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February 26, 2020 - 6:51 a.m.

We were teased by Mother Nature with a few gorgeous days promising the coming of spring.  Sigh.  Back to normal today.  They are calling for significant snow starting later today, throughout the evening into tomorrow.  Possibly 30 cm but I’m hoping it stays below us and we only get a sprinkling.  One can hope.  I really don’t feel like shovelling anymore and am pretty sure Dan would like to leave the snowplow right where it sits.  We had a lot of melt over the past few days and all the banks and mounds have compressed.  The winds are coming out of the north and will be blowing for the next few days.  Again, hopefully not as severe as forecasted.  Our guests are due to arrive tomorrow evening and we’ll have another packed house so with any luck, the conditions won’t be too bad for Dan hauling everyone.  I have an appointment in Mattawa today but should be home before the weather moves in.  Overall it’s been a pretty decent winter so what’s one more storm?

February 25, 2020 - 6:44 a.m.

It was a rather long day yesterday but so worth it.  I did my town run and by the time I got everything put away and sat down it was about 2:00 and then Dan suggested we go fishing around 3:30, which we did.  Between Dan, Mike and I we caught around 20 walleye including a couple of keepers which became our dinner.  Smack, smack.  Today is another working day but at least we were able to sleep in an extra hour today.  Gato spent the entire evening sleeping on his blanket by the backdoor because it didn’t get nearly as cold as forecasted.  It was sunny, mild and beautiful yesterday with mixed temperature readings.  Apparently it was +6 in town and +3 by the lake.  Whatever the temperature, I didn’t need my coat when sitting in the lawn chair on the lake soaking up the rays.  I got my first sun burn on my face so nice to see some colour.  Lori was in yesterday to clean and Karen is coming in today.  I’ve things to keep me busy and they are calling for quite a bit of snow over the next couple of days.  I washed my vehicle when in town yesterday, not that you’d notice as it was covered in road salt spray by the time I got home, so the snow will hopefully help remove the residual.  

February 24, 2020 - 5:58 a.m.

What an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday!  It was well above zero and I’m guessing it did hit the +5 degree mark.  The sun was shining and it was definitely warm enough to feel it’s strength.  It was just beautiful.  Unfortunately, by the time I got everyone checked out and the cottage laundry finished, it was too late for me to go fishing but I did enjoy some time outdoors even if worked related.  There will be plenty more days like that in the not to distant future.  We have guests in tomorrow so Lori is coming in today to clean and I’m zipping into town, finally.  It’s going to be another great day but not quite as warm.  The cold front is due to arrive later tonight to bring conditions back to normal.  There are some -15 degree temperatures in the long term forecast for the upcoming week as the winds will shift from the south to the north but for the most part, it’s going to stay fairly mild.  Might make the fishing drop off but I believe they are starting to head into more shallow water as things are beginning to thaw.  That means the tributaries are providing the oxygen the fish like.  Yep, I do believe we may be in for an early spring this year.

February 23, 2020 - 6:33 a.m.

It was a great day yesterday!  Sun was shining in the morning but clouds moved in later on.  The winds weren’t as bad as forecasted but it did get a tad windy in the afternoon for a bit.  The temperature was above zero and it is suppose to be at least +5 today.  I may just drop a line this afternoon.  I didn’t make it to town as some things needed my attention and then around 9:30, I hit a wall.  I did something very rare and went back to bed.  I slept until the 11:00 minnow run, then went back to bed again and it was the best hour I’ve slept in a long time.  I’m thinking the fumes I’m running on really need replenishing.  Both Dan and I were in bed early last night and since our guests didn’t want to go on ice until 8:00 this morning we slept until 6 this morning.  Good for us!  The fishing was good yesterday and I’m hoping it remains as such with all the mild weather we have coming our way this coming week.  I’ve check outs this morning and then lots of cottage laundry to do.  If I go fishing it won’t be until later this afternoon so see what the day brings.  Thankfully we haven’t had moats form around our huts just yet but they’ve been jacked all the same just in case.

February 22, 2020 - 5:54 a.m.

It was a tad windy yesterday, actually more than a tad.  We actually had some fellas show up on our doorstep looking for a day hut as they were blown off the lake while using their fish clam.  It didn’t feel as windy on shore but it was pretty nasty.  Regardless, our guests did well fishing, especially those that tackled the elements and fished outdoors.  The warm front arrived but apparently we are in for a repeat today as the winds bring even warmer weather today into tomorrow which is suppose to reach +5.  I don’t like fishing in the wind because I can’t tell when a fish is actually on until the tip up goes down.  I like seeing it nibble and feeling it on the line as it takes the minnow.  When the tip up slams down, it’s usually too late or the fish has swallowed the hook.  With the wind blowing WSW, the fishing should be excellent today but who knows with such fickle creatures.  I think I may head into town today although I dread Saturday shopping.  I need some cottage supplies and have another very busy week ahead of me so don’t have much time opened in my schedule.  Hopefully I can get out of here by 8:00 before everyone in the Bay is out of bed.  Lol.

February 21, 2020 - 5:20 a.m.

Another full house today.  It’s going to start off a little chilly today but is due to warm up this afternoon.  Unfortunately the wind will be gusting SW at 50 km this afternoon as it ushers in the warm front (high of -2 this afternoon) but the rest of the weekend should be glorious.  Next week looks to be very mild as well with the lowest temperature forecasted to be -15 at night.  Dan and Mike did some work on the huts yesterday jacking and cleaning and such and it was pretty cold.  They waited until the afternoon when the sun had had a chance to warm things up.  Lori came in to clean in the morning and I just puttered around accomplishing very little.  Don’t care either.  Both Dan and I are running on fumes.  Lol.

February 19, 2020 - 6:21 a.m.

