap & shop" newspapers that usually have stuff to give away. It's not everything I'll need but it's a good start.

Anyway, you have a good winter and I'll stop over and say Hi next time I'm up there. Maybe even take you out for lunch or a tall frosty cool one.

See ya later.

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Bobby Bass

Just came back from doing a little Christmas shopping in the big city, Don't take long to go to Walmart and pick up a few things. With a little winter storm if you want to call it that, couple inches of snow over some rain that froze no big deal. Here at Lake Iwanttobethere just another day. 6 inches of ice on the lake and I heard that the crappies are biting at dusk with a few eyes big enough for the supper table. I'll give it about another week or so and then there will be enough ice for the houses to start going up. Weekends here get pretty busy as we have several fishing contest sponsored by local business and a few of our namesakes also have big family get together's. Lake Iwanttobethere can grow to be a very large ice town by Mid January. Our ice house parade is a local favorite along with the beer keg races and of course our "slide for life" contest which that sports network e s pee n has taken an interest in. Say Foot if you read this are you an ice fishermen? with them size 17's of yours we could always use a replacement ice depth tester. The township has a part time opening After Dale Frozen Toe Mitchel went in for the 10th time last year he quit. Let me know and perhaps I can put a good word in for ya.. Well Paper is here, takes a little longer after first ice.

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Bobby Bass

Just taking a break here I have my ice trailer all set to go for this afternoons ice parade. We have plenty of good ice here at Lake Iwanttobethere and today is the day when the entire town will move out on to the water. Quite a site to see I am told, I have been in the parade for more years then I can remember so I have never really seen the parade go out on to the ice. It is somewhat of a social event and plenty of spirits are consumed. There is a lot of anticipation as the first ice houses are launched on to the ice. After the parade winds it's way thru town we all head up to a knoll that looks out over the lake. Once there you, ( the ice house that is ) are placed in between two giant white oaks. A large bungee cord is placed behind the house. ( the bungee cord is from a summer adventure at the water park that went bad , but that is another story) And with great fanfare the bungee is released sending the ice house down the hill and out across the new ice of Lake Iwanttobethere.. After 10 houses are shot out onto the lake and if no one gets wet the rest of the houses can then make a dash out on to the ice. Now this may seem to be a reckless way of setting up an ice town but it has worked quite well for us over the years. Of course there was the one time when Mcfritz house had a ski come off and when it hit the ice it did a 145 and went down the lake until it hit the shoreline and stuck into the bank. Fishing was not real good there but he was the first one on and the last one off that year! Well I better get back out there almost time to start the bomb-a-deer and drag her down to town. Was hoping to see Foot here, as a new resident at Lake Iwantobethere he would get to be first in line at the bungee...

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Bobby Bass

Well just got off the lake here, have been out with the ice crew plowing the first streets of Lake Iwanttobethere. Great day for making ice roads, clear and cold and yesterdays town launching went off without a hitch. Should be an interesting winter as we are really spread out across the lake this year. Rengo's were the 5th ones launched off the bungee and went straight and true for almost a half mile. Almost a new record, they credit their run to new Teflon runners on their house and to the fact that they had the furnace running...So most of the locals have their house out on the ice and even as I look from the cabin here I can see Hammering Hank on his Bomb-a-deer towing a sled with firewood. I think he is stocking up Mabel's Sauna and hot house. She got herself a pretty good spot just down from the meeting hall. No sign of Foot at all, at least nothing that anyone could see in the snow. People are beginning to talk about him. Mostly cuz he is news being a new resident here on Lake Iwanttobethere but also because of his reported large feet. Tracks have been seen around cabins in the snow and some have been pretty close to the windows. Now we did have some creature here a while back that the National Geo people were trying to get pictures off but that has pretty much been forgotten till the large foot print start to show up again. Hmmmm makes ya think for a minute. O well times up.. Well just came in to grab the lab top and head back out and see what's biting. Have to be out in the house to get my paper and the afternoon mail now as there is no delivers to the cabin. Every day now more and more business will be popping up so we will try and let you know where everyone is setting up..Have a good one, or two.

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Bobby, I'm back and yes I did make it up there just prior to Thanksgiving. In fact I guess I've already taken over for Frozen Toe.

