Friday, February 27, 2009
We have been to sport shows across the midwest, but none of them have gotten us even close the work that we get from this Home Show!
If your in the Peoria area Friday, Saturday, or Sunday come on down and visit us at booth 1288. We have a tank set up with smallmouth bass, and 100's of fishing pictures. Also we are unveiling our Herman Brothers 2009 master catalog of lake products!
I will post some pics and updates live from the show.
Jonn's account of fishing with Herman Brothers
This winter has been a real nightmare for me. I was hoping for a nice, mild winter so as I could continue to catch my beloved river smallmouth. Well, so much for that! This winter has proven to be a “true” winter with temps. so darn cold that my local rivers are nearly frozen from bank to bank. So, what is a stream fisherman to do? Simple- hit the ice for a little round-up of some tasty panfish.
Many winters down here in Central Illinois provide a very short ice fishing season. I can remember some years where we would only get about two weekends to ply our hard water craft, before the ice disappeared. Not this year. Mother nature has turned even Central Illinois into a frozen tundra. While I am not a big fan of cold weather, you have to deal with the hand this dealt to you. So this past winter I have grabbed the auger, shanty, and rods and headed on the ice in pursuit of some tasty panfish.
My first trip of the year was with my good buddy, Nate Herman. Nate runs a pond management service near Peoria. Nate basically manages the fish populations at a number of private farm ponds. Lucky for him and me, he is able to take people to these ponds. It truly is nice to go to a pond with a guy who actually stocked the pond and knows exactly where the fish hang out and how big they are. Armed with his Vexilar flasher, my father in law, Nate, and I had a wonderful trip around the Christmas holiday. We fished a pond I refer to as, “The Bluegill Pond”. You can probably guess why – large bluegill and many of them. Nate got us all set up right on a big school of hungry bluegill. We were allowed to take 25 bluegills home for the frying pan. Catching our 25 only took about 90 minutes. Once we had our 25 BIG bluegills, we began to practice a little catch n release. What a time! As soon as you got your jig down around 10 feet, you immediately had another bluegill coming up the hole.
At the end of the day, my father in law and I just knew we would have to go back and fish with Nate again. After hearing about our great trip, my father, who loves ice fishing, was primed and ready to come down as well. A few days later we had a trip booked with Nate right after the first of the year. This time we would bring down a small army of ice fisherman. The army included me, my dad, his friend, Bob, my brother in law, and his friend, Weezer, and also, once again, my father in law. We were primed and ready. All of us could not wait for the day to arrive.
The day of the trip was a cold and windy day. Luckily, we had enough huts to allow every angler some shelter. Of course, we started at “The Bluegill Pond”. After a few holes drilled, we were on the big, slab bluegills. Everyone was catching fish right and left. Nate’s brother, Justin had a video camera on a tripod and was shooting a video of our bluegill-slaying exploits. As we were catching fish, Nate had his cleaning board set up and was cleaning fish in preparation for our shore lunch of fresh bluegills. Yes, a winter shore lunch. Only exception would be it would not be on shore, but over at his father’s house only minutes away. After catching over 100 bluegills in about two hours or so, it was time to pack up and head over for our lunch.
The lunch was prepared by my friend, Todd Kent, who is a chef at Peoria’s most prestigious restaurant. The fixins were simple- fresh ‘gills, homemade cole slow, a few baked trout, and tasty hash browns covered in cheese, bacon, and spices. WOW! What a meal. After eating so much, many of us needed a nap. Of course, the nap was quickly ruled out and it was back to ice fishing.
The rest of the afternoon all six of us set up on Nate’s father’s pond. This pond is only about four acres, but was located only steps away from where we ate our lunch. This pond contains many different species of fish, but the target was the jumbo perch that call this pond home. The perch over the years have proven very elusive to the Herman family. They know they are in the pond, but finding them has proven tough. We were confident we could find them.
