Sunday, April 12, 2015

Springtime Recap, Pics and Upcoming Events

Well, I think I can hopefully confidently say that spring has officially sprung! Vegetation is finally turning green, no more frost on my windshield in the morning, and crocs are our footwear of choice from here on out... Oh yeah and we actually made it out fishing Saturday late afternoon! We were after as many different species as possible at Herman Brothers 30 acre proving grounds lake and we accomplished our goal:








It was good to get back out fishing. This spring we have been working 'round the clock getting the Goose Ranch ready for the upcoming season! Man, I'm telling you it is by far the most impressive outdoor recreational project I have seen to date anywhere in the country. We have built, connected, and renovated tons of lakes, put in miles of roads, constructed tons of cabins, created bigger campsites, working on pavilions, bathhouses, beach, and stocked more fish than one could even fathom. We are up to 56 lakes and ponds now on the property...If you havent been out to at least visit the goose ranch in 2015 you need to come and take a peak!

We have been putting all our updates, events, and pics on our Giant Goose Ranch Facebook Page. You dont need facebook to view it, here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Giant-Goose-Ranch/1442589849289140

Here are some of the coolest fish we have stocked this spring, Albino Channel Catfish:


Here is a pic of our new rental cabin at the goose ranch! This cabin is available to rent by the night and includes full access to the whole ranch. http://giantgooseranch.com/cabins_rental.html


You can bring your own boat or rent a deluxe fishing boat as well. Buell's Marine in Canton is conveniently located just a few miles from the ranch and has been servicing all our boat needs for us and our members at the ranch! We have the perfect family fishing boat for rent, its a brand new Lowe Stryker 16' fishing machine! It has enough amenities for the perfect day on the water, but simple enough for anyone to operate and manuever!

Here is an event at the Goose Ranch that I hope you all can attend and bring your friends and family out to as well. Its not only our spring Goose Ranch open house, but its also one of the coolest fishing tournaments in the country! The Camp Big Sky handicapped fishing tournament will be held on Giant Goose Lake on Saturday, May 23rd! The tournament pairs up 30 handicapped anglers with 30 tournamant fishing anglers and every species of fish counts. We are setting up a big stage area for the weigh in and our goal is to have over 500 people there cheering on the contestants as they stand up in front of everyone holding up their fish with the biggest smiles you have ever seen!


Also on that day bring your families out to fish in the kid fishing pond, hike the trails, and tour the ranch! This will be a super fun event for the whole family!

One last big event is our tv show season premiere is scheduled for Tuesday night May 12th on the DIY Network. I believe there will be a new episode out every Tuesday night all summer long! I think they are going to start playing the reruns from last season earlier in May too. Here is some more information: http://giantgooseranch.com/lakelife.html

I was a little tired today and ended up taking a 4 hour nap this afternoon. Man am I thankful for Sundays, I guess God knew what he was doing by putting in a day of rest...  All the HB and Goose Ranch crews have been working round the clock! We now have 26 guys and gals working full time for Goose Ranch and we are super excited about the opportunities that lie ahead!!!








 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ice fishing reports and pics

Well, it looks like we are going to have at least a 10-14 day window for ice fishing here in mid-February in Central Illinois.The last few days there have been several groups out ice fishing, here are the reports and pics!

Out at the Giant Goose Ranch, several groups went out over the weekend, and everyone did great!!Mike from Chicago had an awesome day on the big lake where he iced over 40 bass using a swedish pimple in 8-14' water around submerged islands. He somehow managed to land several very large bass through the tiny hole:



Mike also found an awesome limit of panfish as well. Im pretty sure he stuck with the swedish pimple most of the time, since the fish were pretty active.


Dave and his son fished the old duck blind island on big lake and their first fish was this nice rainbow trout!


Several groups hit High Rise lake for yellow perch and everyone did awesome with limits over the weekend. Most reported 30-50 perch. Here is the Woodson boys catch, they are gonna be eating good!


Steve and his group hit up one of our other lakes and did really well on giant bluegill!





They saved enough time to hit the perch zone as well:



Chef Todd also did pretty good over the weekend!


This albino catfish was on his bucket list!


Chris had the most safe ice and hosted a large group to raise money for hooked on fishing park and one lucky guy caught this monster:


Christian and Justin did some perch fishing awhile back in Justins backyard and did pretty good finding some Dakota Gold!





We have been working nonstop out at the Goose Ranch building cabins and have only been able to ice fish just a few minutes here and there but I did find a nice walleye while scouting around on thin ice earlier this season:


Us Herman Bros took our wives and kids out for an hour Sat evening and got on an insane hybrid striper bite! The fast action had alot to do with the new boost product from Zebco. In 10 yrs of hybrid striper fishing through the ice, I have never had them biting this well through the ice, they were on fire with all that fish scent in the water! We landed about 30 of them and kept 4 of the smaller ones for dinner! We literally had 1-3 fish on at a time for 30 minutes straight!!





So anyhow, when the ice is safe the fishing is GREAT! I couldnt be more thrilled with how everything is progressing at the Giant Goose Ranch. The fisheries there are well on their way to becoming the best multi-species fishing lakes in the entire nation! Next week we are chainsawing a big hole through the ice and stocking 5000 more rainbow, brook, and brown trout into big lake.

Also another really exciting fish stocking program is the specialty species that are native to Illinois. We are working with the Illinois DNR to stock 13 of the goose ranch lakes and ponds with many different native broodfish species! This is super exciting!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Feb 7th Ice Fishing Derby CANCELLED

Sad to say we have to cancel the upcoming ice fishing derby scheduled at the Giant Goose Ranch. We only have 3-5" of ice and many weak spots along the edges so no go for the event.

This was a fundraiser for the hooked on fishing park 2015 operating expenses. I am hoping some of you will still donate time or money to the park this year to help keep that awesome program running full bore!

Here is more information: http://hookedonfishingpark.com/

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan 31st Ice Fishing Event CANCELLED

Our Ice fishing Extravaganza scheduled for Jan 31st unfortunately has to be rescheduled due to unsafe ice. We are moving the event to Saturday, Feb 7th and joining up with the Fishing Derby already scheduled for that day.


So here are the new event details: Cost is $50 per two man team for those entering the derby. For those who just want to come hang out and eat lunch on the ice, the cost is a $10 donation to Hooked On Fishing Park.




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Upcoming Pond Boss Conference and Expo

I would like to personally invite you to the National Pond Boss Conference and Expo. Every pond, lake, and land owner along with every young buck hoping to learn a thing or two about cutting edge management of fish and wildlife wont want to miss this event February 19-21 2015 at the Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront on Lake Ray Hubbard.

Seriously, this is a superstar collection of the nations top private fishery and wildlife biologists sharing their secrets to success. Not only just sharing their information, but you will also have time to talk to most of them all personally throughout the weekend about your exact situations and experiences.

The information and networking you will gain from this event is life changing and priceless. I stumbled across Pond Boss Magazine about 10 years ago. The things I have learned and the people I have met through the magazine and conferences have shaped my core management techniques.

The magazine is packed with information for property owners who want to push the envelope in attracting wildlife and growing abnormally large fish; and the conference brings it all to life!


You can Register online at Pond Boss Registration or just click the link for more information. Also you can always register over the phone at 800-687-6075

This will be my 6th conference, but the first time I will be speaking at it! I am super excited. Here is a line up of speakers for the event.
Pond Boss VI Speaker Program - Talk Details

Hopefully will see some of you guys down in Dallas! You can always contact me direct for more information as well- nate@hblakemanagement.com