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February 23, 2017 - 6:21 a.m.

UPDATE:  Well folks, the fat lady is singing.  We've decided to call it a day and are closing the ice fishing for the season.  A pretty good indication that we should...two Mallard ducks showed up this morning.  Lol.  Thank you all very much for your patronage and we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2018.

Our guests are quite happy with the fishing as it's been really good the past couple of days.  That said, yesterday was a bit stressful for Dan.  The ice conditions deteriorated as the day progressed and by the time Dan went out to pick the guys up off the ice, the whole bay was covered in water.  That is except for our path due to Nick and Dan drilling holes all along it (good call).  What snow was left on the ice though had turned to a slushy mess which had Dan using all the ponies he had on the machine to gun through it all.  He did get our guests home safely but it isn't looking too good for this weekend.  As a matter of fact, we just had a nice little thunderstorm roll through here with torrential rain.  The rain has since slowed down.  It is still dark out so can't see what the conditions of the lake look like but Dan isn't going on it today if I have anything to say about it (yeah, right).  Cold front is suppose to come in overnight dropping the temps below freezing which will hopefully firm everything up but only if it gets as cold as forecasted.  Sledding is definitely over for the year, at least that's my take on things.  Moose Creek was flowing yesterday but not yet enough to interfere with our path as the water levels are extremely low right now.  They've been drawing an awful lot of water this year at the dam(s) likely in anticipation of all the snow we received this year.  When Dan was drilling the path, there is no water where there should be so our bay is half empty.  That can change quickly though. The ice is plenty thick enough, it is the transporting conditions that are the problem.  Don't want to take our guests on ice and not be able to get them home ;)  Dan is making a decision by 8:00 this morning as to whether or not we're running this weekend.  It's disappointing to our guests but their safety come first. 

February 22, 2017 - 6:10 a.m.

We dodged a bullet yesterday as the rain wasn't as severe as forecasted.  Dan and Nick spent an hour in the afternoon drilling holes the complete length of our tree line to help release the water standing on the ice.  It wasn't really required yesterday but if we get the 20 mm of rain forecasted for this evening, our path should remain high and dry.  Dan wants to run this weekend but it isn't looking too good.  Nature gave us a few signs yesterday that we are in for an early spring.  There was a flock of seagulls out by our huts yesterday.  We don't normally start seeing gulls until mid to late March as they tend to know when the water will start to open up.  I also saw a raven carrying twigs so the nest building has begun. Very early, indeed. One good thing...while drilling the holes yesterday, the boys discovered we have anywhere from 3 to 3 1/2 feet of ice in our bay and 2 feet throughout the rest of the path to our huts.  There is one area where they hit 1 1/2 feet but at least they know where it is and can be mindful of it when removing the rest of our huts for the season.

February 21, 2017 - 6:18 a.m.

Well it looks like there will be no avoiding the rain today.  We were rather hoping it would either stay below us or go above us but it's going to hit us.  Going to have a little freezing rain this morning but hopefully if our guests arrive in a timely matter, Dan can get them on ice before the actual rain hits.  Very hard on equipment and not good for the ice conditions if there are any pressure cracks in the area as the rain combine s with mild temps can cause them to open.  A truck went through at Deep Water Point yesterday due to the weakening of a crack during this thaw.  People really need to be cautious out there over the next few days.  Not dooming and glooming just trying to keep people safe.  Thankfully Dan removed our two biggest huts yesterday as the conditions were perfect.  It was a beautiful day yesterday with the sun shining for most of it and temperatures hovering around zero.  It didn't get much below zero overnight either.   Colder temps aren't due until Thursday evening so just need to get through the next couple of days.

February 20, 2017 - 5:34 a.m.

Another successful fishing day yesterday.  One group was catching a lot of walleye but practiced catch and release although they said they did get a few keepers.  Big pike caught also which helped the perch come back.  All in all, I think a pretty good day for our guests.  The weather cooperated and we only had a spittle of precipitation but they are changing the forecast nearly every hour it seems.  Temperatures have remained mild and it got slushy again as the day progressed so the machines really had to work but everything was fine.  Went to -8 overnight so fairly safe to say the conditions have tightened up again.  Have to see how the rest of the week pans out with the rain in the forecast.  I've cleaning to do today but also have some help coming in as we have a group arriving tomorrow morning.  Dan is going to take a hut off today and hopefully another tomorrow.  We'll see how things go.

February 19, 2017 - 6:05 a.m.

Our machines were working pretty hard yesterday.  It reached a high of +8 and was just a gorgeous day with the sun beating down.  Everything turned to slush pretty quickly so was difficult pulling.  Had both people movers going and could only pull no more then 8 people at a time.  Our cottage and house decks all melted completely, some of the snow fell off the roofs and some areas of the road and driveways started to "open" up (meaning dirt and gravel now exposed).  Going to be an ugly mess when all the vehicles leave tomorrow because all the highway sand/salt/dirt/gravel stuck in the tire hubs has fallen off.  Lol.  Lots of people outside and walking on the lake yesterday.  Fishing was decent as well.  Lots of perch and walleye, including keepers.  There is a group from the Toronto area with huge expectations as they had about 5 pails a piece and were expecting to fill them yesterday.  Seriously?  I didn't think "meat" fishermen still existed.  Maybe someone in the Yukon could cater to them but I don't understand people's thinking sometimes.  Short of using a gill net, ain't gonna happen.  Anywhere.

UPDATE:  Dan just came off the ice.  Things firmed up nicely overnight, all the "moats" around the huts are gone.  Nick just came in briefly this morning to help get our guests on the ice and one of our machines is acting up so he's using "the beast" today, which we haven't used for a few years.  Fingers crossed the conditions hold and we can get through today.  Don't know any machine(s) that are made for all the conditions we experience in our climate.

February 18, 2017 - 6:16 a.m.