All six of us set up on some key structure and went to work. The Vexilars were running full boar and bluegill began appearing almost immediately. The bluegill action was not quite as fast as it was at “The Bluegill Pond”, but the ‘gill that we did catch were nice sized for the most part. We also caught some very niced sized hybrid sunfish. They were very thick fish and beautifully colored. But, we all kept asking, “where are those jumbo perch”? I grabbed an auger, got out of the hut, and began drilling holes around the pond. Armed with the Vexilar, I was hoping to find maybe a suspended school of perch. Though my heart was in the right place, I was unable to find anything at all – not even a school of bluegills. So I headed over to where my dad was set up hoping to get into some of the nice bluegills he was catching.
I did manage to catch a couple of nice ‘gills, though not as many as old dad. I guess I was not holding my mouth right. I could mark them all over my Vexilar, but could not get them pesky panfish to cooperate. At around 4:00, my father in law and I called it a day. Everyone else had already left. We knew we had fish to clean and the ride home would be a treacherous one due to road conditions.
All in all, what a day we had. Two ponds loaded with tasty bluegills. The act of catching those jumbo ‘gills was enough to make the day. Add in the shore lunch of freshly caught fish, and it was a day that won’t be topped anytime soon. Nate and his family are truly a class act. Friendly, helpful, and comedic are all traits they display. The video they made will be a treasure to view for years to come.
If you are looking for a great fishing trip for you and your family, Nate is your man. You can check out his business at www.hbpondmanagement.com
And, don’t forget that spring is hopefully just around the corner. I am beginning to book stream smallmouth trips for the 2009 season. If you are interested in learning the ways of our wily, Illinois, stream smallies, give me a call at 309-399-7055.
AS ALWAYS……………………………HAIL TO THE SMALLIE
Here's a great timber parcel located in the heart of the biggest buck country in the United States -- Just 10 miles from Ottumwa and 8 miles from Bloomfield, Iowa in Davis County. The world record buck was killed just down the road! Whitetail Deer Genetics are simply the best in the Midwest.
Chad, Justin, and I have owned this chunk of Iowa timber for 3 years now, and quite frankly it is just an amazing overall property! Definitely one of my favorite hunting and camping properties. The only reason why we even consider letting go of this slice of hunting heaven is because it is 3 hours away and we officially have too much fish stuff going on back home! I only made it out there for 3 days last year. In those 3 days of hunting in December, Justin and I saw 143 deer and over 100 turkeys from our stands. We have 5 tower blinds strategically set up over our food plots.
This property features the perfect mixture of Rolling Hills, Scenic Valleys, Creek Bottoms, Big Thick Timber, Warm Season Grass Bedding Areas, and an Unbelievable mix of Small Fields throughout for super isoloted food plot locations! There is a 10 acre field on the property, but farming income is not possible due to huge population of whitetail deer!
This property boasts amazing ATV, horse, and hiking trails throughout. Also excellent turkey hunting, upland game hunting, morel mushroom hunting, shed antler hunting, and Big Buck Deer Hunting! Check out these rubs that are all over the place:
-This parcel offers secluded hunting opportunities -- with easy access off of county highway (power, water and electric are available at the highway).
-Highway frontage on one edge -- but can't see into the property from the road!
-Great building sites, offering a world of view and would have almost zero impact on the hunting!
-Property consists of rolling hills and is approximately 85% timber -- from thick timber to big mature white oak stands!
-Excellent populations of deer and turkey. Trophy potential is all over this one.
-There is a pond of approximately 1 acre on the property: Completely overrun with crappie and bluegill. I always had plans to make this pond home to a pair of muskies, but never did follow through.
-This area is known for producing big deer -- expect to see lots of 130-150 class deer on the parcel on a week long hunt in November. And, expect to get a crack or two at something in the scary-big category -- there are 170 class and much bigger deer that cruise this property each fall. Here are some trail cam pics from last fall!
-Trail system throughout property leads to easy and discreet access possibilities to stand sites.
-Several potential pond/lake sites. If someone wanted to waste some of the very best deer hunting in Iowa, you could potentially build an enormous lake of 50+ acres!
-Many food plot locations -- all in remote places.
-5 acres of winter wheat and ladino clover to be planted this August -- this in a remote location and will surely provide some fantastic fall bowhunting action!