Wow!  Wish the weather gurus could make up their minds on the forecast.  We received some snow yesterday, likely around 5” and it was enough to make us work.  The surprise was the snow we received overnight which is likely another 5.  The snow ended yesterday around 2:00 and although I said I wasn’t shovelling, that’s exactly what I ended up doing.  It was the heavy really great snowman making snow so my back was toast.  Dan did the plowing so between the two of us, managed to get the property dug out.  Then when I was heading to bed last night, it started snowing again.  The wind woke me up at 2:30 and I didn’t get much sleep after that.  It was just a howling.  The boys started running the path and plowing nearly an hour ago and when that’s finished, Dan has to get everyone on the ice for 7:00.  Hopefully the winds will die down, although that looks unlikely, as he needs to jack the shacks this afternoon.  Good news is the sun is suppose to shine all day which generally helps settle the wind down.  Bad news is, the fishing isn’t likely to be as good as yesterday.  I was talking to one young fella in the group who said they must have caught 40-50 walleye.  Winds are currently NW shifting to W for a good part of the day before shifting back to NW.  

February 18, 2020 - 5:47 a.m.

It was a busy day for us yesterday.  The last of our checkouts were on time vacating so Lori and I could get right in to the double unit to clean but unfortunately, one vehicle wouldn’t start.  Guess his van didn’t like Northern Ontario weather.  It was a few hours before it warmed up enough to get it started but between Lori and I (mostly Lori), the cottage was cleaned and ready for our new guest arrivals which started at 11:00.  Dan had them on the ice as soon as they were settled.  The fishing was pretty good yesterday although everyone was tight lipped about it.  When Dan is out there checking on the guys, he can tell because the tip ups are going off.  We also know it’s good or bad by the amount of bait being used.  So yeah, they did okay yesterday.  I was suppose to go to Mattawa today for an appointment but once the snowfall warnings went up yesterday, I called and cancelled until next week.  I’m not driving all that way in a snow storm if it’s not absolutely necessary.  It has started to snow and is just getting heavy now but they are calling for up to 20 cm.  Don’t know if we’ll get it but surrounding areas may.

February 17, 2020 - 6:54 a.m.

We actually slept in this morning.  We survived the family day weekend crew and have another one due to check in at noon today.  Going to be a scramble this morning getting a couple of cottages ready as they won’t be vacated until 9:00 but Lori is coming in and I’ll help.  The fishing was excellent all weekend with constant bites.  Unfortunately, our guests need to land them and they all have to be keepers before a fisherman will ever admit that to us.  Lol.  We are in for some weather but they aren’t quite sure when.  Apparently we will be getting some snow starting either tonight or early tomorrow morning.  I’m hoping it stays south of us like it has been doing most of the winter because neither Dan nor I feel like digging out anymore.  As a matter of fact, we’re both ready for summer.  The temperature dropped from -6 to -19 overnight.  I didn’t think it was going to get that cold but I was wrong.  A sure sign of spring coming is when the days are quite warm and mild and the nights get significantly colder.  I think we are in for an early spring so here’s hoping.  As long as we can get through the ice fishing season before Moose Creek starts to run, I’m all for it.

February 16, 2020 - 5:37 a.m.

Everyone enjoyed their day yesterday and caught some fish.  It was a nice balmy day but we did have somewhat of a blizzard going on last night when Dan was getting everyone off the ice.  We didn’t get an enormous amount of snow but the winds were high enough to affect the visibility.  The winds were gusting something awful around 2:30 this morning which woke me up but have since died down a bit.  The drifts on our path were already bad enough but are likely worse this morning.  The boys are already out grading from shore to the huts so that when Dan takes everyone out, they should have somewhat of a smooth ride.  I’ve check outs today but most of our guests are staying until tomorrow.  I’m so glad the temperatures remained mild for this weekend and the little darlings didn’t freeze to death this year.

February 15, 2020 - 5:54 a.m.

Our guests did quite well fishing again yesterday and I hope it keeps up.  We actually have some young ones in this family day weekend and it’s always nice to see them catch fish.  Nothing like getting another generation hooked on a great past time.  A rainbow smelt was caught yesterday and because it is considered an invasive species, was not released.  We’ve had smelt caught before which is nice to see but not this particular kind.  Dan use to smelt fish when he was a kid and said he’d love a good feed of them.  I can remember the smelting as well but those days haven’t been around for some time.  Not sure what’s on my agenda today but I’m sure I’ll find something to do.  It’ll likely involve a little housecleaning as I did errands and laundry yesterday.  It is quite mild today as the warm front moved in so who knows, may drop a line later today.  The temperature started to rise as we were heading to bed last night.  With the winds shifting south, it was -8 when we got up this morning.  Sure beats the -30’s and I hope that was the last of such nastiness for the rest of the season.  Bbbbrrrrr, it was nostril sticking cold.

February 14, 2020 - 6:29 a.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Hope you are able to spend some time with that special someone today!  Dan actually surprised me yesterday with a dozen beautiful red roses, a heart box of chocolates and a wonderful mushy card.  Who are you and what have you done with my husband?  Lol.  Actually, it was very thoughtful and I thoroughly appreciated it.  We had to celebrate a day early because of work but I am making Dan a special meal tonight.  The cold temperatures yesterday kept us both indoors for most of the day.  It was absolutely frigid and it’s even worse this morning.  It is so cold, we have a build up of about an inch of ice on the windows inside the house and when you open the outside doors, the steam just rolls in.  Our decks and trees are popping constantly.  Thankfully the warm up will start later this morning and the winds will be shifting because it’s really not conducive to being outside and frostbite is a distinct possibility, at least this morning.  The fishing was pretty good yesterday considering.  One of our American gentlemen managed to land a beautiful 8.25 lb. walleye and what a beaut.  I posted a picture on our Facebook page.  I hope the fishing is as good today and I think it should probably be pretty decent this weekend but a person needs to work at it.  Lots of jigging required, not to mention patience as the fish have been biting really light.

February 13, 2020 - 6:17 a.m.

Poor Dan.  He has to run today and it’s frickin’ cold out there.  Was a beautiful sunny warm day yesterday and actually went above zero but then the cold front happened.  There were snow squall warnings up which were due to hit around 8:00 last night and although the wind gusts started in the late morning, the snow didn’t arrive until around 11:30 last night.  The temperature dropped significantly overnight but tonight is going to be brutal and the winds north all day.  Apparently it will be one of the coldest nights of the year tonight at -31, -37 with the windchill.  Frostbite warnings are up today and tomorrow so dress accordingly.  Especially the kids arriving for the family day weekend.  We had guests arrive last night that are fishing all day tonight so hopefully the weather snap won’t affect the bite much.  It’s been fairly light to begin with.  We have more guests arriving today and tomorrow so thankfully the weather is suppose to change back to normal Friday afternoon when the winds turn south.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last real cold for the season.  I went to Mattawa for an appointment yesterday and saw a few open water spots.  Namely the river and a small pond that had full access to the sun but still, there are signs of an early spring for us.  Bring it!

