Sunday, March 29, 2009

Green Monster Underwater Fishing and Landscaping Lights

The Green Monster Underwater Fishing and Landscaping Lights are quite frankly some of the very coolest lake products that I have ever used! Green Monster Lights are waterproof lights that you simply install underwater a few feet out from your dock, seawall, or shoreline. They turn on automatically at night with their photocell and turn off automatically in the morning when the sun comes up.

I first started using these lights to create nighttime fishing spots for clients ponds and lakes, but since then have found that these lights quickly become the favorite lake product of my clients spouses and non-fishing family members as well! They look incredible and are very intriguing to say the least.

I knew I had found a quality American made, simply amazing product when I installed my first light several years ago, but I never imagined how popular they would ultimately become! I started installing these lights for clients on a 3 week trial basis. If they did not like them, then I would go back and pull the light out and it wouldn't cost them one dime. Needless to say I have only had one client not purchase his light after his 3 week trial. (his neighbors however are in the process of purchasing one for this year!)

Not only do the Green Monster Underwater fishing lights look incredible, but you can see every fish that swims within 50 feet of the light. These lights congregate fish better at night than any product I have ever seen! Plankton, Zooplankton, and other small pond creatures are attracted to the lights, and small fish which feast on those little creatures show up in large schools! You probably know where I am heading with this, but in case you dont, anytime you have large schools of baitfish congregated in an area, the large predators are typically not too far away!
I traded Ray Scott, the founder of B.A.S.S. one of these lights at a convention for a couple of his fishing rods. He liked his light so much that he purchased 5 more for his Presidents fishing lake down in Alabama. Talk to him about his lights, and he starts acting like a kid running free in a candy store!

For those curious, the control box pictured below mounts to a post, or some structure and plugs into an outlet. The cord to the light bulb comes out of the control box and can be custom made to your desired length needed to get to your installation spot. I simply attach a concrete weight with a zip tie and sink the light bulb to the bottom. In deep or muddy water, I just raise the light until I get the desired "cone" at night.

Green Monster Underwater Fishing and Landscaping Lights start at $318.00 and are available at Herman Brothers Pond Management in Peoria, Illinois and also online at Herman Brothers Lake Products online store.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Your Lakes Dynamics: Aeration

Have you ever been swimming in a lake or pond in the summertime?The top 5 feet or so of water is nice and warm, but if you stretch your feet down your toes hit water that feels freezing cold? The difference in water temperatures is caused by what is called stratification and the transition zone is the thermocline. Above the thermocline is oxygen rich warm surface water, and below the thermocline is cold water typically low in oxygen.

During the summer months, when water is warm, oxygen can be consumed faster than it can be replenished. Lakes can become "stratified"; the warmer, oxygen-rich upper water laying on top of the cool, more dense, lower-oxygen deeper water.

Such conditions inhibit levels of beneficial bacteria and their breakdown of organics. Bottom muck accumulation increases and excessive nutrients are readily available for plant/algae growth. This thermal stratification also makes conditions favorable for the production of noxious ammonia and hydrogen sulfide gases.

Vertex bottom aeration systems create a vertical current using the rising force of millions of small bubbles to entrain the water column, "turning the lake over" and allowing oxygen to be absorbed at the lake's surface.

By moving the lower-oxygen water up from the bottom and eliminating thermal stratification, oxygen levels throughout the water column are increased. Wide swings in oxygen are stabilized, preventing fish kills. Vertex Aeration systems also improve sport fisheries by allowing fish to expand their territory into formerly oxygen-deprived portions of the lake.
We use Vertex Aeration Systems to completely eliminate the thermocline in lakes and ponds. My goal when designing an aeration system is to completely turn over the entire volume of water in your lake every day! That is one of the biggest keys to clean, healthy and very successfully managed lakes and ponds!

Visit for more information.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cabin Fever Campground, Fishing, and Hunting Club

Cabin Fever is located in Victoria, Illinois about 1 1/2 miles from Snake Den Hollow. They are conveniently located 20 minutes from Galesburg, 35 minutes from Kewanee & only 50 minutes from Peoria and the Quad Cities!!

They currently have 5 lakes and a nice combination of evergreen trees, food plots, and warm season grasses for outstanding waterfowl, deer, and pheasant hunting. They also feature an immaculately maintained campground with daily tent and RV camping and yearly camp sites are available as well.