-Property comes with an IWHS Professional Consulting Plan and Forest Stewardship Management Plan -- this plan tells you how to manage this timber for the best big buck production and to enhance timber value. It also gives you detailed stand site locations for shooting the biggest deer on the property! Comes with video showing you how and what we'd do to make this property become the best it can be from a hunting stand point.
Monday, February 23, 2009
My goal with this website is to help fish dealers and hatcheries from all 50 states promote their websites by utilizing all of the main aspects of SEO. Business directory listing, linkbuilding, video, photo and article submitting, fresh content and general online networking are some of the key online features built into fishstockingusa.
Each fish dealer that joins fishstockingusa will receive a one page business listing under the state(s) of their choice. This page includes their contact information, direct website link, photo, and general fish stocking information. Being listed in this comprehensive directory of fish dealers will not only directly generate additional traffic to the dealer's main website, but it will also improve their website rankings with search engines as well.
Linkbuilding is a very key aspect of SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization for those of you who don't know. If your website is not linked up to other websites, you will never be able to improve your rankings in search engines. Industry related links are especially important to search engine rankings! Fishstockingusa has quite a few aspects of linkbuilding to help improve fish dealer's website rankings. Fishstockingusa is already linked up to 100's of outdoor related websites, blogs and directories. Fish dealers will have a direct link to their website in their business listing and will also be able to post their website link in their articles that are featured on fishstockingusa's home page!
Fish dealers will be able to publish their industry related articles, stories, photos, and videos on fishstockingusa's homepage. These items will have the author's contact information and website link built in, and will be submitted to and utilized by outdoor websites and magazines looking for fresh content. Not only will this gain valuable backlinks to the author, but these avenues of self promotion are the very best ways for a fish dealers and hatcheries to get nationwide exposure!
If you are a fish dealer looking to gain an edge by utilizing the internet and promoting your website, fishstockingusa.com is a great tool! Don't waste 100's of hours or 1000's of dollars going through each component of SEO individually. For less than $40 and under 10 minutes of your time you can join fishstockingusa and let our online experts do the rest for you!
I have just recently started a new website called lakemanagementusa.com
My goal with this website is to help aquatic service providers from all 50 states promote their websites by utilizing all of the main aspects of SEO. Business directory listing, linkbuilding, video, photo and article submitting, fresh content and general online networking are some of the key online features built into lakemanagementusa.com
Each lake manager that joins lakemanagementusa will receive a one page business listing under the state(s) of their choice. This page includes their contact information, direct website link, photo, services and general information. Being listed in this comprehensive directory of the nations leading aquatic service providers will not only directly generate additional traffic to the lake manager's main website, but it will also improve their main website rankings with search engines as well.
Linkbuilding is a very key aspect of SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization for those of you who don't know. If your website is not linked up to other websites, you will never be able to improve your rankings in search engines. Industry related links are especially important to search engine rankings! Lakemanagementusa has quite a few aspects of linkbuilding to help improve the lake manager's website rankings. Lakemanagementusa is already linked up to 100's of outdoor related websites, blogs and directories. Lake managers will have a direct link to their website in their business listing and will also be able to post their website link in their articles that are featured on lakemanagementusa's home page!
Lake managers will be able to publish their industry related articles, stories, photos, and videos on lakemanagementusa's homepage. These items will have the author's contact information and website link built in, and will be submitted to and utilized by outdoor websites and magazines looking for fresh content. Not only will this gain valuable backlinks to the author, but these avenues of self promotion are the very best ways for lake managers to get nationwide exposure!
If you are an aquatic service provider looking to gain an edge by utilizing the internet and promoting your website, lakemanagementusa.com is a great tool! Don't waste 100's of hours or 1000's of dollars going through each component of SEO individually. For less than $40 and under 10 minutes of your time you can join lakemanagementusa and let our online experts do the rest for you!
I have started a new website called guidedfishingusa.com
My goal with this website is to help fishing guides from all 50 states promote their websites by utilizing all of the main aspects of SEO. Business directory listing, linkbuilding, video, photo and article submitting, fresh content and general online networking are some of the key online features built into guidedfishingusa.com.