February 12, 2020 - 6:50 a.m.

It has been a quiet few days for us since we don’t have anyone checking in until later today.  Play time is over though until the end of the season now.  Dan got plenty of badly needed rest yesterday as did I.  I did work in the morning but managed to get everything finished around noon and then took the afternoon off and actually enjoyed a nice little nap.  The family weekend with free fishing looks to be a good one weather wise this year.  Last year it was so cold and frigid I felt sorry for the kids but then they tend to be more resilient than adults.  I’m sure Lake Nipissing will be hopping this year and lots of people taking advantage of not requiring licenses.  Just please make sure you are familiar with the fishing regulations and what the limits and slot sizes are before you venture out.  I’m sure the MNRF will have a presence known on the lake over the weekend so it pays to educate yourselves.

February 11, 2020 - 6:29 a.m.

Well we survived the cold snap on the weekend and it’s rather nice this morning with a balmy -4 degree temperature.  Looks like it will stay mild for a few days before getting cold again for the weekend.  We also received a little snow to help grease the path but things may get sloppy.  Dan moved a hut on Sunday and is moving more this week.  We fish Sunday afternoon to make sure the new location would produce, which it did.  Had a nice little fry to accompany the crab mac ‘n cheese and pike wontons I made before going on ice.  Our neighbours John and Mike joined in so it was a good time.  We had a relax day yesterday and today we are back at it.  The phone was ringing off the hook yesterday with last minute people looking for a spot for the upcoming family weekend. The fishing is free so would be a good time to try something new with your kids.

February 9, 2020 - 6:09 a.m.

It was a very chilly though a beautiful day yesterday.  The sun was shining all day which has been a rarity of late.  The moon was simply gorgeous last night and the constellations breathtakingly beautiful.  After getting everyone organized and on the ice, I went into town with Donna and did a few errands and then we met Liz and Annie for lunch.  Was so good to see the girls as I’ve seen nothing but fishermen for what seems like months but is actually only weeks.  Lol.  We met at “My Thai Palace” and is the first time I’ve ever been.  I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my cashew chicken followed by coconut ice cream (my favourite).  It did stay cold all day as the wind was still northerly but the temperature rose overnight and is currently -16 after peaking at -26.  The temperature will be downright balmy at -3 today with a possibility of flurries so with the winds changing south, I may just need to drop a line.  See how my day goes as I do have work.

February 8, 2020 - 6:54 a.m.

The “super” snow moon did its thing last night.  Both Dan and I were up for most of it and it is sooooo cold this morning.  It hit -25 but with the windchill -38.  I could not believe my eyes when Dan went out to check on the huts and there was Gato sitting at the back door with 1/2” of ice on his poor wee whiskers.  Stupid cat.  He promptly drank some water and ate a bit and then headed for shelter.  I don’t know how long he was out there because he also came up last night but hopefully he’ll spend the next 24 hours hunkered down somewhere as it’s suppose to get pretty cold again tonight.  Thankfully the warm up starts tomorrow so it isn’t a prolonged cold snap.  Dan was worrying more than anything most of the night because when it gets this cold, especially after is been fairly mild, that’s when things start to break.  Never mind how hard it is on the poor man running in this, the equipment doesn’t like it much either.  I suspect Dan will be running as little as possible today, no special trips in and out, strictly minnow runs.  I just couldn’t do it.  I’m a fragile flower these days ;)

February 7, 2020 - 6:00 a.m.

The full “snow” moon due overnight Saturday is making its presence known.  The weather changed and has turned cold, at least colder then we’ve had for a while.  Tonight will likely be the coldest and can possibly drop below -20 but we’ll see.  It was -11 here when I got up this morning and it doesn’t look like it will get much warmer today.  The pressure is low but the winds are coming out of the north.  I’m hoping to get some fishing in on Sunday when the winds are suppose to change to the south but that’s a few days away.  Today I have work I really need to get done this morning as I didn’t get it done yesterday.  Both Dan and I were hurting units, meaning aches and pains that we attribute to the change in weather.  I actually had to use my wrist braces while changing out the minnow tank yesterday as my joints were on fire.  After supper it started to snow so now I’m thinking I’m a weather gauge.  Lol.  I wanted to stay up and catch the premiere of the new “The Sinner” season but was nodding off by 8:30 so took some Advil and went to bed.  Much better today and not so inflamed but we didn’t end up with much accumulation and we could really use a good dumping of the white stuff about now.  Dan couldn’t move the huts this week due to lack of snow to bank with so he may be able to move a few today.  They are all still producing well but fresh holes are always nice.

February 5, 2020 - 5:34 a.m.

It was such a beautiful day yesterday and actually felt like spring outside for a while.  The sun was out and the temperature above zero and would have been a great day for outdoor activities.  Too bad I was working but I did get out for a bit.  We both had a busy day and were in bed before 9:00.  I will be heading to town hopefully by 8:00 as I need to stop at Walmart and like to breeze through without fighting the masses.  Dan really wants to move the huts this week and conditions are pretty good for it but there isn’t anything to bank with.  He’s been keeping his eyes on the weather hoping for a little snowfall which we may or may not get this week.  We will have our 6 more weeks of winter, just like always but I saw on one of the weather pages yesterday that trees have started to bud in parts of southern Ontario already.  That’s a little premature and not good for the trees because winter certainly isn’t over.  Even down south.

February 4, 2020 - 6:37 a.m.

What a beautiful day yesterday!  The sun actually came out for a bit and the temperature was above zero for most of the day.  Temperatures are going to remain mild for most of the week but hoping staying below zero so things don’t turn to slush on the lake.  After doing some laundry, I fished Sunday afternoon and caught my first pike of the season.  Lots of walleye were caught by our guests including one that was slightly deformed.  It’s face looked more like a minnow but the body was perfectly fine which made it identifiable.  Weird indeed.  Dan and I took yesterday off and just vegged but today is a working day.  I’ve cottage laundry to finish as well as some office work to do.  Lori is coming in today to clean and Karen tomorrow.  Half way through the season (already) and seems to be quite a bit of pike being caught.  Last year there seemed to be a lack of it but there is an abundance this year.