The fish at Cabin Fever are outstanding! Recent electrofishing surveys were dialing up scores of 16-18 inch largemouth bass, crappie up to 15 inches, and thousands of eating size bluegills. The fifteen acre main lake has also recently been stocked with tiger muskie, walleye, and yellow perch! 2009 should be an incredible year to fish out at Cabin Fever.

The front 3 acre pond is completely full of channel catfish from 2-8 lbs and even a few rainbow trout should provide a nice bonus catch for many anglers. The back 3 lakes don’t hardly get any fishing pressure, but the few adventurous anglers hook into monster bass and nice catches of crappie back there every year!

Cabin Fever has yearly memberships available, but what makes the place so popular is the ability to fish an exclusive club for just $10 per day. Before heading out there, call me up and I can tell you what is biting and where. I am on the lakes quite regularly. You can also check out Cabin Fever's website for more information, pictures, and videos.

I went pheasant and goose hunting at Cabin Fever this winter and am chomping at the bit to get back there again this fall! His pheasant habitat is simply unbelievable- the perfect mix of food, cover, and evergreen trees.

Gamber Cove Camping and Fishing Club

Gamber Cove is a Private Recreational Fishing Club and Campground for Members Only.

They have over 10 scenic lakes nestled throughout their 315 acre property. Big Lake has 3 miles of shoreline and is 28 acres. Raccoon Lake is the second largest lake at 16 acres, and the rest of their lakes are between 6-10 acres each. They have good access to most of the lakes and concrete boat ramps on 6 of the lakes!

(picture is of their annual fishing tournament)

Gamber Cove's fishing lakes are professionally managed by Herman Brothers Pond Management and are stocked with Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, Redear, Crappie, Yellow Perch, Walleye, and Tiger Muskie.

Annual Memberships include Husband, Wife, Dependant Children under 21 and Grandchildren under the age of 16. Memberships start at $500 and include full use of thier 315 acres of land. They have over 10 fishing lakes, 5 miles of hiking and golf cart trails, campfires, berry picking, mushroom hunting, swimming pool, shooting range, live music on hoilday weekends, hog roasts, poker runs, fishing tournaments, and many other events and activities! Make sure to visit for more information!

Fishing Members can tent camp for $25 per night or they can purchase a permanent campsite which start at an additional $400 per year. Fishing Members also have full access to the clubhouse, shower house, swimming pool, and swimming lake. Members are allowed to bring guests, but they need to register and purchase a guest pass. Guest passes are available for $4 per day. Handicapped guests and children under the age of 13 are free.

We performed electrofishing surveys during the fall of 2008 and were literally blown away at the quality of fish we collected! By far the most impressive fish during the surveys were the abundance of Gigantic Redear Sunfish! Lots of 1/2 lbers and the occasional Boone and Crockett 1 lbers!

I was also impressed with the crappie, bass, and yellow perch populations! I will be electrofishing all of the lakes this spring, implementing feeding programs, and stocking quite a few more bonus fish like walleye, tiger muskie, and hybrid bluegill to a few of the lakes!

I will also be taking out a handful of guided fishing trips at Gamber Cove this spring and even filming a few fishing shows there. The scenery surrounding each of the lakes is unmatched anywhere in Central Illinois! Look for more pictures and videos from Gamber Cove this spring.

Friday, March 20, 2009

We Boated 94 Muskies Fishing at Spring Lake

We finally were able to get the Musky video onto YouTube. The video starts out showing us pulling in the muskie nets at Spring Lake, then loading 'em up onto the Illinois Department of Natural Resources fish hauling truck, then finishes up with a mini tour of the Jake Wolf State Fish Hatchery.

Altogether we boated and transferred 94 big muskies over to the hatchery. There were 17 big females that averaged 19 lbs each and the rest were males that averaged about 12 lbs each.

We will start our trapnetting and electrofishing surveys April 12th. We have electrofishing jobs lined up all across the state of Illinois from Chicago all the way down towards St. Louis. I can't wait to get back out on the water for the season! We have quite a few big dock projects to complete and even am custom building a couple of our new HB Pond Toon Boats for some clients while we are waiting for the water to warm up a bit!

HB Pond Toons and Plastic Pontoons

Herman Brothers is excited to partner with a local plastic pontoon maker to create the perfect lake and pond pontoon boats. We call these cool mini pontoon boats HB Pond Toons! We will be using HB Pond Toons in 2009 for our spraying applications and guided fishing trips.