Each fishing guide that joins guidedfishingusa will receive a one page business listing under the state(s) of their choice. This page includes their contact information, direct website link, photo, fishing trip rates and general information. Being listed in this comprehensive directory of fishing guides will not only directly generate additional traffic to the guides main website, but it will also improve the guides main website rankings with search engines as well.
Linkbuilding is a very key aspect of SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization for those of you who don't know. If your website is not linked up to other websites, you will never be able to improve your rankings in search engines. Industry related links are especially important to search engine rankings! Guidedfishingusa has quite a few aspects of linkbuilding to help improve their website rankings: Guidedfishingusa is already linked up to 100's of outdoor related websites, blogs and directories. Fishing guides will have a direct link to their website in their business listing and will also be able to post their website link in their articles that are featured on guidedfishingusa's home page!
Fishing guides will be able to publish their fishing related articles, stories, photos, and videos on Guidedfishingusa's homepage. These items will have the author's contact information and website link built in, and will be submitted to and utilized by outdoor websites and magazines looking for fresh content. Not only will this gain valuable backlinks to the author, but these avenues of self promotion are the very best ways for a fishing guide to get nationwide exposure!
If you are a fishing guide looking to gain an edge by utilizing the internet and promoting your website, guidedfishingusa.com is a great tool! Don't waste 100's of hours or 1000's of dollars going through each component of SEO individually. For less than $40 and under 10 minutes of your time you can join guidedfishingusa and let our online experts do the rest for you!
Friday, February 20, 2009
We were fishing a private lake North of Rochelle, Illinois. Words cannot describe what an amazing day this was! The wind was blowing 30 mph, the temperature was about 14 degrees, everyone had little portable Dave Genz fishing shelters to fish in but us, the film crew had to cancel because of the bad weather, the fish were not biting very well due to the cold front and high pressure system, and did I mention that it was freeeezing cold outside? Anyhow, despite all that, it actually was an amazing experience that I will never forget!
For those of you who don't know, Dave Genz has already been inducted into Minnesota's Fishing Hall of Fame, and he will be inducted into the national fishing hall of fame shortly. He is in the upper half of the 50 greatest fisherman of all time, and perhaps one of the very best ice fisherman in the world! Dave has his own line of ice fishing apparel, fish houses, fishing poles, fishing jigs, and much more. He also has been ice fishing with just about every professional angler on TV!
The day started out about 9 am on the ice. We pulled up with our schoolie rods and 5 gallon bucket seats. They pulled up with their snowmobile rigs, portable fish houses, power ice augers, umpteen vexilars, St. Croix and Dave Genz rods, ice armor snowsuits, jigs with actual names, colored eurolarvae, and probably other stuff I can't think of at the moment. We got everything loaded up on Dave's snowmobile trailer and headed out onto the lake.
First thing we did was drill about a dozen holes per person and start checking them all out for fish and weeds. The bite started out pretty hot for Dave and his daughter Missy. They caught about a dozen real nice crappies right off the bat, and then the fish were tight lipped the entire rest of the day. We moved around quite a bit trying to find a school of fish willing to stick juicy maggots into their mouths. When we couldnt find many takers, we decided it was time for a little ice fishing 101 with practically the inventor of the vexilar.
We headed in for lunch about noon. The owner of the lake Chad had a nice warm shed near the lake, and him and Chef Todd cooked up a feast! We ate grilled lane snapper, cheddar deer burgers, homemade cole slaw, and iced cherry coffee cake dessert! Inside we had a good time taking pics, telling stories, and gorging on some of the best food imaginable!
After lunch, we didnt have much of a desire to move around and look for active fish, so we all just camped out over a small hump with a live weed bed and hung out! Of course Chef and I bombarded Dave with bajillions of questions, and he spent several hours just teaching us about ice fishing and telling fish stories. We even hashed out a few lake and fish management issues as well! As far as fisheries are concerned, he comes from a much different world than I do. The lake we were on today at 20 acres was teeny tiny to Dave, yet fairly large in my book. Managing public lakes that are 10,000 acres big with thousands of fisherman is much different than managing a private lake with only one or a handful of owners!