February 2, 2020 - 6:24 a.m.

I don’t want to sound like a downer but we are in for another 6 weeks of winter regardless if the groundhog sees it’s shadow.  I don’t know why such a silly tradition was started but I’ve never seen an early spring come and actually stick around.  I remember about 15 years ago we had an early spring and then we received 6” of snow on May 31st.  Suck it up buttercups ;)  The fishing was pretty good yesterday but there were lots of pike caught.  Nearly every hut was catching pike which is weird to see because there were hardly any last year.  Walleye and perch as well so the pike are coming around to feed.  I think the fishing will be excellent today as the pressure is way low at 99.8 and the winds are steady out of the SW.  I was hoping to drop a line myself this afternoon after I get my work done but I’m on my third night with very little sleep.  I wanted to take an Advil PM last night but they’ve disappeared.  Must be elves.  I have checkouts this morning and cottage laundry to get done so I’ll see how I feel around 2:00 and decide if I’m fishing or not.  We will still have some Superbowlers in so I suspect they’ll want to come off the ice earlier than usual.  Not my cup of tea.  May watch the halftime show though.  See what fiasco is in store for this year.  Lol.

February 1, 2020 - 5:06 a.m.

January is finally over and what a year that was.  Lol.  Fishing was pretty good yesterday and with the winds staying south for the rest of the weekend, I suspect it’s going to keep up for the duration.  With any luck I can dip a line myself tomorrow.  I’ll have to see how the energy level is since my internal clock seems to be out of whack again now.  With the temperature being in the mild range once again, we received a light sprinkling of snow last night.  Gato’s blanket had a thin layer of powder on it this morning but he was close by when I checked on him first thing.  He’s contentedly eating right now and will head off to parts unknown shortly, most likely to hunker down for the day.  He certainly has our schedule down pat.  Dan is heading to town today since Mitch is coming in to help out.  Dan has some errands to run and some parts to get so I should have some quiet time.  I need to do a town run as well but it can wait until next week as I’ve a few things to do before town errands.  I trimmed Grady yesterday so with all his hair gone, he looks like a small poodle now instead of a big fat cat.  He actually prefers all the long hair gone as it’s easier to keep himself clean and must make him feel much lighter.

January 31, 2020 - 5:57 a.m.

We managed to do some catch up this week but are back in the saddle again today.  Had guests arrive last night and more due in right shortly.  Going to be another busy weekend and with the super bowl, it’ll be an extra fun weekend, I’m sure.  First run today is 7:00 and I noticed last night the sun is setting later than the beginning of the season so February, as it always does, means much longer days for us as Dan can’t start pulling off until at least 6:00.  By the end of the season, it’s usually closer to 7:00.  At least we should start seeing more sunshine as it’s been pretty gray, gloomy and overcast for most of the winter thus far.  The winds are currently ESE veering to SW this afternoon so I’m thinking fishing should be pretty good today. At least I’m hoping.

January 29, 2020 - 6:09 a.m.

I had a pretty busy day yesterday while Dan and Mike did a jaunt to Sudbury.  I finished all the cottage laundry after doing the house laundry.  That included the bedding for “Stinky’s” room aka Dan’s man cave which needed a pretty good bath.  More like decontamination.  Lol.  I also cleaned the house but didn’t get the floors washed which is today’s job.  I also took all the kitchen chairs out of the double unit and moved them to the back shop with my car to make room for the ones the boys picked up yesterday.  They aren’t the prettiest chairs I’ve ever seen but are more comfortable and much sturdier.  They should be able to withstand a little beating.  The temperature finally turned a little colder and it hit -15 overnight which should firm everything up nicely.  Hopefully the moats around the huts are solid again.  Going down to -22 tonight before warming up again for the weekend.  By the way, I had a cancellation for 6 for next weekend (Feb 7th) if anyone is interested. 

January 28, 2020 - 6:40 a.m.

We survived another busy weekend and finally had our first day off in forever yesterday.  We did nothing.  It was a nice relaxing day.  Dan caught up on some sleep and I watched a couple of movies.  Today is another day.  I’ve got cottage laundry and some cleaning to do.  Dan is going to Sudbury to pick up some new kitchen chairs for the cottages and is also doing a Costco and Princess Auto run.  I don’t know where he’s going to fit everything he wants to pick up but I’m sure he’ll figure it out. 

January 26, 2020 - 5:30 a.m.

Fishing was no hell yesterday although those who really applied themselves did ok.  It’s like the whole lake was dead.  Lots of fish being marked but they just weren’t feeding.  The winds were easterly all day but they are currently west and the pressure very low so I’m hoping the fishing is really good today.  We’ll find out soon enough.  There are conflicting reports on when the winds will shift to the north so here’s hoping not until everyone is off the ice tonight.  Moats have now formed around our huts which we were hoping to avoid but this mild spell aka January thaw, has been prolonged with temperatures well above zero.  One good thing though...we shouldn’t have a spring flood this year like we did last.  The flooding was mainly due to no winter thaws so I’m happy to see things back to normal this year.  Dan is jacking some huts today as the mixed bag of rain and snow yesterday combined with the mild temps has sunk them about 6 inches into the snow.  I’m hoping he’ll get some help but he’s a stubborn cuss.  I’ve laundry to do once some guests check out but most of them are staying until Monday.

January 25, 2020 - 5:34 a.m.

It was a day yesterday and quite a busy one.   Dan was running all day and I spent my time in the office.  I managed to get all the data entry done for my year end books so this morning I’m just dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s and that will be another year finished.  I don’t know where the time has gone.  It seems like yesterday that I started this blog and that was in 2007.  I’ve been recording the weather for longer than that so this weekend is about par for the course.  Just amazes me that every weekend since we’ve opened for the season, we’ve had some kind of nastiness thrown at us.  This morning it’s freezing rain which is suppose to turn to snow shortly.  We did get a little rain overnight but thankfully it doesn’t appear to have been enough to deteriorate things.  The temperature is currently just above zero with the pressure steady but the winds are out of the east.  Our guests were catching some fish yesterday even though the conditions weren’t favourable so that gives some hope for today.  One of the blokes had a camera down the hole and said they could see the walleye but they were just sitting there without taking the bait.  Not even nibbling, so it looks like they aren’t in a feeding frenzy and people are going to need to work at the jigging today.