We also are currently building several HB Pond Toon Boats for some of our clients. They will use these mini pontoon boats for fishing, swimming, and comfortably cruising around their lakes with their families! One of these boats we are custom building for a client with a father in a wheel chair. He will be able to wheel out from his dock right onto the stable 8' x 12' platform and enjoy fishing his pond again with his family!

The HB Pond Toon Boats are Tough, Durable, Easy to Assemble, Very Stable, and Very Easy to Operate! With just a few basic carpentry skills and some standard hand tools, just about anyone can put together their own HB Pond Toon Boat for a fraction of the cost of a comparable pontoon boat from a boat dealer.

HB Pond Toons are sold 4 different ways:

  1. Just the Pontoons

  2. Complete Bottom Kits

  3. Complete Kit Form

  4. Completely Assembled

1. Our Plastic Pontoons come in 4' sections and are molded of thick, tough polyethylene plastic to prevent damage by rocks, stumps, etc. They are shock absorbing and will not break, crack or deteriorate. Our Pontoons are commonly used for construction of HB Pond Toon Boats, Floating Docks, Walkways, Ramps, Swimming Rafts, House Boats, Work Platforms and other Flotation devices. They also work great in both fresh and saltwater. Pricing and Additional Information

-Plastic Pontoons come in 2' and 4' interlocking sections.
-They are 22" wide and 15" tall.
-They have approximately 525 pounds of gross flotation.
-We have 7 different colors to choose from- Black, Light Brown, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, and granite.
-Each 4' section has - 3/8" threaded stainless steel, totally enclosed, inserts molded into the top of each pontoon. These inserts are used to fasten the HB aluminum Z-bar frame or other framework materials to the pontoons.
-They can be ordered with 16 degree specially designed "Nose Sections" for the fronts of the pontoon boats.
-Anodized Aluminum Z-Bars 2” x 3” x 2” - 1/8” thick, are included with the pontoons and can be used to connect the pontoons together and to attach the pontoons to a boat, dock, or other floating platform.

2. Our Complete Pontoon Bottom Kits consist of the Pontoons, Pontoon Z-Bars, the aluminum framing Z-Bars, side handles, and the motor mount. Everything you need to build a pontoon boat except the decking, trim, steering column, and railings. These kits can be picked up at our office in Peoria, or packaged up and shipped via UPS! Pricing and Additional Information

3. Our Complete Pontoon Boat Kit consists of everything you need to build your HB Pond Toon Boat! Pontoons, Complete Bottom Kit, Aluminum Deck Trim, Railings, Navigational Lights, Boat Cleats, All Necessary Hardware, and Nautolex Marine Vinyl Floor Covering. These kits can be picked up at our office in Peoria or packaged up into boxes and shipped via UPS. ***Pre-Cut Marine Grade Flooring can be included in this kit for pick up only. That is the only item that cannot be shipped in this kits*** Pricing and Additional Information

4. Our Fully Assembled HB Pond Toons can be custom built to pretty much any specifications. Our Plastic Pontoons are so versatile that we can build pontoon boats of all different shapes, sizes, and materials to suit each and every clients needs!
The easiest and most economical way to build an HB Pond Toon Boat is to use 5/4 pressure treated decking and trim. Other decking options would be to use composite decking, plastic decking, and covered marine grade plywood decking. Virtually any pontoon boat accessories can be added to our boats at anytime.
Common HB Pond Toon Boat Sizes:

6' x 12' Fishing Pond Toon
2 Rows of Pontoons
Standard Railing with 3 Gates
Marine Grade Plywood Decking
Nautolex Vinyl Floor Covering
Boat Cleats and Pontoon Handles
Designed to fish 4 people comfortably
Trolling Motor Works Great
Up to 10 HP
$3750 Completely Assembled

7' x 14' Fishing Pond Toon
2 Rows of Pontoons
Standard Railing with 3 Gates
Marine Grade Plywood Decking
Nautolex Vinyl Floor Covering
Boat Cleats and Pontoon Handles
Designed to fish 6 people comfortably
Trolling Motor Works Great
Up to 10 HP
$4600 Completely Assembled

8 x 16' Fishing and Leisure Pond Toon
3 Rows of Pontoons for Maximum Stability
Standard Railing with 3 Gates
Marine Grade Plywood Decking
Nautolex Vinyl Floor Covering
Boat Cleats and Pontoon Handles
Designed to fish 8 people comfortably
Need to get a big trolling motor
Up to 30 HP
$6350 Completely Assembled

All of our custom built HB Pond Toon Boats can be:
-shipped via UPS in easy to assemble kit form
-picked up at our store in kit form or fully assembled
-hand delivered fully assembled for $2.00 per mile one way from Peoria.
Contact Herman Brothers Pond Management for more information!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Muskie Trapnetting Survey Details and Pictures

We met up with Wayne Herndon and Rob Hilsabeck early Tuesday morning at the Spring Lake boat ramp. The gameplan for the day was to check and empty all 30 of the big commercial fishing trap nets that were setting out all night in the Lake.