Anyhow, since the TV crew couldnt film and Dave's schedule had him checking into a comfort inn in Antioch later that night, he had the whole day free to just spend time hanging out with us. From 9am to 5pm, we got to hang out with an icefishing legend! Dave is an extremely nice and personable guy. It was also an honor to get to spend time with Tod and his buddies! When we werent bombarding Dave with questions, we were soaking up their information!
When it comes to fishing, we have learned to stack the deck completely in our favor! We stock lots of fish into private ponds, give them gated communities to live in, and train them to focus most all of their time and energy on eating. Dave, Tod, and their crew however, they actually know how to FISH!
On a day like today, average fisherman would walk home with absolutely nothing. These guys still managed to catch a few keepers for dinner.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
This 1187 acre income producing recreational property is a one of a kind farm that has it all! Rolling hills, manicured landscapes, productive tillable, new orchards, food plots, creek bottoms, and controlled cell wetlands make this ranch one of the most scenic properties in Illinois.
Located a few miles outside of Galesburg, Illinois and just down the road from 600 acre Oak Run lake; North Creek Preserve boasts four beautiful homes/ lodges and four newer Morton Buildings.
We have been working with Illinois Fishery Biologist, Kenny Russel to create some of the very best fishing lakes imaginable. Most of the lakes on the property are brand new and in the process of being stocked with forage minnows and panfish, with the predators: Muskie, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Hybrid Striped Bass waiting in the wings! There are several 10-15 acre lakes already completed and the biggest lake of 64 acres is currently under construction.
North Creek Preserve is perhaps the most beautiful and scenic piece of land I have ever seen anywhere in the world! This unique world class recreational property features amazing fishing, mushroom hunting, waterfowl hunting, turkey hunting, and trophy whitetail deer hunting! The perfect combination of creek bottoms, controlled cell wetlands, food plots, big timber, bedding areas, and income producing crops makes this one of the very best overall hunting properties in the Midwest. Not to mention that the farm ground is very productive and profitable.
This property is currently available! There is not another ranch in Illinois that has the quality of animals, productive tillable, and amenities that NORTH CREEK PRESERVE can offer.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Here is one of my favorite fishing videos Justin has made so far! It is a compilation of bluegill fishing clips and pictures. We made the video for BigBluegill.com to use on their website. Let me know if you do or don't like this bluegill fishing video?
We are excited to announce that starting in 2009, all of our guided fishing trips will be filmed and edited!
In 2007 the Herman Brothers started providing a unique fishing guide service, where Justin and Nate would take clients and their families fishing on the clients own lake. During these guided trips, we would teach our clients everything they could possibly need to know about catching fish in their lake. This became such a popular event with our clients, that we started offering guided fishing trips on our own private lakes.
In 2008, Justin and Nate taught more than 1000 local children, seniors, widows, and just plain regular people how to fish! In 2009 we are anxiously awaiting the grand opening of our new fishing park in East Peoria, Illinos! We have joined together with several area businesses to open up Hooked on Fishing Park. Our plans are to teach children, seniors, boy scouts, etc how to fish free of charge!
"To Promote Understanding And Comprehensive Management of Lake And Watershed Ecosystems"
This week I have been attending the ILMA annual conference. The conference was at the Hotel Pere Marquette in Peoria, Illinois. I was sharing a booth with Integrated Lakes Management from Chicago. We were showing potential clients the incredibly cool features of Cabelas Lake Mapping.
I am Cabelas Trophy Properties Lake and Pond Service Provider for the middle of Illinois, and ILM is their aquatic service provider for Northern Illinois.