January 23, 2020 - 6:35 a.m.

I hit a wall yesterday.  Not literally but figuratively.  I was having problems in the office with the internet and as my patience was weening I decided to zip into town as I had a few errands to run.  I did a few things when I got home and then laid down on the couch and was out cold until it was time to get our guests off the ice.  I also was in bed by about 9:30 and didn’t wake up until 6:00.  Dan and I haven’t had a day off since December but this coming Monday is the day.  No guests, no staff, no phone calls.  I’m not even going to get out of my pajamas.  Lol.  So I say now.  We have a full house again starting this evening and Lori is coming in to clean but for the most part, I’ll be in the office for the next couple of days.  Once my books are completed I’ll be able to relax a little and maybe even find some time to myself.  Dan is badly in need of rest also as his knees are really giving him grief.  When he was picking up the porta-john he stopped in at Shoppers Medical and ordered two braces.  Hopefully they arrive quickly.  He keeps falling when on ice but says now, he just lets himself fall because it’s a cushy landing in the snowbanks.  What a pair we are.  The fishing hit pretty good last night.  One gentleman was fishing by himself and caught six walleye just as Dan was picking him up.  Fishing should be good this weekend if people are paying attention to their lines and it’s going to stay mild for the duration.

January 22, 2020 - 5:44 a.m.

It was a very long day for me yesterday but I accomplished everything I wanted to by about 5:00.  Today I’ll be holed up in the office working on my year end books.  Dan needs to zip into town and very quickly as we will have people on the ice.  I would like to extend a huge thank you to K&T Porta-John for going above and beyond.  We needed a replacement washroom for the ice and they were able to find us one although it was a very difficult task for them.  We can’t thank them enough for trekking through a compound heaped with snow and digging us out one.  Dan is picking it up first thing this morning after dropping everyone off at the huts.  The fishing was pretty good yesterday but nothing of any size was caught.  I’m thinking it’s just going to improve as the week progresses.  It’s already -3 this morning and daytime temperatures will be steady around zero through the weekend.  Plenty of guests will be wanting to fish outside but Dan won’t be able to drill too close to the huts as the water will come up.  As it is, I’m keeping my fingers crossed no moats form around the huts.  They are nicely high and dry at the moment and we’d like to keep it that way.  After the -30 weather we’ve had this balminess is more than welcomed.  Even Gato spent the night on his blanket outside our door.  He’s certainly been well fed Mr. 5 bowls of food and 3 bowls of milk in a 10 hour period.  Geesh.

January 21, 2020 - 6:04 a.m.

We actually slept in until 5:30 this morning.  And we both needed it.  What a week this is shaping up to be.  They say everything comes in three’s so hopefully we are now done.  We had the supply hose break on the toilet in a cottage, then the little incident with Dan’s sled and yesterday a plugged sink in another cottage which took all morning to resolve.  Even though there is a notice not to put anything down the sinks, someone poured bacon grease down the drain.  What a dog’s breakfast Dan had on his hands trying to deal with that mess.  Please go easy on us guys.  If you wouldn’t do it in your own home, don’t do it in ours, thanks.  Anyhow, all our guests arrived and the fishing was pretty good.  I think it’s going to get increasingly better as the week progresses because the weather will improve also.  It hit pretty close to -30 yesterday and was very brisk but the warm up starts today and the winds have shifted to the SW.  I hope we don’t get anymore snow, which is likely pipe dreaming, but for the next week or so, the temperature won’t be going below -10.  Glorious.  At least we had a beautiful sunset last night and a sky full of stars.  Frigid weather cleans the air so you can see forever.

January 20, 2020 - 4:56 a.m.

Another weekend under our belt.  We survived another blizzard as well.  Dan spent 3 hours on the tractor blowing snow after getting all our guests on the ice yesterday morning.  I was on the shovel for a few hours first thing, digging out the cottage decks and walkways.  I also did the cottage laundry for those groups that checked out and have more to do today.  Dan’s sled died in the middle of the pick up run last night so I called Mike and asked him to come to the rescue.  Ever since I had my thumb fused, I can’t drive a sled anymore (can’t throttle) so I’m glad we have a stand by in emergencies.  Mike was glad to help but I don’t think he was too happy that we interrupted his cooking of his pork schnitzel dinner.  It turned out it was blown fuses.  We aren’t sure if it’s a minor or major thing just yet but considering the abuse the sled takes and all the jarring that is involved, could be something as simple as the fuses just came loose.  As Dan doesn’t need to run until this afternoon, he’s sleeping in this morning but I’m sure he’ll be doing some diagnosing first thing.  I’ve lots on my plate today as I have a cottage to clean as well as the minnow tank to changeover while tending to the laundry.  I’d like to get everything finished today so I can concentrate on my year end this week.  I do want to fish one day as the weather is going to change.  It’s -24 this morning but a warm up is coming in tomorrow and it’s going to be a very mild week.  I forgot to mention, the fishing was pretty good yesterday.  Group caught several walleye, 2 keepers, pike, bass, perch and herring.  Another mixed bag.  Or should I say pail.

January 19, 2020 - 4:53 a.m.

What a day yesterday!  We received our fair share of snow.  Even had blizzard conditions aka white outs throughout the day.  Dan had a heck of a time getting our guests off the ice last night as there was just too much snow and the drifting on the lake was making it difficult to plow through with the peoplemover.  At least we didn’t get slammed as badly as the good people of Newfoundland.  We are definitely experiencing an old fashioned winter this year.  It is reminiscent of the first year we moved up North 20 years ago.  Only difference, I was much younger and didn’t mind shovelling.  Lol.  It’s very calm this morning but don’t know just yet what the winds are doing away from shore.  Dan will be up shortly as he needs to run our path to the huts to do some pack down before he can take our guests out this morning.  Good news is, the fishing was pretty decent yesterday and I think it’ll be even better today.  There were a few pike caught including a decent sow.  Walleye, perch, a mixed bag.  Enough for everyone to have a fry.  I think the weather will stabilize over the next few days so the fishing should pick back up.  The pressure has also dropped from over 104 to around 100 which really helps.  It was beautiful back by the shop last night out of the wind.  Made me want to make snow angels...