We ended up catching literally thousands of fish, turtles, and an otter in the nets, but we were mainly after Muskie. The water temps are right at 50 degrees in Spring Lake, and the Muskies are charging the shoreline ready to spawn. Our mission was to collect all of the Muskies and take them back to Jake Wolf State Fish Hatchery.

At the Hatchery the Muskies lengths, weights, sex and tags were recorded and then they were seperated into holding tanks. The females were bursting full of spawn. Their eggs will be stripped, fertilized, and incubated indoors at the hatchery. Once they hatch, the baby muskies will be released into growout ponds for the summer and then stocked all across the state of Illinois this fall.

With just 30 big females, the staff at Jake Wolf Hatchery can supply the entire state with muskie for stocking. That facility is quite simply amazing! They are raising hundreds of thousands of Salmon and Trout to stock into Lake Michigan, and 13 other species of fish to stock across the state of Illinois. I highly recommend anyone to take a day trip to the hatchery, you will be impressed!

Anyhow I was able to take a few pictures throughout the day of trapnetting, but we were able to film the entire event as well. Editing the video will take a few days, but I will definitely get it online ASAP!

Altogether we collected 17 big females and 77 average male musky.

The biggest female muskie was 25.7 lbs! She was FAT!

The average male was about 12 lbs.

We also collected several largemouth bass from 1-5 lbs and thousands of crappie and bluegill.

This otter was unfortunate to get caught in one of the nets as well, he couldnt breathe underwater all night long.

It is just about time for us to get our nets out into the ponds! Spring Lake is so shallow that it warms up real quick and is one of the first lakes for fish to start moving in the spring. Once our water starts warming up, we will be doing trapnetting surveys for pond and lake owners all over the area.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trapping Muskies Today

Just getting ready to head out to Spring Lake and pull in a bunch of trapnets with Wayne Herndon and Rob Hilsabeck of the Illinois DNR. 

We will then transport the Muskies to Jake Wolf Fish Hatchery to strip out the eggs and create a whole bunch of baby muskies for the state of illinois' muskie stocking program! 

Its gonna be alot of fun!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

HB Fish Tagging Kits

Here is information on the best fish tagging kit on the market today!

We use these fish tagging guns to tag fish for clients when we do electrofishing and trapnetting surveys. We also tag alot of fish in our own lakes and ponds to track growth, movement, and how many times we catch the same fish while angling. Several of our clients have started fish tagging contests and offer prizes for friends, family, or fishing club members who catch the specially tagged fish!

Catching tagged fish is not only important for research purposes, but mainly it is just simply alot of fun! Fish tagging adds yet another creative avenue to enjoying your pond or lake.

The HB GameFish Tagging Kit is our most popular fish tagging kit. It costs $90 and comes with everything you need to start tagging fish: GameFish Tagging Gun, fish tagging instructions, and 25 numbered fish tags. Additional Numbered Fish Tags can be purchased in increments of 25 for $25.00. These fish tags are the highest quality and will last many years longer than any other fish tag on the market.

The HB GameFish Tagging gun is a comfortable pistol grip style tagging gun designed to properly insert fish tags just below the dorsal fin of Bass, Catfish, Muskie, Pike, Walleye, and Large Panfish. Just insert the needle and pull the trigger, and the fish tags are attached quickly and easily.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Stubby Steve's Artificial Fish Food Lure

I have spent countless hours concocting various pellet based baits in order to “match the hatch” so to speak. Needless to say, I finally figured out that I was not a very good inventor. I gave up trying to invent the product and went searching online for a similar product. After trying out a handful of pellet imitation products, I came across Stubby Steve’s Artificial Fish Food Lure and immediately was hooked on this bait. It stays on your hook all day long and looks, smells, and tastes exactly like fish food pellets. Steve’s pellet leaves an amazing chum slick in the water that Bluegill, Catfish, Carp, Hybrid Striped Bass, and especially Trout cannot resist! 