The show was cut short for me though, because on Thursday I got invited to go ice fishing with Dave Genz, Don Dziedna, Tod Todd, and a few other guys on a private lake up in Northern Illinois. It was a tough decision, but finally after drawing straws, pulling numbers out of a hat, and picking petals off of several flowers, I decided to head up North and join the gang of professional ice fisherman!!!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
A One-of-a-Kind World Class Hunting and Fishing Farm
Located in the heart of Fulton County’s big buck country; this ground is perfect habitat for all types of waterfowl, upland game, deer and turkey. The abundance of wild game and the amazing trophy hunting potential, however are not the focal point of this recreational property. Otter Creek Preserve is all about the FISH!!!
This stunning 682 acre farm has over 250 acres of lakes and several other controlled cell wetlands areas. Another two hundred acres of this property is tillable land with extremely good income for recreational ground, and the rest of the property is a perfect mixture of timber and warm season grasses. The water on the property is divided into 3 main lakes and several controlled cell wetlands. I guess I will just start with the main lake and move on from there:
The 145+ acre lake begins up by the Morton Building and narrowly meanders throughout most of the property. The main boat ramp actually starts in the Morton Building and goes right down into the water. Really an amazing setup! We have collected GPS coordinates for all of the artificial and natural fishing reefs and the first major reef is just 150 yards from the boat ramp. The fishing reefs we have set up are quite frankly unbelievable! Bulldozers, backhoes, boulders, full size trees, PVC, and semi-loads of gravel and rocks, are all the major ingredients to the many fishing reefs. To compliment the fish structure, we also have a complete Vertex aeration system set up throughout the lake. This keeps the water moving, cool, clean and fresh! These fish have better homes and amenities than most people!!
This lake has been stocked with genetically selected pure strain muskies, superior strains of fast growing walleye, feed trained largemouth, jumbo perch, and has great populations of crappie, catfish, and bluegill. The forage base is predominantly gizzard shad along with golden shiners, fathead minnows, annual stockings of threadfin shad and daily feeding programs with specialized high protein fish food. The diversity of habitat and fish species, makes this lake fishable virtually 365 days per year!
The 47 acre Canadian lake would definitely be classified as unique. This brand new lake boasts a “Canadian Themed” fishery. Feed trained smallmouth bass and walleye are the predominant predators, but bonus tiger muskies are fairly abundant as well. The forage base is currently fathead minnows, golden shiners, pumpkinseeds, and yellow perch. Gizzard Shad will be introduced as the predators begin to need some bigger food in 2009. This lake is just too fun!
This 10 acre gem would be considered extremely specialized. The focal point of this lake are genetically altered feed trained largemouth bass. These bass were hand picked and trucked in from Arkansas. They were stocked at one pound each early in 2008. The lake was completely full of yoy gizzard shad, threadfin shad, golden shiners, and fathead minnows. These bass have been trained to do one thing since the day they were born- EAT! To supplement their 24/7, all you can eat buffet, we feed specially made high protein bass nuggets daily. The bass will jump completely out of the water to attack the near golf ball sized protein nuggets! Watching these fish feed is almost more fun than actually fishing!
The primary function of the wetlands is for planting, flooding, and then feeding waterfowl. The property holds quite a few ducks and geese year round, but also is in a major flyway and attracts 1000’s of birds throughout the winter. Several hunting shows have been filmed on the property. We get a double use out of the wetlands by raising forage fish in them.
The farm contains a fairly new 2000 sq ft. three bedroom house with attached garage. Also, a new heated workshop and a brand new very large Morton Building. An extensive white rock road system connects you to all the sporting opportunities this farm has to offer. The combination of world class fishing for muskie, tiger muskie, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, and jumbo perch; along with the best hunting Fulton County has to offer for ducks, geese, doves, pheasants, quail, turkey, and especially trophy whitetail deer cannot be equaled!
If you are looking for the best recreational ranch in Illinois, your search is over! This property is currently available, but probably not for much longer. Visit http://www.hbpondmanagement.com/ for more details.
In a couple weeks we are going to be trapping muskies and northern pike with fisheries biologist Rob Hilsabeck. Today, we had to get all of the nets treated and ready to go! We spent a couple hours this morning treating the commercial fishing nets and just making sure the equipment is ready when the big fish are ready to move up and spawn.