January 18, 2020 - 6:30 a.m.

It was a day yesterday.  A long one.  Dan and I both worked and were both in bed by 8:30 and just after we fell asleep the phone rang around 9:00.  It was a cottage telling us their fridge quit working.  Turned out the lightbulb had burned out.  Then another cottage had a leaky toilet so had a pail under it to catch the water.  Dan turned the water off and determined the guts need to be replaced so will be going to town this morning to get replacement parts.  Neither of us could get back to sleep so will be running on empty today.  And there is a huge storm heading our way due to hit later this morning.  Thankfully Dan will have some help today but even so, I’ll likely be using a shovel by noon.  I’ve things to do this morning before the weather arrives so is going to be a long day for us.  The fishing was fairly decent yesterday with a mixed bag caught.  Keeper walleye, pike, herring, ling and of course, perch.  Good to see.  It was just frigid all day so no one was fishing outside the huts because the holes would freeze as soon as they were drilled but the temps have warmed up overnight and are currently a balmy -16.

January 17, 2020 - 5:33 a.m.

We had the coldest night of the new decade last night.  It hit -29 (-34 with the windchill) and that’s where it’s currently sitting.  Dan is psyching himself up to go on ice this morning and I think he’s going to freeze his noogers off today.  The pressure is extremely high at 104.4 so I’m guessing the fishing isn’t going to rock today.  I suggested he only do one minnow run around noon today because it’s going to be nasty.  On top of that the warm up tomorrow is suppose to bring us another large dumping of snow which means Dan will be plowing all day.  He won’t have any help until tomorrow and lot of shovelling will need to be done.  I’ll do what I can but that isn’t much these days.  The rest of our guests are arriving later today and we’ve a full house again I just hope they’re able to catch enough for a fry as they aren’t going to be fishing outside today.  Karen is coming in this morning to clean the double unit so I’m praying her car will start.  My car as well as I need to do a bait run after we get the guys on the ice.  Guess I should have plugged my little baby in last night.

January 16, 2020 - 6:24 a.m.

I’m a little late this morning as I decided to sleep in until 6:00 since the fishermen are going out a little later than usual this morning.  Besides, Grady woke me around midnight because there was a cat on our back deck which I don’t think was Gato.  Looked a lot like him and I’ve seen it here before but it’s even more feral and doesn’t come around often.  It buggered off when I turned on the light so I’m not really sure.  The fishing improved a bit more yesterday for our guests and a large pike was caught so that means there are likely more of them around.  I didn’t see the fish but was told it was a nice one.  We had a cowboy in the one group when Dan pulled them in last night.  He was outside of the peoplemover standing on the ski holding himself in place by keeping the door open and holding on to the threshold.  Please don’t do that folks.  It’s extremely dangerous and tough on the equipment we need to make a living.  Not to mention very stupid.  Good way to fall off and break a bone or worse.  “Hold my beer and watch this” in these conditions isn’t funny.  Lori is coming in to changeover a couple of cottages and I’m going to be in the office for a bit.  I have some office work to do and would like to get started on my year end now that the mad rush and inclement weather we typically experience at the beginning of the season is finally over.  Dan has work on ice which should take most of the morning but he worked hard out there yesterday as well so hopefully today is a little easier on him. The temperature was very mild yesterday but there is another freeze up coming today.  It’s suppose to drop to -38 overnight but thankfully it’ll gradually warm up tomorrow to somewhat warmer conditions.

January 15, 2020 - 5:47 a.m.

We both had a very busy day yesterday.  Dan got all our guests on the ice and then had to zip into town for a contingency heater since he had to use the contingency.  Lol.  He then came home and had work to do on ice jacking huts and rebanking.  I think with his buggered knees, it took its toll on him because the poor man was in bed by 7:30.  I wish he’d get someone to help him but he’s a stubborn cuss.  Karen came in to clean cottages for me, Lori had already done a couple the day before.  Since that was off my plate, I did some catch up.  I did 6 loads of laundry, did some house cleaning, cleaned out the minnow tank and that was plenty.  I then made some great cauliflower soup in the Instant Pot which I thought was excellent.  Have a new favourite cooking tool with that pot and I’m sure it will be used often, especially this time of year.  Today I have to do a major town run while I’m able.  I’ll be heading in as soon as our guests are on the ice.  The fishing wasn’t good at all yesterday.  Maybe 15-25 fish caught per group but I figured that was going to be the case.  The pressure has been high, the winds north and after a huge storm it always takes a few days for the fish to start feeding.  The wind switched direction overnight to the west, the pressure lowered and it’s mild today already sitting at around zero degrees.  I’m hoping the fishing will be much better today.  Unfortunately the wind is going to veer back to the north later this afternoon.  Hopefully everyone will get enough for a nice fry.

January 14, 2020 - 5:14 a.m.

Dan woke me up at 4:30ish to tell me Gato was outside.  He was well fed last night and even had some tuna.  He has since eaten again and left for areas unknown.  It’s pretty cold this morning at -16 but we are due for a welcomed if somewhat short warm up today at -3 with flurries.  Fishing was okay yesterday for our guests although it wasn’t on fire.  They still brought some home but I believe it may take another day for the pressure to drop and things to return to normal after the weekend storm.  Dan said the huts sank around 5” due to the snowload so he was jacking them yesterday.  Never ends.  I received an “Instant Pot” for Christmas from my in-laws so tried it for the first time last night.  It’s the cat’s ass let me tell you.  I made a pot roast with vegetables on the pressure cooker function and man was it delicious.  After an hour the roast came out perfect, the veg weren’t mushy and it was a flavour explosion.  I added some red wine, broth and spices and the gravy was to die for.  All in one dishwasher safe pot.  I think I’m going to make some cauliflower and cheese soup in it today.  Great little invention.

January 13, 2020 - 4:46 a.m.

