Tuesday, December 22, 2015

First trip to Red

View from my Chair in my portable 1 man
Working with my friend Mark who along with Russ brought their houses up to Red Lake last weekend and stored them at JR's while walking out to their fishing spots, we decided to head up on Friday, I'd drag my Salem up there, called my friend from Chippewa Falls, WI, Paul Wenaas and brother Steve from the La Crosse, Paul brought his ATV, we arrived at JR's about noon.  Russ was a champ and he and his dog Shadow rode up with me as I have had some medical issues a few weeks ago and my wife wanted someone to be with me, while Mark drove up himself.  Arriving at JR's I got my Salem house parked and got ready to head out pulling our portable fish shacks.  It was interesting as a large crack of about 50 feet opened up about 1/2 mile from shore and we were forced to fish in 8.5 feet of water whereas it would have been preferred to be in around 11 - 12 feet yet fishing till dark it was too dangerous to be wondering around in the dark. Mark and Russ was fishing close to me however I didn't have much luck, not even a perch!  Because JR'a or any resort for that matter was not allowing ATV traffic until the hazards were marked and the bridges over the cracks were in place, we walked out.  In the meantime Mark and Russ had caught some fish, while I was skunked. Between them and Steve and Paul we had enough fish to fry them up at JR's and a pizza filled us up pretty well.

 It was interesting as you can see in the picture, the ice was about 7 inches thick on Saturday and it might be ready to pull the houses out in another week.  In the meantime it was pretty cozy however I did go through 3 1#bottles of propane it wasn't too bad.  Also my Skinny Dipper I bought at the Blaine Ice Show got burnt so I had to order another one as they are pretty nice to have.  Saturday was nicer than Friday as the wind had switched from out of the west on Friday to out of the south on Saturday.  Saturday we were allowed to drive our ATV out and 7 inches of ice was plenty for that provided we drove slow still it was a slow weekend for me regarding fishing.  I think I had one bite, that was it! and it was on the rattle reel to the left (you can only see the line going down into the hole).  I marked plenty of fish but they didn't seem to like what I presented them with, who knows.  It still was fun!!!

JR's Corner Access (That's russ in the lower right corner!)
JR's Corrner Access is a great place to ice fish.  This year he redid the back cleaning area to accomodate more bench space for cleaning fish, took out the pool table and added a couple of new tables to seat more people.  It's simply a heated pole shed, I feel just like home there!  He just sells beer and Set ups so you can BYOB (Bring your own bottle) of whatever and buy a glass of ice or they cook our fish up for $5.00 a guy, served with a heaping pile of french fries what more can on ask! JR is from St. Joseph, MN just west of St. Cloud and is a great guy.  He treats both Mark and I like special guest everytime we arrive.  He loves my friend Bill Lundeen's wild rice so we brought him up 10 pounds of it this weekend, along with a quart of my fresh homemade salsa and I gave him a salmon fillet from my friend Kieth Holtan.  I was a nic wild run sockeye salmon fillet and Keith has met JR before and I am sure he wouldn't mind.  As well my friend Paul is going up to Alaska next year and I suggested he get in touch with Kieth for a great time.  JR really watches what he eats and is always appreciative of home grown food and naturally harvested stuff.  There are a lot of great people in JR's, met the guy I bought a custom crappie rod at the Blaine Ice Show, so that was nice.   Actually one of the bartenders up there is the grandson of one of our Team ENA members so we had a great time with him.  Mark and Russ are huge in playing FARKLE so on Saturday night after a hard day of fishing we had JR cook our fish and sat down for a couple of games of Farkle before hitting the sack which was good after a long walk and a good day of fishing.  A longwalk because we didn't leave the ice till after dark and Paul was driving the ATV and was naturally nervous about where he was going! Either way I can't wait to get back up to Red with my brother Steve and my friends from Sconnie and am looking forward to maybe heading up next Monday.  I am anxious to catch my first walleye of the season.

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