I went out on the ice (it was really thin) and promptly put my foot right thru. I went in up to the crotch and was lucky to make it back to shore. Got to the cabin and found out the only matches I had were in my pants pocket and were now soaked. I couldn't start a fire to save my soul and with the light fading and the snow picking up I decided to spend the night in the cabin even if it was colder then heck.

Well, that was one fine dumb idea cause the next day as I drove home I went from roasting to shivering cold. You guessed it, Pnemdamonia. I've spent the last seven days in the hospital where the Mayo Clinic Dr's had a field day proding and poking me and putting me on all kinds of drugs.

I got out this past Saturday and got back to work today.

Please inform the other residents the tracks in the snow by the windows couldn't have been from me, I wasn't even in the area.

I will probably be after Christmas before I make it up to the lake now. I can start call ing it "the lake" can't I???

I'm going to lay in a supply of matches just to make sure something like that doesn't happen again.

As far as being first in line for the ice shack parade I have no problem with that except I would be using a portable. And a very nice protable it is as well. It's a Flip Flop Twin by J. Kerry Enterprises. It has a hard plastic bottom with a canvas top that when you are seated it comes up over you. Even though it's called a "twin" it only seats one person at a time but two people can go ice fishing with it - therefore the name.

Well Bobby, I'm feeling a little tired and had better see if I can skip lunch and get a 30 minute nap. Talk to you later.

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Bobby Bass

Well glad to see you are back. My wife had that a few years ago and really put her down for a few weeks, Heck I had to do cleaning and cook meals and such...Well the town is in pretty good shape, we have main street all plowed and the burn barrels are out. Here on Lake Iwanttobethere we put out burn barrels to serve several purposes, of course to burn things and as a gathering place for people to discuss the current events here at Lake Iwanttobethere. Also they serve as markers for the community fishing holes that we have drilled. When the ice is thick enough we have John Lufer from the power company come in and with his power pole auger he puts in a series of 14" holes. We use the burn barrels to mark them. Also several people can fish out of the same hole as they talk. Some people will just walk down main street with their jig and just dip and talk as they go. Of course you can also pick up them mini doughnuts at the stand and of course on the weekend there are all kinds of vendors who come in and we have lots of contests going. I will have to get a list of the upcoming events so you can see if any interest you. Hope you are feeling better and maybe I can talk the Widow Hess into bring you some of her home made soup. I think I did see a chicken around here somewhere...

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Bobby, yup I'm back and in full swing. I had a check up appointment this morning from my Family Medicine doctor, Dr. Ben D. Ovveur, and he gave me a clean bill of health.

Almost nightly I'm getting calls from the guys about our first official trip to the cabin for ice fishing. Sometimes 1 guy will call other nights most everyone will call. We are discussing such things as what to bring, when to leave, what bait should we take, where we're going to eat, etc etc etc. I told them we need to start buying our food, drink and bait at the local stores around the lake. You know good will and everything.

I am assuming that Gert's Bait and Off Sale would be the place to get out bait and drink. I met Gert the last time I was there. That woman sure has some miles on here. I picked up a 6 pack and pint of brandy and asked if she had worms. When she replied "Yes, she did have worms" I said funny you look pretty healthy to me. Gert didn't take that too kindly. Apparently she's heard it before. By the way it didn't but 30 minutes for my nose to stop bleeding. Man, Gert sure has a powerful slap.

As far as a grocery store, I thought we'd start using Willie Wojahowski's Gas & Grub. I stopped in there for ice to put on my nose and it looked like they were pretty well stocked. Didn't get a chance to meet Willie, there was some little pimply faced high school kid by the name of Beaner. He wasn't much help. He kept reading some magazine, even when I was checking out. Do you have another recommendation for a grocery store?

Well, time to head for home. I'll be waiting for that list of events. Hope they have a leach eating contest, Tony 3 Toe's is un-beaten in that area and he considers himself the world champ.

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Bobby Bass

Heeheh I see you met Gert, yup she is a keeper for sure but I'll tell ya if ya want something special she is the one to see if you know what I mean wink.gifwink.gif OK well things are pretty crazy around here seems the people from MPLS were down on the ice yesterday with what they call a pop up? Some kind of flimsy ice house that they can drag behind some snow machine that they have. Well must be kind of new here cuz no one has ever seen one before and it was real quiet like hardy any smoke either. Well Jimmy was up at the Dew Drop Inn having a quick burger and a few beers. Jimmy like a lot of people around here gets kind of set in there ways and Jimmy's way is to attach an end of a 1000yd spool of Stren to his house and then go to the Inn that way he can just reel himself back to his house. Well the MPLS folks cut his line and it got caught in there track, well before you know it Jimmy is yanked off his chair and out the door. Down the hill he heads heading for the ice and before anyone could do anything he was gone... A few people were out fishing the main street holes And from out of nowhere this black machine went zipping by with something called a CLAM dragging behind and then a moment later Jimmy on his back yelling for help. Well after a discussion at the town hall which took a few hours as no one had the heat on, It was decide to call in McGroughs bloodhounds and get on Jimmy's track. After several of the towns people were assembled and the dogs fed and watered it was decide to wait for the moon to come up so they would have some good tracking light. Well anyway about that time Hamming Hank came in with a load of wood and Jimmy on his trailer. Seems he was at the MPLS folks dropping off some wood when he found Jimmy neatly tussled up in his fishing line hanging from the bottom of the lift. Gail who we now know is the wife of the MPLS man said they were going to go ice fishing tonight and they had forgotten their auger, when they headed back to their cabin they decided to have some fun jumping a few snow ridges that the plow hand made and they thought they heard screaming but were not sure. Jimmy was a slight blueish looking and was helped to his shack. Of course this will all be explained at the town hall meeting..

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Bobby, not that I'm trying to show you how smart I am but down here in SE MN we've been seeing those flimsy ice shaks for several years now. They call them portable and come by several names Frabill, Clam, Otter, Hideout, Arctic Caboose, Speed Shak, Ice Cruiser, etc. Which reminds me the first time I ever saw one.

There was a group of us that use to fish a backwaters of the Mississippi called Pritchert's for those big black crappie and northern. We came from all over and whent he crappie we're biting it was fantastic.

One of the regulars was a guy called Art. He was there every weekend from ice up to ice out, usually fishing by himself. One weekend in early January myself and a couple of friends were down fishing but Art was not there.

Shortly after our arrival we saw Art standing on shore with a big black sled trailing out behind. We weren't sure what he was doing but it looked like he was hooking up a dog sled. It usually takes a person about 10 minutes to walk out to the fishing spot but it took Art closer to 30 this time.

When he arrived we saw that he hooked his LabSheppardCollie (LCS) cross to a pulling harness as well as his wife's little puff ball yipper dog. The only thing was, LCS was so big that yipper was doing an air walk as her feet couldn't touch the snow and ice.

Quite a crowd was gathering to look at this sled Art had pulled all the way out. Soon Art had holes drilled and was setting up his portable. Not sure how portable it was as Art said fully loaded with all his gear and stuff it weighted about 200 pounds.

Once Art had everything ready Gordy asked him what he was going to do for heat. Not to look forgetfull or stupid Art just said "Why, I'm a gonna start a fire". Back to the shore he trudged to gather some wood for his fire. He couldn't find anything small enough for kindling so he grabbed a couple of tipups from the Wisc boys and broke them up. Man were they po'd when they got back with the beer and blocks of cheese. When he had a fire going good he jumps in, sits down and pulls the cover over.

For the first few hours everything was going really good and he had several nice crappie on the ice. Then it all seemed to happen at once. The 2 dogs had been lying peacefully inside the warm shak and then yipper decides to go in to season and LCS starts gettin fresh. Yipper wants nothing to do with LCS so she jumps over the seat and behind it. Not to be outdone LCS jumps over as well. The only problem being there isn't enough room for even yipper so LCS hits the back canvas and bounces back directly into Art. Art falls forward knocking over his bottle of 105 proof brandy spilling the contents on the open fire. This causes an immediate flame up and smoke starts rolling out of the shak. Now yipper is yippin, LCS is howlin and Art is a cussin. Soon LCS gets his tail burned and tear right through the side wall and yipper follows. Within seconds the shak is up in flames and everyone is running to save Art. Problem is Art is nowhere to be found.

Then one of the Wisc boys looks down the hole created by the open fire and see Art. There he is standing on the bottom, holding his nose and turning blue. Seems once the shak started on fire Art jumped up and with the fire being directly on the ice he smashed through with now problem at all. Several of us reach down and pull Art free of his watery grave and flop his on the ice.

What a site - there's Art standing and stripping naked to get out of his wet clothes, LCS was now having his way with Yipper and the plactic seat of the portable was putting out the most ugly black smoke you ever did see.