Winter has finally arrived and although tomorrow and Wednesday will be fairly mild, it’s going to be cold for the rest of the month.  No above zero temperatures in sight which is a good thing.  Dan, Mike and I spent most of the morning digging things out of snow.  Mostly roads, decks and cars and I think we all paid for our labour’s.  Moaning and groaning does not become us.  Lol.  Man was there a lot of snow to push though and it was heavy stuff.  I also did cottage laundry in the afternoon and evening and we have check-ins today and tomorrow.  Lori is coming in today and we are both cleaning in the morning and then if I’m up to it, I may do some more “tweaking” with the snow shovel but I’m a little sore this morning.  Dan will be busy running our guests and getting things organized for a big group arriving tomorrow.  Gato has been absent of course, due to guests as well as the storm but he was sitting at the back door when I got up just before 4:00 this morning.  Poor little guy’s whiskers were white so I think he’d been out there for awhile.  

January 12, 2020 - 6:19 a.m.

Well it was a trying day for the boys yesterday.  Dan wouldn’t take anyone out until he was able to check out the conditions and he couldn’t check them out until he could see which meant daybreak.  We had one bad spot where he was pulling through a couple of feet of water but it was close enough to shore there was sand on the bottom.  The water was due to Moose Creek following.  It had nearly firmed back up completely by the time they were pulling off in the evening.  We had a mixed of rain, ice pellets and snow throughout the day but the major portion of the storm didn’t hit until after midnight last night.  It is still snowing and howling out there so the visibility is next to nil right now.  All told we should end up with about 20 cm by the end of it all.  It’s blizzards conditions on the ice currently but this massive system should be completely done by around 11:00 and the sun is suppose to come out this afternoon.  Just in time for us to shovel and plow ourselves out.  All our guests will be making a slow trek home today and I hope the roads are in fairly good condition for them.  What a wild weekend!

January 11, 2020 - 4:20 a.m.

I woke up at around 3:00 this morning and try as I might, couldn’t get back to sleep so here I am.  Going to be a long day.  I’ve been fretting about the upcoming storm, I think.  When people are out on the ice and you are responsible for their well being, it’s hard not to fret.  Dan’s the same but at least he’s in the know.  I’m on shore thinking the worse.  Now that I’ve looked at the updated models, I don’t think the worst of the storm will hit until after everyone is safely off the ice tonight, but just.  It’s due to get really bad around 7:00 tonight.  Tomorrow will be a different story.  Although they are calling for a good foot of snow tonight into Sunday, it’s the wind that is due to accompany it.  That’ll create blizzard conditions for sure which means no one will be going anywhere.  It’s currently raining which is an hour ahead of the forecast and I’m hoping it changes to snow shortly.  It’s still just around zero although the temperature was suppose to drop hours ago.  Going to be a brutal weekend for most of Ontario so stay safe everyone and avoid travelling completely.

January 10, 2020 - 6:56 a.m.

I would hager a guest and say it’s going to be quite the weekend.  Dan just got off the ice after checking to make sure everything is okay.  We have a large group arriving anytime and guests will,continue to arrive through the day.  The temperature rose drastically overnight and went from -18 to +3 where it is going to remain for most of the day.  I’m just hoping it doesn’t get much warmer than that.  The temperatures will drop below freezing overnight but tomorrow will tell the tale.  We are suppose to get freezing drizzle or just drizzle throughout the day but tomorrow is suppose to bring a huge dumping of snow.  Into Sunday.  Snow.  Lol.  Someone may be shovelling all weekend and I don’t think it’s going to be me.  One can wish.  I think the fishing should be rather good today, as it usually is during thaws but it was pretty windy last night so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  It’s very calm right now and looks like it should be that way for most of the day.  Will be a great day for fishing outside.

January 9, 2020 - 7:31 a.m.

Wow!  I shut things down at 9:30 last night and didn’t wake up until just after 7:00 this morning.  Must have needed a good night’s sleep and we’re only just starting the season.  Although the wind was howling all day yesterday, the fishing was still good which really surprised me.  I figured it would drop off but it didn’t happen.  Today may be another story but no one is fishing anyhow.  It was -22 when I got up and just brutally cold and brittle when I went to bed last night.  Gato showed up for food and when I opened the door, the steam just poured in the house.  We haven’t had a day like that for quite some time.  I’m sure all the pressure cracks have healed now but with the thaw coming, caution is still needed on the lake.  Dan was on the ice yesterday when a pinhead (minuscule) crack went through and it scared the poop out of him.  They are nothing to be concerned about but the noise kind of gets you when you’re on top of them.  Lol.  I’ve had that happen when fishing a few times.  Today Dan is doing some preventative maintenance work, I’m cleaning and doing the cottage laundry.  We don’t have any new guests arriving until 7:00 tomorrow morning so will have a nice quiet evening tonight before the busy weekend. 

January 8, 2020 - 6:56 a.m.

I can tell the full moon is nearly upon us.  It was ssooooo bright out last night and I tossed and turned all night.  I likely shouldn’t have watched the news regarding the Iranian conflict before bed either.  Let’s all hope for a quick resolution to the boys playing badly in the sandbox.  Anyhow, the fishing was phenomenal for our guests yesterday.  The Hewson group said the action didn’t stop all day and they were exhausted by the time they came off the ice. Wish I had their problem.  Lol.  They brought home a bucket full of fish.  Lots of jumbo perch and 2 keeper walleye.  They had a 3rd but while they were measuring it, the fish squirmed and managed to do a nosedive right back down the hole.  Lucky fish.  Karen and Lori came in yesterday to clean cottages while I attended to other things needing my attention.  I still haven’t made it to town so hopefully today is the day.  We received quite a nice little dumping of snow which came in the form of squalls after the sun set.  Although it went just above freezing yesterday, it didn’t produce any melt to speak of and the temperature dropped to -10 here overnight.  It’s suppose to get really cold tonight and then warm up to more reasonable temperatures for the weekend.  That could change, we’ll just have to wait and see.

January 7, 2020 - 6:45 a.m.

Dan was in town all day yesterday running all over the place.  He did manage to come home with a good contingency heater for the huts if need be.  We always need to have them on hand just in case so I guess Dan’s time wasn’t wasted.  I didn’t end up getting to town myself.  By the time I got all the shoveling done, it was after noon and then I had to finish laundry.  Today the girls are coming in to help me clean cottages.  I’m only doing one and that’s enough as my house also needs a little attention.  Dan said the big crack behind our huts has heaved considerably due to the cold that’s finally made an appearance.  I’m so glad he didn’t place the huts on the other side of it this year.  It’s currently -14 here, likely a bit colder on ice but the temp is suppose to rise to around zero with some more flurries today.  I’m glad we finally received a bit of snow yesterday because lake conditions have been rough on our equipment.  We still need more snow but at least we have a bit of cushion.  That said, it got pretty windy yesterday afternoon for a bit.  A few squalls went through so not sure just yet if that created dunes on our path or if the snow stuck to the path nicely.  Dan is heading out right shortly to check on things as our guests aren’t wanting to go out right away. 

January 6, 2020 - 8:36 a.m.

Sorry I’m late this morning.  I was dead to the world until 8:00 this morning.  Dan was sound asleep at 9:00 last night but I couldn’t settle for some reason.  Finally shut it down around midnight and didn’t hear a thing until Mike dropped in this morning for coffee.  The boys have already headed to town and I am as well once I get moving properly.  Lol.  I had a long day yesterday and our check-ins aren’t arriving until this afternoon but I still better get a move on.  Our guests had a great weekend and everyone seemed pretty happy with the fishing so I hope it continues.  We received some much needed snow overnight and now the ice is covered enough to give everyone a false sense of security (as Dan likes to call it).  Actually I think the colder temperatures this week will go a long way to healing cracks and the snow will help with the trail conditions.  It’s been pretty hard on our equipment when travelling to and from the huts with no snow not to mention an extremely bumpy ride for our guests.  Hopefully the jaunt will be much smoother now.

January 5, 2020 - 6:32 a.m.

It was another good day of fishing for everyone.  Same as the day before, a little bit of everything was caught.  There was actually a rare blue perch caught by one of our guests which was cool to see.  The ice was just a booming last night as it finally cooled down a tad.  Dan was concerned about a particular crack heaving but considering we were making more ice last night, he said it has settled down a bit and not heaving quite as badly.  There was a lot of standing water on ice yesterday and I’m going to assume most of it froze overnight.  Lots of sled traffic coming off the lake last night just after dusk so the season is up and running fully.  I spent most of my day cottage cleaning yesterday and then had to zip into town for a quick medicinal run so by the time I sat down, it was 3:00.  We are only running half day today and then I’ll be starting cottage laundry.  We have check ins early tomorrow so hopefully Dan gets some rest this afternoon as he had a restless night

January 4, 2020 - 6:00 a.m.

Lots of fish were caught yesterday and although everyone was pretty tight lipped, there were certainly no complaints.  Walleye,  including some keepers, perch, bass and herring was what was indicated.  It remained mild all day and stayed that way overnight as well even though it was suppose to get considerably colder.  Hopefully it got much colder on ice with the wind chill.  We need some -20 temperatures for 3-4 days to get the pressure cracks healed up.  There were several mishaps yesterday.  Both trucks and sleds met up with some cracks and people are being advised to use extreme caution.  There is lots of ice, most places have a good foot of black ice but when they let too much water out of Lake Nipissing too quickly, and the level drops it causes the ice to crack so I guess they aren’t really caused by pressure per say.  Just please use your head when venturing out and don’t be going into unfamiliar territory.  Listen to the operators and heed any advice from locals, especially if around Callander Bay and Deepwater Point.

January 3, 2020 - 6:11 a.m.

And so it begins!  All our guests are checking in this morning so for the next couple of months, we will be rising for 5:00.  We went fishing New Year’s Day to see what the heck and were pleasantly surprised.  We caught a few perch and plenty of walleye; one keeper in a dozen so the numbers have improved.  The thaw we’ve been experiencing has kept the pressure really low and the current at the hut was helping to land us some fish.  It’s going to be a great day to fish outside but with the cold front due in tomorrow not sure how that will affect the fishing for the rest of the weekend but I know it’s going to be good today, for sure.  Dan is getting the huts ready to rock this morning while I look after the bait.  I really should have gone to town yesterday for grocery restocking but didn’t feel like it.  Tomorrow is it.

January 1, 2020 - 8:15 a.m.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

Dan and I behaved ourselves and had a quiet evening at home last night.  Dan was on ice all day with Mike giving him a hand with the set up.  We are having a “soft opening” as we usually do until we are completely comfortable with the ice conditions.  We are supposedly in for some colder weather in a few days so Dan is waiting until then to put our “big” huts on ice.  Only the 6 man are on for the upcoming weekend.  The powers that be let out a foot of water out of Lake Nipissing last week and as a result, huge cracks formed all over the lake.  There is one directly behind us, one at Deepwater Point, one through South Bay, one at the waterfront just off North Bay and one in Callander Bay and those are just the ones we know about.  Just use extreme caution if venturing out into unknown areas.  Our huts are currently about 125’ from the crack behind us and we are avoiding it completely this year, at least for now.  No worries though, we are still on the same reef so fishing will be good.  We’ll certainly find out soon enough.  May drop a line today for some R&D.  Stay safe and tight lines everyone.

December 31, 2019 - 8:37 a.m.

We survived the storm intact but I can’t say the same for Lake Nipissing.  Lol.  A humongous pressure crack formed off Amelia Beach at the North Bay waterfront and is extremely dangerous.  I saw footage and it’s a beaut so if you’re venturing that way, proceed with extreme caution and don’t cross it.  It’s massive, it’s heaved and will likely be a problem for the duration of the season.  We had a crack form by our usual spot again this year and it’s also heaved.  Dan is on ice right now with Mike and they are investigating a little more thoroughly before they begin hauling the huts.  There was no on ice operator hut movement yesterday that we saw at all just due to the conditions.  The winds were blowing too hard and didn’t die down until late afternoon.  It’s as calm as can be today and we received some nice snow overnight so there will be a lot of operators scurrying today, I’m sure.  Thankfully our first arrivals aren’t until Thursday so we have time to get set up but those anglers booked in today might not be so lucky.  I’m sure the operators will do their very best to