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:

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-

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Upcoming Ice Fishing Events

The ice is getting thicker and we are planning some really fun ice fishing events for the end of this month! Right now its too cold to be out fishing, but once this polar equinox or vertex or cold front moves or whatever you want to call it, once its gone and things warm up a bit the fishing will be on FIRE!

The perfect day of ice fishing involves alot of friends, a big bonfire, hot chocolate, Chef Todd's famous pot of soup, and of course catching lots of fish! Even if you have no ice fishing gear or dont care to fish in general, just getting outside with the family and hanging out with everyone on the lake is a great way to help stave off those winter blues! Not to mention that experiences and adventures like this are life changing for those kiddos.

 We have two big events planned for this winter. The first one is the Giant Goose Ranch family ice fishing extravaganza on Saturday, January 31st. We will be ice fishing from 8-4 pm that day with Chef Todd's famous lunch at Noon.

Bonfire and Hot Chocolate will be available all day, and you can make plans to stay all day or simply come for however long you think your kids can make it outside. We will have a portable outhouse with a cold seat out near the lakes, but also have a heated bathouse up at the goose ranch office as well....

We will have 100's of ice fishing holes drilled and plenty of helpers to help everyone catch some fish! We even have a special kids fishing pond set up for ice fishing that is full of plump rainbow trout, feisty bluegill and bass, and even a handful of big bonus crappie for the kids.

The cost for this event is free for kids 15 and under, $5 per goose ranch member, $5 for women (non-members), and $75 for men (non-members). Just email for questions, directions and details.

The next event we are hosting is on Saturday, Feb 7th! It actually is an ice fishing derby with not only great prizes, but braggin rights on the line. More than the competition though, this ice fishing derby is a fundraiser for the Hooked on Fishing Park in East Peoria.

Each year Hooked on Fishing teaches thousands of kids and takes senior citizens fishing free of charge over at their East Peoria ponds. Its an amazing facility that is picture perfect for introducing children to fishing and taking bus loads of residents from nursing and handicap homes.
There is no shortage of kids and seniors that are on the list to come fishing each summer, but the limiting factor is simply raising the funds and having the volunteers necessary to do so. We could use your help!

If you like to ice fish come on out and enter the derby with a partner. The entry fee is $50 per two man team and 100% of the funds go directly towards 2015 operating costs at the fishing park. The derby runs from 8-12 with a famous Chef Todd lunch and weigh in right at noon. Following the weigh in, the Goose Ranch will also be open for more ice fishing until 4 pm.

Presley's Outdoors in Bartonville is sponsoring and putting on this event so stop on down and sign up there or contact for more information.

One last event is for any pondmeisters up in Wisconsin!