Dan's on the ice already making sure the heat is still on in the huts as he had partial tanks of propane he wanted to use overnight so is thinking they need changing this morning.  I'm waiting on Nick to come in as the first run is at 6:30 so I need to distribute the bait.  The temperatures only went to -5 overnight but everything is still fairly firm thanks to the cold weather the night before last.  Suppose to hit +7 and be sunny today so may have to deal with slushy conditions for a few days.  It's the rain that causes problems and they keep changing the forecast so at this point still not sure if we'll be able to run next week.  This thaw is due to stick around for a good 5 days but hopefully it will get colder then anticipated during the evening hours to firm everything back up.  Sledders will be running into some slush on the lake, for sure.  At least we keep our path to the huts as firm as possible.  We're hearing the fishing has picked back up so we'll know later today.  Certainly hoping that's the case and that the predator fish we had hanging around last weekend have gone elsewhere to feed.  There were quite a few pike caught though so maybe the perch will be feeding again.

February 17, 2017 - 6:56 a.m.

Wow, the long term forecast is sure promising for a nice mild weekend.  Temperatures dropped to -25 overnight and rising to -3 today.  Usually when it starts to fluctuate that drastically, a change of season is on the way.  I know we'll be in for another blast or two of winter but for the most part, I think the worse is behind us.  Lots of sun coming our way also which has sadly been lacking this winter.  There is so much snow though, this could create problems for ice fishing as well as any sledders venturing this way.  Can't imagine how difficult is has been for the wild animals.  Food will be next to non-existent and travelling extremely difficult.  I have a trench all around my cedar trees by the house as I've had to keep digging a path in order to feed the birds.  The storage box I have to hold the feed is buried to the lid which I also have to keep digging out.  This thaw coming is definitely going to make a mess of country roads.

February 16, 2017 - 7:00 a.m.

Well my day certainly didn't turn out as anticipated yesterday but then they never do.  We received another 6 inches of snow again yesterday and quite frankly, I'm sick of it.  Shovelling and snow plowing needs to become a distant memory now.  We are actually running out of places to put the snow and I'm thinking we had better hope for a slow thaw.  The temps dipped to -17 here overnight but a warming trend is on its way.  Could reach as high as +5 this weekend.  Nick is coming in today to help Dan on the ice.  They need to move, jack and bank shacks or they'll all have a moat around them once the heat goes on this weekend.  Chances are, with the enormous amount of snow, they will have anyhow but Dan does what he can.  I'm cleaning today and tomorrow and then all our guests arrive tomorrow night.  No one is departing until Monday and we have another big group arriving on Tuesday so I'll be scrambling.  Sorry I can't report on the fishing but hoping the pressure starts to stabilize as the front comes in.  Should be a beautiful weekend.

February 15, 2017 - 6:00 a.m.

Hope everyone had a special Valentine's Day yesterday.  Dan and I?  We slept.  Lol.  Must be a sign of us getting old.  We were both just pooped so decided our gift to each other was to take a day to ourselves and do absolutely nothing and that's just what we did.  Both of us were seriously wiped out.  Back to the grind today.  I've 3 cottages to clean between now and Friday and I also need to zip into Callander today for blood work.  The phone has been ringing off the hook for people looking to book this weekend since it's Family Day next Monday and most people have the day off.  We've been booked up for months so going to be another busy weekend coming up.  The temperatures are extremely mild and there is also rain in the forecast but hopefully that won't materialize.  Went above zero yesterday and only down to -4 overnight with a bit of snow.  The Jubenville sledding group took a trip to Restoule on the trails yesterday and nearly hit a couple of deer.  There is always deer in that area due to the deer yards where they use to feed them (don't know if they are even doing that anymore) so be careful if travelling in that area.  They also saw a dead deer and think they Interrupted something's meal.  Yuck!  I can go my whole life without seeing that.

February 13, 2017 - 6:42 a.m.

I tried sleeping in this morning but my internal clock had other ideas so was up before 6:00.  I woke up to yet another dumping of snow.  I thought it had tapered off before going to bed but it must have started again through the night.  Hard to tell having not gone outside yet just how much we received yesterday but we are definitely going to need a plow and shovel.  There is a warm front headed our way so looks to be a lovely family day weekend coming up.  Above zero temperatures for daytime highs and sunny so am sure there will be a lot of outside fishing holes being drilled.  Our guests yesterday brought home a couple of nice sized pike.  The predators have moved in around our holes and hope they bugger off before next weekend.  Makes for slow fishing otherwise.  I was going to go out myself yesterday but by the time my work was done, so was I.  Our sledders arrived even though they had to drive through some bad weather to get here but I'm sure they are happy they did as the sled conditions are just awesome.  They'll have a great day today if they can find a decent trail, which I'm sure they will.  Dan will be on the plow all morning.  I've the big group to check out today which means laundry to do and a cottage to clean after I get some shovelling done.  All these young lads, take pity on an old woman would you?  Lol.

February 12, 2017 - 5:49 a.m.

Yesterday was a bit of a mad rush in the morning.  I was out and shovelling before anyone was ready to go on the ice.  Nick and Dan ran in the morning and then Dan came back to shore and plowed.  We had a lot of snow to move.  The fishing was so so but again, perch and some keeper walleye.  It has definitely slowed down this week.  We have another snow storm apparently coming through today but the snow gods may smile down on us and keep everything south of us.  I have a few check outs this morning and a quick cottage changeover for some sledders coming in this afternoon while Dan runs our big group who aren't checking out until tomorrow.  Been a very busy season for us.  Makes up for last year I suppose.

February 11, 2017 - 5:25 a.m.

The full moon aka "snow" moon certainly wreaked havoc last night.  We received a good 6" of snow (likely more) overnight.  There was also a partial lunar eclipse as well as a comet so had a triple whammy.  It was so bright last night we could see everything outside and I think quite a few of our guests were up for most of the night.  Lots of lights on even this morning.  The snowplow has already come through and as soon as I finish my coffee I'm going outside to do some shovelling before people start leaving their cottages.  Better to get the snow off the decks before it gets trampled on.  I checked the forecast for today and in a 12 hour period, they are forecasting 4 different wind directions.  The temperatures have risen slowly throughout the night and currently it's -9 going to zero but I'm guessing even warmer.  Some of our guests did rather well fishing yesterday with lots of walleye and perch, others not so much.  I'm thinking the fishing should be pretty good today but not everyone pays attention to their lines so no doubt a lot will be missed.  Have a big group of 18 in this weekend as well as some other groups and think the smaller groups may do better.  I am so glad I went to town for supplies yesterday because they certainly weren't forecasting all this snow.  I had planned on doing some major cooking today but considering I got very little sleep last night will see how it goes. 