Once caught, the fish are then taken to Jake Wolf fish hatchery where they will be stripped of eggs and sperm and then released back into the wild. The goal is to raise 25,000 muskie and northern pike to 10 inches by this fall, and then stock those fish into Illinois' water!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Justin and I started our first online store selling lake products in the spring of 2007. When we started out, we had absolutely no online experience whatsoever. However, our motto has always been: If someone else can do something, SO CAN WE! Our store www.hbpondmanagement.com (and our knowledge of the internet) has grown by leaps and bounds every month since then! For those interested: I am going to explain a few of the things we are doing to promote our website, raise our search engine standings, get people to our website, and make sure they come back!
Keyword rich content integrated throughout the pages of my website was an absolute must. In the beginning I was always wondering why my website would not come up under google search terms like HERMAN BROTHERS POND MANAGEMENT, ILLINOIS POND MANAGEMENT, or ILLINOIS GUIDED FISHING? Then one day researching I figured out that I simply did not have those words in the text of my website! Search engines cant read minds, they need the text! Now, I go through my entire website about every month and look for places I can nonchalantly insert necessary keywords. Think about what you want your website to come up for in search engines and make sure those words are in the text of your website! Just yesterday I realized I did not have the word AQUATIC written anywhere on my website. How could I expect my website to come up when someone typed in aquatic herbicide, if I don't have the word aquatic anywhere in my text?
I have also learned that another important step to gaining website traffic is to make sure that I always have content on my site that will bring someone back once they do find it. Why would someone want to visit my site regularly if it was always just the same boring information about what products and services I provide? I update my site regularly with fishing reports, articles, photos, and videos to keep people coming back regularly. I also am constantly adding new products. Website advertisers typically are looking for the number of unique first time visitors to a website in a months time; but for my website I am looking to bring clients and potential clients back on a regular basis. I want repeat visitors to be thinking about me and my products as often as possible!
Another key SEO tool is the power of writing and publishing keyword rich articles on my website. This lets my clients get to know me and my knowledge of fish, gives fresh content for them to come back to my website for, and also often times that is how someone initially finds my website using search engines. My articles are typically full of my keywords for the search engines to pick up on. I also publish all of the articles that other people have written about me and my business. I make sure to put my contact information and website link in my articles. That is important because now quite a few other websites and online magazines are using my articles on their websites! Having my content all over the internet brings quite a bit of direct traffic and backlinks to my website.
Justin and I published our first video on YouTube in October of 2008. It didn't take us very long to figure out the power of YouTube videos! Just type HAND FEEDING SMALLMOUTH into google! 7 of the first 10 google listings are of our video we made while scuba diving! Tons of other websites are linking up to it almost daily, and people are coming to our website to look for other videos and also just to find out who we are and what we do! What we found out is that YouTube is actually connected to Google, and the keywords we use in our titles and descriptions come up on Google's first page in just a matter of days! We are now in the process of making YouTube videos for all of our products and fishing trips! If your not convinced, just type in PORCUPINE FISH ATTRACTOR, my YouTube video comes up on the first page of google before my website does. Lastly, type in VERTEX WINTER AERATION; I just added that video 5 days ago, and it is the very first listing on google!
Another aspect of SEO that we just learned is that Google is also connected to Blogger. We started a blog called thediaryofalakenerd.blogspot.com to document all of our fishing trips with photos, videos, and stories. Originally we were going to use it as a monthly fishing report linked to our guided fishing page, but again we found out pretty fast that Google picks up on my blog titles and posts faster and better than my actual website. (this is my blog that you are reading right now) We are still using the blog to post our fishing pics, videos, and stories; but we are now also using it for SEO by strategically making posts about our products, articles, and press releases.
Linkbuilding is a very important aspect of SEO. During our first year, our website was completely standing alone. We did not start showing up in search engines until we started linking up to other websites. Now we have thousands of other websites, directories, forums, social networks, and blogs all with links pointing to us. The more links our website has pointing to it, the higher it will rank with search engines. Also links pointing towards our website send traffic directly to our site! Here are some steps we took to get linked on other websites:
1. Exchanged links with friends, distributors, blogs, etc.
2. Did quite a few things worthy of making the local newspapers and media. Oftentimes they posted our link in their online articles.
