Friday, November 28, 2008

Catfish of 2008

Just a few catfishing photos! These are the size we target for EATING!

My Favorite Pics!

Here is a random collection of some of my favorite pics!

Hybrid Striped Bass of 2008

These fish will blow you away with how fast they grow! We stocked our first batch of HSB as fingerlings on May 5th of 2007 and as of October 15 of 2008 we already have 4.75 lb HSB!!! The average striper is about 2.75 lbs.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My first Buck!

It was 5 am on Friday morning and I was laying on the ground, bundled up with multiple layers of the warmest clothes I own. It was still very dark and the stars were shining bright. I was too cold to look at them though, it was colder than a well-diggers @$$! I have never been so freezing cold. To top it off, I was laying on a well used horse trail overlooking a big crick valley. I dont think I really need to say the next line, especially to those of you who have ever been on a horse trail; but I found out once it got light out that a few horses or one really big horse had done his daily duty right in my exact location! At least frozen patties dont stink.

Anyhow, on with the story. After miserably laying there for an hour, it finally starts to get light enough outside for me to start scoping the valley for any brown movement! I tried sitting in a little sportsmans stool perched behind a little evergreen tree for a few minutes, but my frame just isnt meant to sit in a stool that would be undersized already for the regular sized sportsman, so I decided to just lay on my belly overlooking the ridge.

I was only laying for about 10 minutes when I heard something shake the electrical horse fence behind me. First thought was that I was going to get ran over by a horse, but I didnt hear any other sounds? After listening intently for about a minute, I decided to slowly roll my head to peak behind me. When I looked back I could not believe what was happening! A huge buck was 15 feet behind me just staring right at me. We stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, and I was frozen in place (literally).

After about a minute the buck just started to walk away. He was following a trail that went behind a small hill and I quickly popped up to my feet when he was out of view. I didnt know where the trail led to, but I was ready for him if his path ever popped into view again! I do have to confess, for those of you who havent caught on yet, that I am not an avid deer hunter. I got too much fish stuff going on to actively pursue another time consuming hobby. My cousin and brothers are the diehard hunters, they put on all that scent crap and scout out everything and such. I always go with them for a day or two of shotgun hunting, basically to help drag the deer out of the woods.

Anyhow, I knew instantly that this was a shooter buck! Their buck shooting rule is this: if you shoot a buck, you put him on the wall no matter how big he is. Needless to say, I have never pulled the trigger on a buck yet, until today!

After he was out of eyesite for about a minute, he showed back up about 60 yards down the trail heading away from me. All of a sudden he turned broadside and just stood there overlooking the valley below. I hate to admit, but my heart was pumping pretty fast and hard. I couldnt believe this buck was basically begging me to shoot him? I aimed right at his heart and basically closed my eyes (not on purpose) and pulled the trigger. My biggest fear was having to spend the rest of the day chasing a blood trail, but somehow I hit him about a foot higher than I was supposed to and he dropped down dead instantly!!! He died about 30 feet from the road and my truck was conviently parked only about 150 yards away.

6:45 am and I was done!

At 9 am my uncle Mike shot a buck on the back side of the property, you know how regular deer hunters hunt, in the woods and from a tree stand. The boys were looking for his deer in the tall grass while I was just chilling by the 4-wheeler. As I was sitting there I caught some movement down in the woods out of the corner of my eye. About 30 yards down the 4-wheeler trail, a doe is just non-chalantly walking by. I conveniently pick up my brothers gun that was laying right there and shot the deer right in her heart! She didnt go far. It doesnt get much better than that!

Here are a couple more pics!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Definition of a Lake Manager

I often get asked where do you work? I respond "Herman Brothers Pond Management". The questioner then says "what kind of management????" then I have to change the pond to Lake Management for them to even comprehend what I am saying! Anyhow, it is kind of hard to keep babbling while posting, when you dont know proper grammer and english, so I will get to the point!

I take care of Lakes and Ponds for people who do not want to devote 1000's of hours intricately learning about what makes a body of water function properly. Or I guess mostly for people who have real jobs that require most of their time and energy and want to actually enjoy their lake when they do have some free time.

From the beginning to the end to everything in between, basically all things water! Here is a short list of what we do for folks with water.
  • Design Lakes
  • Map Lake Contours
  • Stock Millions of Fish
  • Create Proper Habitat
  • Install Aeration Systems
  • Implement Feeding Programs
  • Electrofish for Surveys
  • Trap for Surveys and Removal of unwanted fish
  • Monitor Water Quality
  • Control Unwanted Aquatic Vegetation
  • Plant Native Vegetation
  • Build Docks and Decks
  • Build Custom Pontoon Boats
  • Sell and Ship our Favorite Lake Products Nationwide
  • Drumroll PLEASE.....................but our absolute most favorite part of our job would be to Take People Fishing!!! We take our clients and their families guided fishing on their own lakes, we take people like grandparents and their grandkids fishing on our lakes, and we take friends and family fishing at various secret locations across the nation!!! We live, breath (i guess stink would be a better term), and eat FISHING! At all times, I know where the fish live, what they want to eat, why they want to eat, and how to get them to eat! I have all the equipment you could possibly ever need to catch fish and on the very few days that for some reason the fish just would not open their mouths, we have an electrofishing boat that will get the job done....just kidding.....kind of. Anyhow, I would like to note that 100% of our fishing trips were very successful! I have places, species, and equipment to catch fish 365 days a year!
  • .......The absolute worst part of our job (the part that I know nothing about, and desperately need to get someone hired) would be all the behind the scenes work that is associated with running a business. Like making sure Uncle Sam and Rod Blagoavich get their money, and making sure all the bills get paid on time, and making sure all the other paperwork and boring stuff gets signed and mailed and keeping track of this and that and whatever get the point?

Bluegill of 2008

Lots of Bluegill in 2008

A good friend coined the phrase "Boone and Crockett" last year while ice fishing a secret pond. He was blindfolded as we drove in........just kidding......kind of! Anyhow he was not referring to a Deer. He was talking about the bluegill we were pulling out of the ice, one after another!

Here is a collection of some Boone and Crockett bluegill from various lakes and ponds across central Illinois. Unfortunately I wont even come close to having time to fish all of my good bluegill spots through the ice this winter, but I do know a handful of nearby places that will get hit pretty hard. I have set a predetermined number of giant bluegill that we will harvest from each pond this season, that and a few other management tricks is how I can keep a pond producing giants consistently every year!

Biggest Carp of 2008

Yep, you read it right. Here is a collection of our biggest carp of 2008. Carp fishing is actually a ton of fun! They are much smarter and tougher to outwit than any other fish!