February 10, 2017 - 6:07 a.m.

Have to up date my blog quickly this morning as the internet has already been flickering on and off.  Must be hovering around -25 back by the shop where our tower is.  Another cold day yesterday with fishing not so good.  Guests did come home with some perch but nothing seems to be biting well right now.  Hopefully it'll start to pick up today but the pressure is high and still hasn't stabilized.  This was our last really cold night and it's going to warm up considerably for the next few days.  It was gloriously sunny yesterday and quite nice out with temps reaching around -7.  Might get a few flurries today but suppose to be sunny again for most of the day.  I'm hoping to get into town for a few errands today but have some work to do this morning so see how the day progresses.  We're in for one of our busiest weekends this weekend but Nick is coming in to help Dan tomorrow and give him a bit of a break.  He's already asked the guests to have their "boots on the path" at 7:00 this morning as it's too cold for him to stand around outside waiting for them to load.  The man does run a tight ship but that's why our guests like it here :)

February 9, 2017 - 10:02 a.m.

Well it got cold enough to knock out our internet last night.  It was -32 when we got up this morning with a wind chill factor of -38.  Knocked all the humidity out of the air so doesn't feel that cold out.  Sun is shining and it's currently -22 but the full moon never fails to deliver frigid temperatures.  Going to be as cold tonight and not due to warm up until Saturday.  The wind direction is forecasted to be all over the place as is the pressure so unfortunately I think the fishing is going to be less than stellar this weekend.  Not much we can do about it either because our spot has been producing quite well.  Our guests did okay yesterday considering.  Walleye and perch but no more giant Muskie ;)  I've already cleaned a cottage this morning and moving on to the second one right shortly.  Came home to change the laundry and update the blog.  Have a really big group coming in this weekend as well a step other groups so goino to be very busy.  See if Dan and I can fit some relaxation time in later this afternoon.

February 8, 2017 - 6:13 a.m.

We dodged yet another bullet yesterday.  Although we did get some freezing rain and ice pellets, we didn't receive the snow forecasted, which was a blessing.  We've enough snow on shore but most of it has blown off the lake or formed 4 foot snow drifts around the huts.  The wind picked up overnight and switched direction but is due to die down when the sun comes up.  Dan will have to pull in it but should be okay.  Had a bit of excitement out of one of our huts yesterday.  Phil Falcone, after a good half hour of working at it and using only 6 lb test, a hook and a minnow; landed a 50 inch Muskie.  In all the years we've been here, have never seen a Muskie that big come up.  Dan caught a two footer a few years back.  Unfortunately, it wasn't weighed but it was successfully released.  We also heard a 4 foot Sturgeon was landed yesterday as well.  Quite the day and would certainly explain why fishing hasn't been up to par.  Hopefully the Muskie ventured off and fishing will pick up again today.  The pressure is low but hasn't been too steady so we'll see.  Today is another day.

February 7, 2017 - 6:19 a.m.

We had a little more snow come down again yesterday.  Enough that Dan had to plow and I had to shovel after cleaning a couple of cottages.  All our guests made it here safely so that's a good thing.  The fishing was good at first but then dropped off early afternoon so suspect there was a big pike around.  Usually where there's one, there's two.  Hopefully they fed well enough they won't be around today or they at least get caught.  I'm not sure if we are going to get the weather they've been forecasting.  Unless a storm develops today, it looks like everything is going to stay south of us but they are calling for another 10 cm of snow mixed with ice pellets.  Keeping our fingers crossed we don't get much as we have enough snow.  Dan has the huts jacked way up so we should be fine.   Not sure what I'm doing today but definitely have a few things on my agenda I'd like to get done.  One of our guests who arrived yesterday told me he reads my blog everyday so he brought me a bag of bird feed.  How nice is that?  The doves and finches will definitely appreciate it.

February 6, 2017 - 6:06 a.m.

We had some pretty wild weather blow through yesterday.  Very brief but wild none the less.  Dan had just pulled the last of our guests off the ice and finished up his work for the day.  I walked over to a cottage to strip the last of the beds and on my way back to the house with the laundry, the wind and snow just came out of nowhere.  It was sunny two minutes beforehand and in an instant, full on blizzard.  High winds and the snow was heavy and horizontal, covered all our lakeside windows but was all over within 15 minutes.  Definitely a squall but have never seen one that intense.  Dropped the temps 5 degrees in 3 minutes.  Nice blast of cold air for sure.  We ended up getting around 5-6 inches of snow all told yesterday and the temps went to -18 overnight.  Special weather report is still up and we have guests arriving this morning so hopefully everything will stay below us and Dan won't have a problem running.  Rather have snow vs freezing rain like they are calling for down south, don't want to lose power.  Have two cottages to clean this morning so had better get busy.  Stay safe today everyone!

February 5, 2017 - 7:04 a.m.

We are currently getting snow.  Started early last night but considering Dan and I both slept like the dead,  not sure if it continued all night.  We've likely gotten 3" already and calling for up to 15-20" by the time this event is finished come Wednesday.  Tuesday is suppose to be the worst snow day but that could easily change.  The fishing wasn't as good yesterday as Friday so hope it picks up today.  Winds are currently west but shifting to northwest around noon today.  I'm guessing it will be good this morning at the very least.  I've a busy day today with checkouts and laundry.  Have a couple of groups checking in tomorrow so can't be idle.  Dan had Nick raise and bank the huts yesterday in lieu of the snow forecast so everything should be okay on the ice.  I suspect once Dan has finished running this morning he'll be doing some plowing.  Think I've some shovelling to do today as well.  Temps are mild right now at -4 but once the wind veers north, it'll drop the temps as it's due to drop to -18 tonight.

February 4, 2017 - 6:42 a.m.