I have found that the ultimate bait for catching rainbow, brown, and brook trout is to use the one Berkeley power egg and one Stubby Steve on a small hook! This combination of bait will catch trout anywhere in the world! Each pack contains approximately 20 artificial fish food lures. 

Bojo Fishing and Buglight: Nature's Fish Feeder

The Bojo Fish Light is the most cost effective way to feed your fish! It mounts easily to a dock, pier, seawall, or simply on a post out in the water. The unit has 2 fluorescent bulbs underneath a protective shield that attract bugs to the device. Once the bugs come to the light, an electric motor with weed-eater cord type blades, knocks the bugs into the water where fish eat on them all night long.

The Bojo Fish Feeding Light not only attracts bugs and feeds fish, it keeps most of the bugs off of you at the same time. Also the lamps are not visible from above to create a glare in your eyes. The attached photocell will economically turn your light on at night and off every morning.

I have installed Bojo Buglights for many clients, as well as several for myself. Installation from the box to a dock typically takes about 5 minutes. Then just simply plug the unit in for years of trouble free bug feeding. It only costs an average of .05 cents per night to run the Bojo! 

It takes about 2 weeks for your fish to get trained to the light, but once they do you will literally have 100's of Bluegill, Crappie, Bass, and Catfish all competing for the best positions under the light! The smaller bugs fall down directly under the light, but the larger bugs sometimes end up about 10 or 15 feet from the light by the time they end up crashing to their doom. This creates a large feeding area around your dock all night long.

I cant begin to count how many hours I have spent observing fish by just quietly sitting out on the dock by the Bojo during the middle of the night. I am always amazed at the activity all night long! During the peak of summer, schools of Bluegill and Crappie will be huddled around the light with their mouths constantly slurping the bugs off of the surface. 

Bojo Bug Fish Feeding Lights start at $159 and are available at Herman Brothers Pond Management in Peoria, Illinois and also online at Herman Brothers Lake Products 

Reward Landscape and Aquatic Herbicide

Reward Landscape and Aquatic Herbicide is a highly concentrated formulation of Diquat and is a very versatile contact killer. This is one of our main herbicides we use for most of our applications. Reward is very effective against a wide variety of submersed, emergent, and floating aquatic plants including duckweed, watermilfoil, and cattails!

Reward is a very fast acting contact killer that is approved for use in and around the water! It does not stay active for very long, so it needs to be sprayed directly onto the vegetation. Reward mixed with Cutrine Plus and a surfactant will kill pretty much any vegetation and algae that it is sprayed directly on. That is a great combination for treating areas with many different types of vegetation and algae!

Application Rates: How much Reward do you need to apply?

Eurasian Watermilfoil- 1 gallon per acre 
Duckweed- 2 gallons per acre of Duckweed 
Cattails- 1 gallon per 20,000 square feet
Pond Weed- 1.5 gallons per acre
Shoreline Vegetation- 1 gallon per 20,000 square feet
Algae- Mix 8 ounces of Reward with 1 gallon of Cutrine Plus

Application Tips: How to apply Reward?

Just simply mix 1 gallon of Reward with 9 gallons of water and spray directly onto the vegetation. I recommend mixing in about 8 oz of surfactant and also some Cutrine Plus for best results. Since Reward is a contact herbicide, it is best to apply it early on a sunny day when the plants are actively involved in photosynthesis. The biggest mistake people make is to come home from work and treat vegetation.

Water Use Restrictions:
Reward is a very powerful herbicide that needs to be handled with caution and necessary safety equipment. Restrictions would be 1 day for livestock and fishing, 2-3 days for irrigation and swimming, and 5 days for irrigating food crops.

Where to Buy Reward?
Reward Landscape and Aquatic Herbicide is available at Herman Brothers Pond Management in Peoria, Illinois and also online at Herman Brothers Lake Products.

Cutrine Plus Lake and Pond Algaecide

Cutrine Plus Lake and Pond Algaecide is not only my favorite, but the absolute best, safest, easiest to use, and most economical agaecide! We use Cutrine Plus for most all of our algae applications and we also mix it with our favorite aquatic herbicides to save money and kill invasive lake weeds more effectively! 

Most everyone tends to use copper sulfate to kill their filamentous algae (moss), and it definitely kills algae! The problem with copper sulfate is that it is a very harsh formulation of copper that extensively damages your ponds entire ecosystem and is not safe for fish or people! Repeated use of copper sulfate actually causes water to go sterile and the end result of a pond that cant keep itself clean is actually more algae! Using copper sulfate makes a pond or lake dependant upon copper sulfate, not to mention environmentally unsafe conditions for fish, plants, and people!