3. Manually submitted our website to 100's of the search engines and website directories (this took tons of time, but paid off big time!)
4. Joined industry related forums and posted our photos, videos, articles, advice, and website links when given the chance.
5. Joined social networks and made good comments on other peoples stuff (especially the popular blogs)
6. Submitted our articles and press releases to websites that are looking for content. I always made sure our articles had our contact info and website link in them. (this could be a full time job, but gets serious results!)
We are constantly finding new ways to get people to our online store, and once we get a customer, we don't lose them! We take pride in the fact that many of our online customers are repeat customers. We package and ship all of our orders in our free time, usually the very first thing we do every morning when we get to our office. UPS comes and picks up our packages every afternoon at 3 pm. In 2008 Justin and I processed 736 online orders for lake products and supplies in our spare time and the average ticket was $305.
There it is, these are the steps that we took and are constantly taking to get our website listed on the first page of search engines for all of our keywords. We now currently rank higher in seach engines than most all of our competitors (the big companies) that have been around for a long time. For the first half of 2008, we did not even show up hardly at all on search engines. In 2009, its a whole new ballgame!
Also if you happen to know anyone with a pond or a lake, send them our way: www.hbpondmanagement.com. We now have a massive inventory of the very best lake products and pond supplies!
Peoria, IL, 61615.
I dont know how to edit videos, but I will find someone who does sometime at some point and Justin will be the one to wake up surprised in the morning to find some "footage" floating around the internet!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
we decided it was time to start putting together our bloopers, spoofs, missed fish, and just plain funny ice fishing moments videos. Here is the first of our collection, Funny Ice Fishing Spoofs and Bloopers! Let me know what you think?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Justin and I will are starting to put together all of our ice fishing video footage to create some pretty funny blooper videos. Will post them soon!
We have 5 Vertex Air 6 Aeration Systems strategically placed throughout this property to hold thousands of ducks and geese all winter long! The controlled cell wetlands and numerous food plots spread throughout the property ensure that the birds have plenty of food and open water to last the entire winter.
Here are some pics of the Vertex Aeration Systems we have placed around the property:
Sunday, February 8, 2009
The day started out at 7:30 am. Our job was to cut down broken trees along a couple of our clients lakes and create various types of fish habitat on the ice for the fish to utilize once the ice melts. I will post some pics and video of this project at a later time. What was different about this particular job, was that our client Doug Oberhelman actually spent the entire day cutting down trees and placing the structure with us. He didn't just sit back and give orders either. He cut down and hauled 100's of trees!
Anyhow, like I said, more on that topic later! Time to talk about our fishing trip! Chad and Dad, got out to the lake several hours earlier than I was able to make it and they thoroughly enjoyed being outside on the water with 66 degree weather! Typically on warm days like these, the fish are biting rather aggressively, but today for some reason they made us work pretty hard to coax them into biting our tiny baits.
They drilled like a bazillion holes trying to find some active fish, and finally found a nice little spot that produced a dozen real nice Yellow Perch like this one:
What was the most crazy thing, was that they never caught a bluegill???? Doesn't make sense, that lake is completely full of bluegill. Anyhow I made it to the lake, drilled a bazilion more holes to make completely sure that I wouldn't be able to move much the next morning , and started fishing just as the sun was going down.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
We caught well over 50 bluegill between 7-9 inches and also 9 largemouth bass between 14-16 inches. The fish were spread out and all throughout the water column. We were getting most of the active bluegill 8 feet down, but we caught them from the bottom all the way up to within 2 feed of the hole. The weather was mostly sunny, warming up, but the wind was blowing pretty strong 15 mph. Fish were actively moving in schools, but you had to work to get them to bite! Keeping your jig freshly baited was pretty key to getting strikes today.
We kept and cleaned about 30 bluegill and all of the bass right out on the ice with our portable cleaning table. We finished fishing just about lunch time and headed to a local restaurant for lunch! A guy could get used to days like today was....Just a lot of fun outside with some "old" friends!