Yesterday was a good day.  The sun came out for a while on and off for most of the day but it was pretty cold.  Temps started rising overnight and it's currently -8 here and getting warmer.  Dan thinks it'll hit zero today, as do I even though they are only calling for a high of -5.  Also calling for snow to begin later on with the bulk of it coming overnight.  Fishing was really good yesterday and everyone caught enough for a fry so it was a happy camp last night.  We had some guests arrive last night so hoping the good fishing continues today for them as well.  I was busy all day yesterday and my meeting in town went quite well.  Today I have office work this morning but should get everything done to free most of my afternoon up so I can catch my breath.  Nick is in today so Dan should also get a bit of a break.  We are running through the week next week so this is our day to regroup and relax while everyone is on the ice.  Just in case anyone was wondering, the doves and finches are still here which means they definitely wintered here.  God bless them.

February 3, 2017 - 6:29 a.m.

The sun came out for a bit yesterday.  Whoopee!  Suppose to be sunny today as well so let's hope so.  High of -10 today which is a bit cooler then it has been this week.  Dan had to do some work on ice in the afternoon so decided to go out a little early and drop a line.  Ended up catching enough perch for me to cook us a beautiful pan fried dinner.  There was even enough perch to freeze for another dinner.  Quite a few 11-13 inchers.  I worked in the house and not quite sure what I did but was busy until around 3:00.  Some of our weekend guests checked in last night so running this morning.  I've a few "chores" to get done and then I have a meeting in town at 1:00.  Going to be a busy weekend and think the fishing should be good.

February 2, 2017 - 9:21 a.m.

Happy Groundhog Day!  Let's hope the little bugger says early spring!  Lol.  Sorry I'm late this morning but our internet was out until Dan reset it a few minutes ago.  Had a fairly busy day yesterday, enough to keep me busy for most of it.  Dan went fishing around 2:30 in the afternoon and I would have loved to join him but until I get this wrist operated on, not gonna happen.  Our guests joined him and they ended up doing well enough to have a nice little fry.  Lots of good sized perch and one keeper walleye.  This was a shack that was just moved this week so it's been tested.  If nothing gets caught there this weekend, I'd have to say it's all about technique.  Guests start arriving today and I have some work to do so better get at it.  Calling for lots of snow in the long term but temps will be pleasant enough.

February 1, 2017 - 7:36 a.m.

Had quite the day yesterday.  Stacie came in to clean cottages for me while I did mounds of laundry and worked on cleaning the house.  About 1:00 in the afternoon I got hit with something.  I think the 100 day virus I had right after Christmas came back with a vengeance.  I had a fever which thankfully broke overnight but not before making me feel like my bones were on fire.  I couldn't take anything for it due to interactions with my other medication but feel much better today.  Going to take it easy today and just do some light work.  Dan and I were suppose to go fishing today with the Jubenville boys but don't know that I will be.  Dan is for sure.  First time in 2 years either of us will have fished.  I do need to zip down to Young's and get our fishing licenses renewed.  I'm the ice fisherman so hoping they catch some dinner.  Haven't heard how the fishing has been with this cold snap so will find out tonight.  Temperatures are staying below zero and will continue through the weekend.  Lots of snow coming our way by the looks of things also.

January 31, 2017 - 7:01 a.m.

Was an okay day yesterday.  I didn't get as much accomplished as I wanted but that's okay.  Sometimes a person needs to take a little time for themselves.  I finished off the cottage laundry and have some help coming in this morning.  Dan had to take his Skandic in for some work.  The headlight, which apparently is common on his particular machine, has been giving him grief since the day we bought it.  Sometimes the lights work, sometimes they don't so very intermittent.  He's had it in to the shop several times but the fix was always only temporary.  He and Jim actually cut the electrical cover to see once and for all what was going on.  Turns out the wires in the harness were too short so everytime he turned the steering it was rubbing to the point there was burning due to the friction.  It's fixed now but a bad design, for sure.  Dan wants to go fishing this afternoon but I'm thinking tomorrow would be a better day.  The winds are still currently coming out of the east (so fishing's the least) but they are suppose to veer west overnight.  See what the day brings.  Temps dropped to -20 overnight but going to -5 today with snow overnight. 

January 30, 2017 -7:19 a.m.

We finally have the cold weather we've been wanting.  It dropped to -21 in the Bay last night and currently registering -18 here.  Was sunny for a good part of the day yesterday so although most of my work was inside, I stood with my face to the sun when I could.  Lovely.  Suppose to be sunny a little later today as well.  I've surely missed it.  This has definitely been the gloomiest January I can ever remember.  Did lots of work yesterday and managed to get everything on my agenda finished.  Dan was still feeling a little under the weather so did what absolutely needed to be done and then took it easy.  Our sledders arrived around 3:00ish, just as I finished cleaning the cottage.  I had to get angry with someone yesterday though.  We have signs clearly listing our property as private but someone obviously didn't think that applied to them.  I was just going outside when a couple in a truck decided they were going to use our property for lake access.  Nope.  I hollered, rather loudly, just as they were driving on our beach and most likely would have followed our path/treeline as long as needed to get where they were going.  That would have completely ruined our path for the rest of the season or at least until we had a huge dumping of snow.  Just asking people today to have some common sense (and courtesy).  If it says no tresspassing or private property, then don't go there.  Use public access please.

January 29, 2017 - 6:05 a.m.

Was never so happy to see a day end as I was yesterday.  It was busiest for Nick as he came in to help Dan.  Good thing he did as Dan had a bit of a medical emergency.  He had mixed bleach and toilet bowl cleaner (with muratic acid in it) in a nap sprayer and after using it, when Dan opened the lid, smoke rose up, spilled on him but also got him full faced which was inhaled.  He wouldn't let me call an ambulance or take him to the hospital, which should have been done.  He basically was poisoned and couldn't breathe.  It started getting better after a few hours but I think it'll be a good couple of days before his lungs are working more efficiently.  Was pretty scary.  Hopefully he'll get outside for a bit today, be able to breathe deep and get some of that clean Northern air in his lungs.  Yes, the cold front finally arrived and dipped the temps to -14 overnight.  It's going to stay colder for quite a while according to the forecast.  Fishing dropped off but once the pressure stabilizes, the fish will start biting again.  We don't have any fishermen in this week but do have some snowmobilers.  Hopefully they can find some decent riding as we did get a little snow yesterday.  Likely about 2" of the good stuff.  I'm checking everyone out and in today, have a cottage to clean and all the cottage laundry to do as my helper has had a family emergency and can only come in tomorrow.  Going to be a busy day for me and I'm running on very little sleep as someone called here at 1:35 this morning and woke me up.  Thank you very much.  Was still awake at 2:30, finally fell asleep and then the cats had me up at 5:00.  Such is life.