Cutrine Plus is a 9% chelated form of copper that is completely safe for fish, plants, and people! It does not build-up in the pond and does not damage your ponds ecosystem. It is very safe and easy to apply and kills many forms of algae, including the most common filamentous (moss) algae, planktonic (pea soup) algae, chara (muskgrass), and spirogyra.

Application Rates:
Application rates vary quite a bit depending on the amount and type of algae that needs to be treated. 

Filamentous Algae (Moss)- 1 gallon treats 20,000 square feet.
Planktonic Algae- .5 to 1 gallon per acre foot of water.
Chara- 1 gallon treats 10,000 square feet (must be early in the life cycle to be effective)

Application Tips:
How to Apply Cutrine Plus?

For most algae applications mix 1 gallon of Cutrine Plus with 9 gallons of water and 8 ounces of surfactant. Spray directly on the algae, early in the morning, on a sunny day for best results. Heavy infestations of algae will typically need a follow up treatment about 5 days later. 

For Planktonic algae applications, you can simply hold the spray nozzle underwater and drive around or just dilute the cutrine plus in a 5 gallon bucket and evenly slowly pour it into the water as you drive around.

*** For really bad algae infestations I will add 8 ounces of Reward per gallon of Cutrine Plus. I also will typically add 8-12 ounces of Cutrine Plus into most of my Reward applications for invasive lake weeds ***

Water Use Restrictions:
Cutrine Plus does not have any water use restrictions, it is an extremely safe product! Treated water may be used for swimming, fishing, drinking, livestock watering, or irrigation immediately following treatment. One word of caution would be not to kill too much algae at one time during the heat of the summer. Decaying vegetation will deplete the available oxygen and could kill fish.

Where to buy Cutrine Plus?
Cutrine Plus typically only costs about $35-$40 per gallon and is available at Herman Brothers Pond Management in Peoria, Illinois and also available online at Herman Brothers Lake Products That is much cheaper than spending over $100 for a bag of Copper Sulfate!

Honey Hole Tree Fish Structure and Habitat

The Honey Hole Tree is the very best commercially available artificial fish attractor/habitat! Fish absolutely love them for spawning habitat, protection, and feeding zones! 

Each fish cover honey hole tree has 93 flexible limbs that produces a permanent haven for crappie, bass, and catfish. The cone and limbs are made from environmentally friendly polyethylene. You can fish through the cover without snagging which puts more fish in the boat and less tackle lost below. 

Our Honey Hole Tree Fish Attractors have over 15,000 square inches of surface area for algae, eggs, and insect larvae to attach to. The dozen slots around the exterior allow baitfish access to a place to hide which in turn attracts larger fish. 

The Honey Hole Tree Fish Cover is best utilized in water that is six feet deep or deeper. A cluster of at least three trees in a triangular pattern is the most effective. Sink trees on points or coves and any spot where there is a sharp contrast in water depth. Another prime location is under a floating dock or pier. In deeper water you may want to suspend the tree. 

For deeper water reefs, you can remove the pre-formed weight and simply connect 2 or more honey hole trees together to create a 12 foot tall fish attractor! Connect 3 of them together to create an 18 foot tall attractor for really deep water and an artificial reef that will hold fish all year long!

The Optional Maximizer Kit doubles the overall size of our fish cover trees and shrubs, allowing you to get twice the cover for 1/3 of the price.

Honey Hole Trees can be purchased at Herman Brothers Pond Management in Peoria, Illinois or are available online at Herman Brothers Lake Products

Vertex Aerators: Complete Pond and Lake Aeration Systems

Vertex Water Features builds lake and pond aerators for aeration and destratification of an entire pond or lake. Their pond and lake aerators pump compressed air to bottom diffusers resulting in total water column aeration, circulation and destratification.

Vertex lake aeration and pond aeration systems have been independently tested and are guaranteed to be the most efficient and highest quality lake and pond aerator you can buy. They have the very best membrane diffusers, cabinets, compressors, cooling fans, and self-weighted tubing!

Membrane Diffusers
• Last Longer = 5 Year “no questions” warranty!
• Less Maintenance = self cleaning!
- Eliminates the need for removal from Lake Bottom and the time consuming, hazardous muriatic acid cleanings required of out-dated air stones!
• Less Operating Costs = more energy efficient!
- