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Joined: 12:03pm - May 9,06
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Location: Lake County

Post Posted: 07:47pm - Apr 4,17 
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Like many others here, when i saw the title of this thread i followed intently. I was desperately hoping this was a play on words, that what happened didn't actually happen. I'm so sorry to hear of this terrible news. I know you will tell the tale in the way you see fit. RIP fellow ice walker.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 02:29pm - May 31,07
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Location: Grayslake

Post Posted: 09:48pm - Apr 4,17 
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I was curious.....Temps in Hayward the week of your trip. Lots of low numbers....building ice. Way more time under 32 than above. I will wear my picks around my neck and float suit when I move. Had them in my pocket early March.

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Joined: 12:43pm - Nov 17,05
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Post Posted: 04:37am - Apr 5,17 
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It's been a long time since I checked in on Chitown, actually hurt myself trying to remember my pass word..

My long time friend, I just want to thank you for taking the time and energy to write a very thought out, and painful tale. As Johhny said; well... he said it very well... "Blather".. is all any critic would spout.

When it comes to safety and thoughtful deep calculated planning, I could make a legitimate argument that no one does it better than you. Those who know, know. As mentioned above.. those/we who ice fish, understand the inherited risk involved. I'm not fully sure but if I had to guess, Joe passed doing what he loved the most. Personally I hope when my ticket comes up for a punch, that I can say the same.

I'll cherish the times I got to fish with Joe, and celebrate his life with you guys too. Again, thank you for taking the time to tell of your adventure and don't think twice about telling more, or.. don't. That's ok too. I look forward to the next time we step on the ice together again.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 08:50pm - Feb 2,08
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Location: yorkville

Post Posted: 09:41pm - Apr 5,17 
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Please continue if this helps in your loss,hope it provides some type of closure in this type of situation,Bless a fellow man-

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Post Posted: 05:50pm - Apr 6,17 
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So why then?
Why not just come right out from the start and say Joe died and tell how.
Joe didn’t go on the first, the second, the third or even during our fourth day of finishing off our season together. It wasn’t until the sun had set on our 2016 / 17 ice season that Joe left us.
If it had been me, I would wish that someone first recount the wonderfilled time we had together and then perhaps encourage others to follow their passions just as you and you over there too do, just as Joe did. It was by no known mistake that Joe went. He did not go under, he did not drown. Joe passed with my safety line around his chest and with Jim’s hands locked onto him. Jim is a true hero. Jim went through three times, he saved Al single handedly.
We just couldn’t pull Joe out and there in is a lesson to be learned. If a man cannot get himself out or help with your getting him out, it won’t happen.
It hasn’t been my intention to mislead, only to tell it as I see it in my mind.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 09:13am - Aug 5,12
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Location: North burbs

Post Posted: 06:07pm - Apr 6,17 
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I'm speechless... again my he Rest In Peace and my you heal as well.

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Post Posted: 08:29pm - Apr 6,17 
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Final Day
March 18th, 2017


So many beautiful ice covered lakes around this Hayward area. My first time finishing off on an inland lake in more than 25 years. All other years in memory were closed in Sturgeon Bay on The Bay of Green Bay fishing walleye with the exception of a couple crummy ice years, where we closed it out in Gladstone on Little Bay De Noc and once in Port Clinton on Lake Erie.
I have never fished crappie on the last day of it, I don’t think.
Oh what fun it can be.
What beats last day on the ice? Nothing in this world so let’s have some fun.

It was Al, during dinner the evening before who suggested we work Lac Courte Oreilles for better crappies on Saturday. We had fished it our first day and then kinda forgot about it while fishing three other lakes during our stay. Our minds were stuck on the Chippewa and how we were going to find a route in to the far east of it. It wasn’t until our decision had been made to stay off of the Chippewa that Lac Courte Oreilles came to mind again.
Of course! It’s locked in tight and has great crappies.

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Have you ever been charged a damage fee for a motel room in advance of damaging it? Like, just in case you boys go getting a little loose on us, we’re going to give you a little whack on your wallet right now, before ya even get to see it. Ya ever hear of that?
That girl must have been long eating their breakfast stuff that they self-serve on that hutch.
I had raisin bran each morning. I’ve heard it grows strong bodies. I don’t know about that.
Oh, we got our damage deposits returned a few days once home. I was scared though. I spilt my anise on my bedsheets and was figuring I was in for it.
You smell that? Anise.
I smell it still. That stuffs smell went everywhere. Jim would ask me out on the ice, “Any! You wearing anise again?”
He’d sniff the Yellow Thunderbolt before climbing on it and say “Hey, it smells like anise!”
I don’t know how I got my money back.

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Post Posted: 09:23pm - Apr 6,17 
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I struck something in the ice during one boring that took the edge off of the blades of my auger and no longer could we double the hole counts. Jim took to the task of doing the drilling himself mostly and this guy, he creates mine fields of holes with spoil piles that look like an expanse of little volcanoes, everywhere. If those things start shooting anything out of them, anything, we’re in trouble. I don’t know if it will require us fishing all of these holes in order to find a fish but I’m guessing Al and Joe only need a couple apiece. Me, I might need em all. I’m wondering if there’s ling in here.

