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November 30th 2017 here we go
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Minnesota Fishing and Minnesota Resorts Forum Index -> Upper Red Lake Ice Fishing Reports
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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 2031
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Master Angler


Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 2031
Location: waskish mn usa

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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