January 28, 2017 - 6:32 a.m.

This morning we have an extremely low pressure as well as a west wind.  You don't catch a fish today, you don't know how.  Get your fishing in this morning folks as I think things are going to change this afternoon.  Currently -3 and going to stay steady then slowly drop in temps as the wind shifts.  All this snow they were forecasting for us never materialized.  The snowmobile trails up here are badly in need of grooming but it hasn't been cold enough.  They've even closed some.  Hopefully with the cold front, they'll be able to get out and do some grooming.  We could also use some more snow on the lake.  Our guests did pretty good yesterday.  At least those who were actually paying attention to their lines :)  I was in the office for the day yesterday and have the morning out there today.  Hoping to possibly do fishing tomorrow afternoon but will have to see how it goes.  We have quite a bit of work on shore before we can play.

January 27, 2017 - 6:20 a.m.

And so another weekend begins.  We have a full house and one group hasn't even arrived yet.  One group showed up with more people then they booked for but that's okay if a few of them don't mind snuggling up or sleeping on a couch.  The winds are blowing WSW at 17 km making the wind chill -12 although it's only recording -4.  That should get rid of any slush that was remaining from our extended thaw.  We didn't get any snow overnight as forecasted and doesn't look like we're going to get much of it today either.  Have never seen it stay this mild for such a long time.  Dan just drove off the ice and is ready for his first 6:30 run.  Hope the fish are biting today because if the winds shift to the north as forecasted, it's going to slow things right down.

January 26, 2017 - 7:10 a.m.

Dan and I had a pretty uneventful day yesterday.  He checked on the huts first thing in the morning and everything is a-ok.  Still a few slushy spots close to shore but nothing to worry about.  We then headed into town and I dropped my car off for servicing.  Have to say, Northern Honda has a fantastic service department.  Best I've ever dealt with at any rate.  Kudos to Dave Barber.  You run a tight ship and I love the new location.  You done good.  After running some errands, we came home, did a few more things and then vegged for the rest of the day.  I have another appointment later this morning and have some work to do prior to heading to town but should be home by 2:00 this afternoon, just in time to start checking in our weekend guests.  Dan and Nick are moving huts today but not very far.  We have them on "ground zero" right now but just want to move them a tad to hopefully get in to a little more perch.  The temperatures still aren't getting as cold as we'd like to see.  The winds will be out of the west today and tomorrow so fishing should be good.  Winds are due however to shift to the northwest overnight Friday so see what happens.  Cold is due to arrive on Saturday as well.  We could certainly use some.  We received a little snow yesterday but not much.  Calling for snow overnight so hopefully it'll be the amount we need.

January 25, 2017 - 7:01 a.m.

It didn't turn out to be as great a day as anticipated for me yesterday.  Suffice it to say technology can be your friend when it's working properly.  Dan was on the ice for part of the day.  The slush on our path had firmed up with only one spot close to shore still slushy but suspect that'll be nice and firm by the weekend.  The temperatures are dropping over the next few days but the true cold front isn't coming in until Saturday when the winds switch to the north.  I suspect the fishing will be better on Friday then Saturday if the forecast stays true.  It's currently -4 in the Bay but recording -8 with the wind chill.  Might hit -15 by the weekend which would be nice.  I had a lot of calls yesterday on ice conditions.  People have been hearing of unsafe conditions on Lake Nipissing.  I can't speak for other areas but we're good here.  We wouldn't be taking you on the ice if it wasn't safe.  Best to check with the operator you are booked into.  Dan and I are heading into town this morning as we have a few errands to run and thought we might have some lunch somewhere.  Just nice to get out and about and see what the rest of the world is doing.

January 24, 2017 - 7:30 a.m.

Oops, slept in this morning and no apologies forthcoming.  Dan is still in bed and I'm leaving him there until he's good and ready to get up.  That guy has been working hard since the beginning of the season.  Dan had his first full day off in nearly 4 weeks so well deserved but he had a major case of the lazies yesterday.  He did venture out to check on the path and huts though.  He came across slush from our shoreline until nearly halfway through our bay but after that, the lake was high, dry and good conditions.  No water around the huts and the temps went below zero overnight.  We are in for some snow today as the weather is coming from the east but remains to be seen just how much.  We can certainly use some on the lake but was hoping for a longer period of cold first.  Hopefully the shush firmed up overnight.  It is going to get progressively colder as the week progresses but honestly I think the -20 temps are done for the season.  Certainly explains why the doves and finches decided to winter here which is something we've never seen before.  Still can't believe that.  I've some cleaning help coming in today and I will be in the office all day.  I'll be able to relax once my books are done and off my plate.

January 23, 2017 - 6:31 a.m.

Had a busy day yesterday but managed to get everything accomplished that I wanted to.  Dan had work to do in the morning but took the afternoon off.  He was hoping to get some sleep but the phone wouldn't leave him alone.  The temps didn't get much below zero overnight and it really needs to.  Our path was covered in water closer to shore as Moose Creek has started to flow.  Will be fine once it freezes but need the weather to cooperate with us.  Today is office work day for me.  Time for 4th quarter and year end books.  

January 22, 2017 - 8:21 a.m.

I'm late this morning but not my fault.  I actually turned the bedroom light off at 8:50 last night and slept through until 5:20 this morning which is an anomaly for me.  Must have been tired.  I could have gotten so much more accomplished this morning had our internet been working.  I believe Dan is going to install our new router sometime today but see if he feels up to it a little later.  I've already cleaned the house and stripped a cottage of the laundry currently in the machine but only after checking out a couple of groups.  The gods were shining on us yesterday as we were able to get everyone off the ice last night with no incidences.  Good thing we called off running today though as the temps never did get below freezing this weekend and now the path, even though it was drilled, has started to really deteriorate.  There are puddles all over the property and it's really starting to be a soupy slushy mess.  Staying above zero again today and only down to -1 (if it makes it) overnight.  Hopefully we will get the -6 forecast tomorrow night.  Really need some cold weather here folks.  On a good note though we had some good sized keepers on the ice yesterday so people were able to have a fry.  We seem to be more in a pickerel hole than perch this year so Dan and Nick are moving the huts on Thursday (weather permitting) so we get into more perch.

January 21, 2017 - 6:00 a.m.

So far, so good.  Has been a little stressful for me with this never ending thaw we've been experiencing.  Not as stressful as it is on Dan I'm sure but being on shore and not knowing what's happening on ice, I think is worse.  That said, the path has been holding together though deteriorating and it doesn't look like we've lost any ice.  It think our saving grace through this thaw is the fact we've had no sunshine.  We had a little excitement last night right at dusk.  Dan went out to open the last hut before starting his end of day runs back to shore and one of our guests had a bit of an emergency.  Seems when he yanked too hard on his line, the hook kicked back and embedded itself in his eyelid.  I called an ambulance as none of the group could drink after sipping on the ice all day and I figured the paramedics would be able to remove and treat it on shore.  Nope.  They couldn't tell where the barb was and so he'd require a local anesthetic as well as antibiotics for infection.  So off he went.  Dan wasn't able to get the hut open for this morning's run so just got back from doing that.  Things are holding together so we just need to get through today and are then shutting the huts down until next Thursday.  We had a bit of rain overnight and they are calling for rain today and tomorrow.  It didn't get below zero last night but calling for -4 tomorrow night.  Certainty hope this is isn't the way it's going to be for the rest of the winter...although it does make for beautiful fishing outside ;)

January 20, 2017 - 6:33 a.m.

Another above seasonal day yesterday.  The tin roofs started to shed the snow build up last night.  Could hear the crash, boom, bang every time the snow slid off the roof around our house so will need to get rid of it off the decks before it has a chance to freeze.  Even with this thaw there is no chance of getting the Christmas lights put away as they are frozen in the ground by maybe some of the other decorations.  The path started to deteriorate yesterday afternoon so Dan had to use the studded sled for traction.  It doesn't have as much power as our other one so he may end up having to do more trips than he'd like this weekend.  We only run today and tomorrow and then that's it until next Thursday.  We rescheduled our mid weeks and there is no below temps in the forecast until Sunday night.  So Sunday will make sure the huts are jacked, high and dry and then let Mother Nature do her magic, firm everything back up and we should be good to go for next weekend.  Lord I do hate these thaws but have never seen one quite this drastic or for so long.  On a good note, the fish have been very active and hitting fairly hard.

January 19, 2017 - 6:43 a.m.

The weather forecast is looking a tad better since they changed it this morning.  The daytime temperatures aren't suppose to get nearly as high as originally forecasted and it's  suppose to go below zero every night so we should be okay to get through the weekend.  Dan is still contemplating drilling holes along our path to give the water a detour route so it doesn't sit on top of it.  They are calling for a low percentage of precipitation over the weekend so that is another thing in our favour.  Hoping the forecast stays as it is or gets even better.  So far our conditions are holding.  One of our guests (Rick Connor) caught a beautiful 8.3 lb, 29" hog walleye yesterday.  He actually felt bad as he wanted to release her but too much damage was done so I'm guessing they had a decent fry last night.  Fishing was really good yesterday and should stay that way with all this mild weather.

January 18, 2017 - 6:32 a.m.

Our current guests did really well yesterday.  Said they had non stop action from the time Dan dropped them off.  The perch were slow this past weekend and a few pike were caught so maybe that was the problem.  At any rate, they are back with a vengeance.  Apparently when the walleye hit last night though, they hit hard.  I'm pretty sure the fishing will be good while this warm front is in.  Not sure if we'll be able to run though.  At this point Dan is saying he can't run Sunday so I'm contacting customers to see if they're able to come in early Friday.  It's really not looking good for the long term.  I don't think I've ever seen it stay this mild for this long.  We have lots of ice but we have to deal with Moose Creek flowing as well as path deteriorations.  Not to mention no banking.  I'm so happy I didn't take any booking requests next mid-week because we would have had to cancel them.  I'm heading to town today either before or after our guests arrive this morning.  Dan will be busy on ice today.

**Side note:  If anyone from Murray Oates group is reading this, could you please contact me this morning.  1-866-535-0518

January 17, 2017 - 6:30 a.m.

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  Sun was shining and temps went above zero.  Felt like the end of March and will remain that way for the rest of the week.  Dan is keeping his eye on the conditions.  He actually has to get a hut ready this morning for arriving guests so will know more later this morning but thinks the -8 temps overnight likely kept everything firm.  We've two more groups arriving tomorrow but Dan doesn't seem too concerned about the mid weeks.  He's concerned about the weekend, Sunday in particular.  We are making a decision on whether we'll be able to run this weekend tomorrow morning but this thaw and the above zero temps aren't changing like we'd hoped.  We didn't take any mid-weeks next week, which was a good call as the cold weather isn't returning until later next week.  It certainly isn't like it use to be when you could rely on cold weather and good ice for the duration of the season.

 

January 16, 2017 - 7:52 a.m.

The past cold snap sure affected the fishing, which seemed to drop off drastically.  However, it did start to pick back up for the evening fish last night.  Now the warm front is coming in and the fishing will be excellent once again but will start to cause problems on the lake.  Due to the length of the thaw we are a little concerned.  Our conditions are pristine at the moment and there is lots of ice on the lake but due to tributaries which will begin to flow, there are bound to be problems.  Please check with your operators for their conditions and please, for your safety, try to use only tracked vehicles when venturing out.

January 15, 2017 - 6:03 a.m.

The weather warmed up yesterday but it took most of the day to do it.  The high pressure system is slow moving but due to move out within the next day or two.  It is dropping but very slowly.  The fishing was just okay yesterday with some groups doing better than others.  Hoping it's better for the last group we have today.  Fishing was slow everywhere on the lake yesterday if it's any consolation.  There were some major mishaps this weekend around South Bay way.  Their conditions this year seem to be what we were dealing with last year.  Nuisance pressure cracks, flowing water, etc. because there were at least 3 trucks that we heard of which got caught on cracks.  One truck completely sunk, another partly submerged and a third which was able to be retrieved.  Be very careful if venturing in that area folks. The long term forecast has all the operators on the lake concerned.  With it being above zero for as long as forecasted, this can only spell trouble.  Some operators on other areas of the lake have already opted to cancel the upcoming week/weekends and pull their huts completely off the lake.  We are in good shape (for a change and knock on wood) at the moment.  Our usual grief giving pressure crack hasn't formed this year and I think it's because the pressure was taken off the lake elsewhere (South Bay) so hopefully it'll be remain that way for the rest of the season.  We currently have a good 18"-20" of ice so guess we will have to see what happens in the next few days.

January 14, 2017 - 6:11 a.m.

Wow, did it get cold last night.  Could feel it coming in the air all day yesterday.  Bottomed out at -28 but currently sitting at -18.  We are full up this weekend, all regulars and a great group of people.  Those that fished yesterday said the fishing was okay and they did alright but I think the current front slowed the fishing down compared to the past week.  It'll pick up again later today as the winds are shifting from north to south and an extreme warm front is on the way.  The long term forecast is being bothersome as the high temps for a long duration isn't good for the lake but we'll deal with whatever comes our way.  Suppose to reach -6 this afternoon so should be a pleasant day for fishing.

January 13, 2017 - 6:27 a.m.

I stand corrected.  We DID need a plow yesterday morning.  And how.  Hard to tell standing inside the house looking out, especially when it was still dark out.  Once the sun came up and I went outside to shovel, we had received a lot more snow than originally thought.  Not only more but much heavier.  Did a number on my back shovelling out the cottages but put the Dr. Ho on last night and it did the trick.  I had to clean and get bait yesterday as well while Dan and Nick were on ice dealing with sinking shacks.  Not sinking more like rising water so they had to jack them up and rebank them which took a good 5 hours between the two of them.  And this was after Dan did the plowing.  It can stop snowing anytime but it is winter so comes with the territory.  Fishing was still good yesterday so see what this morning brings.  Maureen is coming in today to clean what I didn't get done yesterday as I need to zip into town.  We've been having problems with our internet ever since the windstorm kept flicking our power on and off so think we need a new router.  Last time we had to replace it the same conditions applied.  Internet is very sporadic at best right now.  We had some grosbeaks and finches turn up yesterday and it looks like the doves are definitively wintering here.  Can't believe that.  Definitely going to be more mild than cold here this year, for sure.

January 12, 2017 - 6:03 a.m.

Yesterday turned out to be a mixed bag of precipitation.  Once the wind died down Dan was able to get everyone out but was just about an hour or so later than usual.  Our washroom was fine, mainly due to the contents being frozen.  Lol.  Dan did end up having to rebank the huts before taking our guests out though.  They did very well again yesterday as the winds remained west or south west.  We received some rain, freezing rain and snow through the late afternoon and evening hours.  The snow plow just went by but think we could have foregone a plow this morning as we needed the snow cover but according to the forecast, we're in for more snow today.  It's going to get cold for the weekend, as it usually does during a full moon but then things are due to warm up next week.  Calling for the January thaw.  Could most definitely do without that.  Whatever ever happened to the reliable -10 temperatures?  Goes from -25 to -1 these days.  Hearing some mumblings from South Bay way that the pressure crack is causing some problems.  We're thinking that crack is what is relieving the lake pressure which is similar to what we had to deal with last year when the crack formed on our part of the lake.  I wish all the operator's dealing with it good luck, stay safe.

January 11, 2017 -5:48 a.m.

UPDATE:  Dan hasn't run yet this morning.  He went out to check on the huts and had a very difficult time staying on the sled which was being blown sideways so no way he was using the peoplemover.  He will once the wind dies down a tad more though.  Also discovered our on ice washroom was blown over and moved a good 20'.  Lovely.  It's a port-a-john so think about that one for a minute.  Sucks to be Dan today.  The property is also a mess with debris everywhere.  The wind that woke us up must have been way more brutal than we thought.

Holy wind batman!  The snow started yesterday later then anticipated which was around 4:00 in the afternoon.  Sure, we had some light flurries throughout the day but nothing major.  Of course going by the forecast all the school buses were cancelled but didn't need to be.  Today is another story.  After the heavy snow came the freezing rain.  North Bay lost power last night around 10:00 and ours was flickering but didn't actually go out until 3:45 this morning when the wind came in.  It was the wind that woke me up.  Just hammered us.  Dan woke up because his sleep machine quit working.  We didn't lose power for long though and North Bay's has been restored.  It's currently gusting to 70 km/hr but starting to die down.  It's still going to be fairly windy today but tolerable.  Dan is heading out shortly to see what the conditions are on the lake before he pulls anyone.  At least with the freezing rain, it's packed down the snow so there shouldn't be any white outs.  The fishing wasn't as good yesterday as the day before, likely due to a pressure change with the storm but it'll either be really good today or really bad.  The winds are shifting to the west but the pressure is really high at 103 kpa so I'm guessing it's not going to be great.

January 10, 2017 - 6:03 a.m.

Get the shovels out people.  Snowfall warning in effect for today.  Could get another 20 cm which I'm really hoping not.  We received another inch or two yesterday plus what we had on the weekend.  It's certainly weighing the huts down but at least we have about 14" of ice now.  Warm front isn't fully in yet as it's currently -8 in North Bay and suppose to go above zero overnight tonight.  Just a brief warming trend but I'm sure we'll get a bit of a thaw.  The fish were on fire yesterday.  The morning bite was by far the best and our guests couldn't even keep up with their lines.  They managed to catch a couple of keepers so that's a good thing.  From what I'm hearing, just tons of 16-17" being caught this year so the slotline is working.  The perch are definitely on as they tend to come on a little later at our hole but didn't take long for them to show up this year.  Good eating.