I hear Al go, “HOOhooooo!”
He’s down on his knees with a big strain on his rod and up comes another of his slobs.
I put it on the board and told him it was a good one. “It’s a ten, Al”
This ain’t no ling.

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These crappie just get big all over once they reach twelve inches. Twelve is where they turn into a different fish here.
The morning bite was great with several big fish brought up.
Joe was topping anything anyone else might slop onto the board. I wonder if he uses anise.

Image

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Post Posted: 12:55pm - Apr 7,17 
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The fish just kept on biting those plastics. A nice thing about fishing last ice is the fish are often on the feed and it didn’t really matter what we dangled at them, they ate it all. Joe had a 3 mm jig with the tiniest little plastic tail and the crappies were nuts about it. Jim’s presentations were along the same line and I was running out of these green/glow Maki Jamei’s. They’re pretty big in comparison to what J and J were using. Al never swayed from his Suik Weagle tipped with a Pounder plastic curly-tail, I think that’s what it was anyway. The crappie liked it.

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Sometime in the afternoon things took to a slowdown. Our fish were disappearing from our sonar screens. That happens I guess sometimes but not normally when we’re out with the Crappie Professor. He has this power over crappies ya know.
Oh, maybe this is why our crappie came scarce all of a sudden.
It’s lunchtime for the mid-day prowlers.

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Maybe it’s a good time to take a break here and have some lunch ourselves, ey?

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Post Posted: 02:39pm - Apr 7,17 
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We had mustard smothered bratwursts on hot dog buns for lunch this day. Pulled pork on Hawaiian rolls a couple other days. The Jack Daniel’s pulled pork has been popular with us. We load it on the toasted rolls, the elongated ones and that’s a good sandwich that’s just my size. One of our partners here, who is just a head or three taller than me can down three of em. I wonder what Dawn’s grocery bill is like.
So let’s bring out some added tools here to work with, traps!
Tip Downs Babayy!
We set them up in a funneling “V” pattern to trap every fat black Cuderay crappie that comes by. Cuderay is the pronunciation for Lac Courte Orielles. Don’t ask me how they get that outta that.

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Tip a Goin Downnn!!! ….. Nah, not really, I’m just practicing, I’m getting ready for it.


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Oh mann! How long is this going to go on? As long as these child gators are around, we can bet there won’t be many crops caught.

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But then….
Right when you were starting to wonder…
Jim snares one in his snoot!

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Did you see the bend in that 28” finely crafted 100% fiberglass rod? I don’t exactly know the modulus count on those fibers but I’m thinking a whole bunch maybe. The reels are as fine a line-winder as the best Shimano could ever offer. 32 ball bearing assembly did I hear? Or maybe it was just that they came assembled. Some set-up I tell ya.

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Come to poppa sweet pea.

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Hey Maggot!
HEY MAGGOT!!
You’re sitting right in the center of the trap. Geez! You set yourself a nice little spread and first thing ya know, here come the spot jumpers!

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Well. I don’t know what to say here now. The light is getting on with it. The shadows have been long for a while now.

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It has been as good as we could have ever asked for but now it is time to say goodbye to the season. The time has come to gather the Mohawks and close it all down. Although the 2016/17 ice season with all of its ups and downs, mostly ups where the air temps were concerned, was pretty tough on us all, for travel was the way it had to be for much of the season. Getting out wasn’t even possible for many yet for us four, the past four days have been simply marvelous.
Thank you all for putting up with this mess and giving of your time.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


By now many of you know some of the facts of the event that took place next.
On our way back in, AL’s machine broke through, perhaps over a spring and dropped to the bottom. A lakeside resident, watching out of his window saw it happen and immediately made the call for help.
Darkness came over us and the minutes, they turned to hours.
The Hayward Fire Department’s airboat rescue team launched onto the flats of Musky Bay off the side of the road and …

I’m sorry….

Joe was airlifted to Saint Mary’s hospital trauma center in Duluth.
He was gone

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Chitown-Angler
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Post Posted: 08:55pm - Apr 7,17 
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Thank you Mr.Luc.

That's all I can say.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 02:23am - Dec 3,11
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Location: Highland Indiana

Post Posted: 07:45am - Apr 12,17 
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I thank you for the story, I hope it was cathartic for you. I am sorry for your loss. If there is anything you can take away from this tragedy is that you were able to spend the last minutes of a good friends life together. Speaking as someone who lost a close friend way too soon, I wish I could have been around or seen him one last time before he went. It sounds like you guys were having a blast until the fateful event, if there's any comfort at all,at least you know he had a great final few days. It's time to heal now, I hope sharing your story started that process for you,take care.

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Post Posted: 09:40am - Apr 12,17 
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My Deepest Sympathy
R.I.P. Joe

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Post Posted: 11:34am - Apr 12,17 
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Thank you for finishing the story although I'm sure it was not easy to do. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend and may Joe rest in peace.

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Post Posted: 04:36pm - Apr 12,17 
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Excellent Story, fun reading until the end. Heartfelt Sorrow goes out to you Any Luc and your friends with the loss of your friend Joe, May He Rest in Peace.

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Post Posted: 05:06pm - Apr 12,17 
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With all my respect and Fidelity thank you for sharing. Prayers have been said.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 12:38pm - Oct 20,14
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Post Posted: 03:00am - Apr 20,17 
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So sorry for your loss. Thanks for telling the story.

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