Next weekend Art was back and had a new portable, seems his wife had bought the first one for Christmas and he didn't want her to know what happened. He also bought a little white gas heater instead of starting another open fire.

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Bobby Bass

Well I just got in from the town meeting that was held tonight and we had a pretty good crowd show up. The meeting ran a tad longer then usual being that it was the first meeting on the ice and that it also just happen to be in the middle of a pretty good evening crappie bite. We had 85 holes in the meeting house in use. Well here are the meeting minutes at least some of the more important ones. Safety was a pretty big issue with a number of concerns addressed. It was voted and passed that hockey boards must be in place before any more games may be held on the south end of town. Swen and Leona's boy Lars was playing hockey down there and he got a lone break and has not been seen since...After Jimmy's accident with the MPLS couple he will no longer be allowed to use clear Stren but will have to use the green or blue and must put a colored flag at least every 500 yards so it can be seen. Those who fish in the community main street fishing holes are requested to keep the burn barrels lit when in use. Spitting of hi proof single malt is acceptable but double malt is frowned upon. Hammering Hank has been awarded the contract for wood for all town meetings and will be allowed to post his prices on the town hall meeting board. Lodge meetings will be held bi weekly and town hall meeting monthly. The Lodge will remain open for the winter as there appear to be a large number of people who believe it or not, do not ice fish....Seasonal vendor license were issued for the mini house of doughnuts, Jake's Wandering Minnowete, Lucy's back rubs and Weeine a go-go. Other vendors can get a temporary license by seeing Gus at the Sundown Cafe if there are enough board members eating dinner. There was some discussing about the after Christmas first fishing contest and end of the year games. Once again safety was a consiner over the beer can jump whether we should subsite aluminum cans for the glass bottles we have been using in teh past. Swen Johnson the winner in lst year contest who if you Maye remember cleared 127 bottles but landed on 35 others was there to voice his concern and to show some of his scars. That was tabled as we did not have enough empties on hand tonight to compare. Also it we don't get some snow on the ice it looks like we will have to clear a bigger area for the slide for life contest. As you know this is held on the south end of town where we have two large oak trees anchored in the ice, we then use the bungee cord from open day ice house launching. It is pulled back with we are happy to say the new ice machine that the MPLS people have offered to use this winter. Anyway you sit on the ice with the bungee at your back and are pulled back with the bungee and then released to slid across the ice. It was though that perhaps a trial should be used tomorrow and since this is in the same direction that the Lars kid took we could write it off as a rescue attempt and get some monies from the township. that to was tabled for further discussion. We then broke in to smaller groups for beer sampling as we needed to vote for the taste of the county which will be coming up soon. That was pretty much finished under the table for several. By then we had enough bottles for the bottle against can jumping discussion but nobody carrded.. Meeting adjourned. Ps please excuse my typing I was a juge for some contest that I forgeot to judge er I think..

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Bobby, thanks for the update on the town hall/ice fishing/lodge meeting. I certainly hope to be particiapting one of these fine days.

Not much goin on down here. Wife is expecting me to stay close so we can get our Christmas shopping completed etc.

She'll be heading up to the UP of Michigan to visit the old home lands right after Christmas so I might get away and head to the lake for a couple of days. We'll see.

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Bobby Bass

Well Foot I hope ya make it to the Lake before this weather settles in. Sunshine Ray our weatherman has predicted 6-10 inches of snow for the next few days. Was a flurry of folks getting houses out along Marble Eye Lane and some more off Crappie Circle. The Sundown Cafe announced with the coming of snow that their delivery girls will be switching from ice skates to snowshoes and the deliver fee will be a tad higher. Food and drink comes quicker when they are on skates. Lot of excitement along main street yesterday afternoon. Jimmy was fishing from one of the community ice holes on main street and about 5 holes down old man Walter was also fishing. Well Jimmy has a big sucker out and gets distracted talking to the Window Hess and something comes and takes his sucker and starts pulling line out, A few moments later old man Walters line goes down but he sees it and sets the hook.. Well Jimmy feels a tug as he is watching the Widow Hess walk away then feels the tug in his hand from his pole. Well Jimmy sets his hook and the Walter feels a good tug and starts reeling, Jimmy's drag starts wining and he digs in and starts cranking back. Well this give and take goes on for quite awhile and a crowd starts to gather around the two holes. Not unusual to have two large fish on here at Lake Iwanttobethere. Well an hour later and money is starting to change hands as bets are placed. Walter is hanging on but Jimmy is getting thirsty, as you may have guessed Jimmy does not like to go to long with out something wetting his whistle. People are now starting to stand two deep and there is kind of a less filling great taste thing going on. Walter is starting to tire but then someone passes him a frosty mug and he is refreshed, Jimmy starting to sweat and his eyes are darting from side to side pleading for someone to get him a brew. This is becoming quite the battle here as both men give and take with their fish one gaining ground as the other losses some. Then it happens Jimmy starts to hallucinate he sees the Widow Hess walking towards him dressed as one of the October feast waitress. Two big jugs and a beer in each hand. The crowd part as she walks towards him, she has the shape of an hour glass with a few extra minutes in just the right places. Jimmy drops his rod and stumbles towards her. Walter Suddenly lets out a whoop and running backwards reeling as fast as he can, "she's coming out" he yells. Reeling away he is suddenly stopped cold but with one more yank up out of the hole pops......Jimmy's rod....The crowds sigh as one and head back on their ways, The Widow Hess disappears in a puff of ice fog and Walter and Jimmy are left standing staring at each other like two gunfighters. With a wave of hands at each other they to turn and head to their shanties. The sun starts to set and soon the street is clear, lights through small windows are popping up all over and the ice town of Lake Iwantotobethere settles in for the evening Crappie bite. There is a storm on the way and I am sure something will happen, it always does here at Lake Iwanttobethere.

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Bobby, I happened to be at the local watering hole here in Rochester last night playing a little poker and generally BSing when one of the guys asked me if I had purchased a cabin. Seems this guy use to live nearby the lake in Pengilly and he knows Hammerin Hank and a couple more characters.

He told me a story about Hammerin that I am leaning toward believing. Seems one day ole Hammerin had a large pile of Oak and Cedar logs to cut and split. After he had them all cut into fireplace place lenghts he heard the crappie were on a bite and was torn between finishing splitting the wood or going fishing. Since it was very hot and humid that day he really didn't want to split any of that wood.

I guess what happened next involved someone known as Shifty.

Hammerin got Shifty to call the local Sheriff's dept and tell them that Hammerin was the major supplier of Marijuana in and around the Lake. Not only that but he would import the pot in the wood.

Very shortly there arrived a group of local Sherriff's Deputies and State Police including the BCA with axes and desire to put this scourage in jail. The all got to work chopping the wood to find the dope while Hammerin sat in his boat and caught some nice crappie. After the wood had all been split Hammerin pulls up to his dock and asked what inthe world was going on. He's informed that he was under investigation and they had to search all of the wood to find the evidence. Problem was, there was no evidence.

Hammerin lays into the officers and start yelling about ruining his wood and by golly he's going to sue. Finally after 30 minutes of carrying on Hammerin calms down and agrees not to sue as long as the Sherriff's Dept gives him $50 from their petty cash and they agree to stack the wood out of the way inside his lean to.

Hammerin gets the $50 and invites Shifty over for a meal of fresh crappie washed down with some imported high faluten beer that comes in a green bottle.

As I say, I am leaning toward believing this story about Hammerin but I wanted to check with you first.

Of course Hammerin

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Bobby, a very similar thing happened down here on the Mississippi only during the open water season.

Dave and I were fishing out of LaCupolis and were drifting "the bar". There were quite a few boats that day and as luck would have it 2 boats got their lines tangled. Each person thought they had Wilma the Walleye the mythical 45 pound walleye on their line and fought to get her up. Dave looked my way and whispered "they have each other's line". We watched them for almost 30 minutes before they realized what they really had.

It was almost better then catching walleye.

One guy finally let out line so the other could un-tangle the lines. Soon they had several hundred feet of line out as one boat was anchored and the other was still drifting to the south. Then along came Slick the Coast Guard Auxillary for the Lake Pepin area, right between the 2 boats. By now the guy drifting south had a hook planted deeply into is index finger. Slick's boat (Didyoushoottoo) hit the line (stren I believe) and pulls the drifter out of his little fishing boat and pulls the rod and reel out of the other guys hands. Now we have one guy skipping along behind Didyoushoottoo by the finger and the rod and reel flying around in ever smaller circles. About the 3rd time around Didyoushoottoo the rod and reel bonk Slick right in the middle of the forehead knocking Slick uncouncious.

With Slick down for the count Didyoushoottoo runs up on the rocks at LaCupolis causing major damage to itself.

Happy to say that Slick came too and is fine today, except for that slight tick he has, the fisherman got the hook out and Didyoushoottoo was able to be repaired. Oh, and Dave and I have finally stopped laughing about this after 15 years and really don't tell this story that much anymore. Maybe only 7 or 8 times a year.

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Bobby Bass

Well 18 inches of fresh snow on Lake Iwanttobethere today. A few changes to the look around here, As you can imagine we have some banks now for the ice roads. Main street is all open and the community ice hole are back open and burn barrels are glowing here late at night. With our first real snow fall we have a lot of people doing a three day weekend and the walleye bite is always great here after a snowfall. Just to catch you up on a few things, the boards are up at the south hockey rink but no one is skating as the Lars kid has reappeared and took it upon himself to clear the rink. He borrowed his uncle's tractor with the manure bucket on it and moved snow with that. He also left a lot of brown lines on the ice and no one wants to get checked and fall on the ice. Old man McFarlane is up from the cities I can hear him now. The story on McFarlane is that he is an old rocker from the 60's and is some big wig at one of them letter companies in the cities like 4M anyway he has Hammering Hank haul his shanty out on the ice for him. The thing is loaded with nothing but 12 inch speakers and it takes 2 Honda's to power it up. He says it took him 40 years till he could have enough cash to buy the sound system that he dreamed of as a kid and now that he has it the only place he can play it is here at lake Iwanttobethere. Since he is a big sponsor here we let him have 24 hrs each winter to play as loud as he wants. Right now he is doing some Black Sabbath You can look into your holes and see the beat coming across the ice. Just heard the Garth new 5 disk set, lot of boots tapping the ice with that one. As you can see ice fishing is different here, No garbage and people are polite if they are not there house will disappear during the night. Well I am out the door here going to do some late night plowing, just something about moving the snow with nothing but moonlight as your guide.

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Bobby, you will be surprised a all get out when we bring our ice shack to the Lake. I know I was amazed the first time I viewed it.

Right after I told the guys about the cabin Barry set to work on a little project. He's like that. He never asks for help or lets anyone know what he's doing he just goes ahead and does it. Sometimes this works out and sometimes it doesn't.

I'll try and describe the shack.

It actually comes in 5 seperate pieces and the main area is 2 stories. The main area is a quaint 16' x 16' square. Each corner is open about 4'. He made these openings to attach the sleeping sections. Each section is 12' long by 5 ' wide and has a bunk that folds up flush against one wall. There are shelves, a built in table and heater in each sleeping section as well. 3 holes for fishing are along the 12' length oposite the bunk.

The sleeping sections are pushed into place and velcro flaps are engaged to make them comfortable. When everything is in place it forms a square with 4 equal spokes, kinds like a star.

The lower main area has 16 holes, heater, shelving, cabinets, permanent bait containers, fish storage container and a table that can be raised or lowered, by use of a chain system, to keep it out of the way on hot bites.

The upstairs of the main area contains cooking facilities, 4 additional bunks, and a portable shower and potty.

Approximate weight of the structure when fully assembled and manned is about 5,000 pounds. It is quite the

Taz-Ma-Hall, that's the name of the local Rooster Roaster's Sportmen's Club's meeting hall. If you've ever seen it you won't forget it.

The one good thing is that Barry has a flat bed to hall this shack up North to the Lake. I don't know how this will work for the launching of the ice shacks. Do we have to have it assembled or can we just shoot the main section out and then attach the spokes ?

Barry also told me that on slow fishing days he would be willing to open the shack up to other fisherperson's, can't forget the women, as a bar. He would serve mix drinks, beer and hot cocoa but no wine. He got sick on wine when he was back in 8th grade and hasn't touched the stuff ever since. We've tried to tell him over the years that the wine was really not wine, it was Mazola Cooking Oil with food coloring added that Danny mixed up. It sure was a funny thing to watch as the rest of use had real wine and there sat Barry drinking with Mazola and puking almost at the same time.

We'll be bringing the shack up the first weekend in January so we'll stop by and introduce ourselves.

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Bobby Bass

Well Foot that sounds like a dandy little shanty. I would think that we could launch the center section with out a problem, might even be able to shoot off the sub sections also. Might not be close but we could get them in the general direction. As for being a bar if you are to offer these beverages for free then there would not be a problem otherwise you will have a conflict with some other business that cater to the ice town, but of course like everything here at Lake Iwanttobethere it can be discussed at a town meeting. I like what you have done with the shanty it will fit right in. I have a little place on the ice myself, nothing much kind of like yours but a little longer to house the two lane bowling alley and we did add a deck two years ago so we can do some trap shooting. I have a permit so I can shoot out over the north end of the lake. Another thing you might want to add with all of them holes is a hole heater. I have a bunch of them deep fryer heaters that I picked up at Surplus is Us and I keep them in my holes, just a flick of a switch and no skim ice! You will have to come by for sure and we can trade ideas. I think you will like my beer trolley, It run all the way around the inside walls of my shanty, I can bring beer and chips right from the kitchen or I can pour you and ship it from the main hall. I always have a keg of Hamm's on tap. Another 6 inches of white stuff coming down this morning here. Will be out plowing again tonight, Nice part is we can expect another good bite this evening. I have the main hole all ready to go here as I was up at the boat house yesterday and I got the hand winch off the trailer. Not going to lose another one like I did the other day! remember fishing is always good here at Lake Iwanttobethere

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I called Barry and mentioned your beer trolley and boy did he give out a howl. He yelled in the phone that he had an idea and hugn up immediately.

Even though it's only been a little over an hour he already has a solution and called me to tell me about it. He's installed a tapper system in the upper level where he can lug in a 16 gallon keg. Then he's run surgical tubing to each bunk room and down two sides walls of the main area. Each end of the tubing terminates with a simple clamp device. Then when one wants to fill his glass he releases the clamp and the beer flows into the glass. His last comment to me was "I'm testing it out right now and there doesn't seem to be any problems".

I like the idea of your deck and being able to trap shoot. I use to trap shoot quite a bit when I lived in Mpls but since moving to Rochester in 77' I kind of gave up on it. We'll have to give it a go sometime.

As far a hole heater, you've got a good idea there with the deep fryer heaters. However, I'd be a little afraid of cutting my line of the heater. Dan works in the Alcohol Room at Mayo. This is where they get alcohol in huge 100 gallon barrels and then divide it up in to smaller portions as needed. He gets us all of the alcohol needed so we just pour a little in the hole and the alcohol keeps each hole ice free. We've even noticed that we are catching the same fish over and over again the same day. I think it has something to do with pulling the fish up through the alcohol. Can fish become alcoholics? We've discussed this at a couple of poker games but there is no clear cut agreement amonst us. Maybe you could bring this topic up at the next town meeting and see if someone up there knows the answer. I swear we've even heard a couple of smaller pan fish hicup the 3rd or 4th times we've caught them.

Do you have automatic spin spotters on your bowling alley or do you hire local kids to re-spot the pins? I can see pluses and minuses to both.

One nice thing about Barry's new ice shack is he will be able to rent it out over the summer as a cabin to defray some of the building cost etc: Does the town have any restrictions on sub-letting?

WHERE ON EARTH DID YOU GET HAMM'S BEER ??? We've had to put up with Fox Deluxe, Chief Oshkosh or Grain Belt. If I told the guys you had Hamm's your life wouldn't be worth a plugged nickel. I never did understand how they could quit making a premium beer liek Hamm's. Whenever I see the word Hamm's or even just plain ham I start to humt he Hamm's Sky Blue Water's song. You know, "from the pines lofty Balsam's, Hamm's". If you are into hard liquor I'd be willing to trade Chivas or Johney Walker for Hamm's.

Pole Jockey Mike has whittled down some of the old wooden telephone poles into the cutest looking ice rods and since they're socked with creasolte (sp) they won't rot. He's experimented with attaching a smaller warmer to the handles so your hands won't get cold but after a couple of minutes the heat ignites the creasolte and PJ has to start whittling again.

Another call coming in from Barry so I'd better go. Wonder what he's come up with now.

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Bobby Bass

Did you feel the shack move......))))))))) we just got moved to a different forum...Someone up top must have found out we were writing about ice fishing here on Lake Iwanttobethere

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Whoa! Can others move your shack like that? Apparntly so. Sounds like a nice lake you're on. Any ice Bocceball tournaments while watching the tip-ups?

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