January 9, 2017 - 8:07 a.m.

My goodness were they slaying the fish this weekend.  Any amount of pickerel were caught, most in the 16"-17" but managed to keep a few.  Some massive ling and whitefish, pike and perch.  Fishing has been excellent which really surprises me considering the cold snap we've been experiencing.  It's a bit nicer today but the warm winds didn't come in until after it dropped to a bitter cold with temps around the -30 mark.  Everything e we opened a door, the steam just poured in.  It's currently -10 with a southerly wind so fishing, if the legends ring true should be phenomenal (winds from the south puts the bait in their mouth).  We had an extremely busy day yesterday and I'm pooped today but have a couple of cottages to clean. Dan has already taken our Sunday check-ins on ice and is getting huts ready for today and tomorrow's guests.  Hopefully they'll all do really well and bring some fish home for dinner.

January 8, 2017 - 6:35 a.m.

Was a busy day yesterday.  Tons of fish being caught, lots of walleye, a few keepers so everyone is happy.  Our spot is sure producing this year.  It got a lot warmer than forecasted so actually was too bad out with a high of -9.  Got cold again overnight at -18 which is actually warmer than forecasted also.  I think the extreme cold may be done for a while but it's still going to stay well below freezing.  I've a very busy day today with check outs, cleaning, clean ins so I'd better get at it.

January 7, 2017 - 6:10 a.m.

Dan is currently on the ice making sure everything is good to go this morning.  Certainly no shortage of cold and I don't envy him at all.  Thankfully he has a thick skin.  It never warmed up yesterday and I think there are cold pockets of air all over the place because it's saying -18 in North Bay (higher elevation), -21 on the lakeside of our house and -25 on the land side of our house  whatever the case, it's fricking cold.  Open the door and the steam rushes in.  We've definitely been making some ice.  The fishing has been really good regardless of the temps or air pressure, which has been relatively high.  Lots of walleye being caught in the 16"-17.5" range.  Nice sized pike and of course perch.  Dan was able to get on his usual spot this year so at least that's something.  I've work to do today back in the shop/office and Dan needs to zip to town for parts.  He's been having a hard time getting the hut doors open in the morning so is replacing all the handles.  Called yesterday to have them all keyed the same so he doesn't need to fart around in the mornings looking for the right keys.  Nick is coming in to help today so he'll be taking over the bait runs until Dan gets home.  He's also going to stud up our one snow machine, which we've never done.  Should help with the traction as they had a hard time getting the big huts on ice.  I wish I could drive a sled and fish these days because I would love a nice fresh dinner but hopefully I'll be back to normal next year.

January 6, 2017 - 9:48 a.m.

Little late today folks as it just warmed up enough to get our internet back.  Peaked out at -29 overnight and we made another 2" of ice.  The pressure cracks have formed but don't think they are going to be nearly as hazardous as they were last year.  About time we caught a break!  The fishing was pretty good yesterday considering how cold it was and the rising pressure.  They were biting again this morning when Dan left the ice so see how things go.  I know our group yesterday caught quite a few walleye but they were all 16".  Hopefully some keepers are around today.  Good sized perch so they'll be having a fry.

January 5, 2017 - 5:50 a.m.

So it begins...it's officially our first day of the ice fishing season.  Dan will be on ice first thing this morning drilling holes for the first of our guests who are set to fish this afternoon.  The first group is always the most difficult as there are variables at play but hopefully everything will go off without a hitch and it'll be a great weekend.  The weather has certainly changed in the past 12 hours.  Was pretty nice yesterday on shore, with mild temps and a few little breaks of sunshine but Dan said it was windy on the lake.  We watched the band of cold air and snow come down the lake yesterday and it began to blow around 4:00 yesterday afternoon.  Was nasty for a good few hours with white out conditions and blowing snow.  The temps dropped from -3 to the current -18.  Going to -13 today and the sun may make an appearance.  Looks like Dan will have decent conditions for pulling but will be chilly.  Can't report on the fishing until likely Saturday after we've had a full day but our friend Craig put his hut near us and he made out pretty good.  I would just like to remind everyone to please handle caught fish with care, especially when you intend to release.  Try to avoid handling too much, avoid touching the gill area and don't keep above the surface longer then absolutely necessary.  You'll want to give the fish the best possible chance to survive.  Tight lines everyone!!

January 4, 2017 - 7:18 a.m.

We're getting yet another round of snow right now.  None of the freezing rain materialized on the south shore, at least very little.  Dan ran into some on the lake yesterday but not much inland, thankfully.  The snow overnight is enough to make shovelling an agenda item for today though.  Getting tired of too much snow, too little sunshine.  Dan will be checking the huts today to make sure they are still banked well to withstand the winds coming our way later today.  Was very mild and melting yesterday but the cold front coming in will likely be a big blast of artic air dropping temps drastically overnight.  We need some cold weather for sure, especially for the huts to stay high and dry this weekend.  I've help in today to get the final cottage cleaning done.  Come tomorrow, we'll be in the thick of things until the end of the season.  God willing, we'll have a good one with little to no problems.

January 3, 2017 - 7:35 a.m.

So far so good.  No freezing rain as of yet but we did get a couple of inches of snow overnight.  The temperatures were above zero yesterday, the sun was shining and it felt like a wonderful spring day in March. Dan and Nick had a long day.  They started at 9:00 and worked diligently all day but managed to have all the huts set up on ice by 5:00.  They had a bit of a problem with the very first hut getting stuck in the middle of Greening Bay due to a lack of grip but after that, things went pretty smoothly.  The long term forecast looks great after tomorrow when the cold weather return snow and stays that way for quite some time.  Would like to see at least a few more inches of ice just in case we have a few more thaws, which are inevitable.  

January 2, 2017 - 7:54 a.m.

We had a busy day yesterday as we're getting geared up to go.  Dan had to plow the property as we've no shortage of snow this winter (as I predicted just from watching the squirrels lol).  Then he turned the heat on in the cottages to warm them up before turning the water on for the season.  After that he ran our path for most of the afternoon.  Needed to pack it down as best he can.  Considering all the snow we've received to date, he said there isn't much out on the main body of Lake Nip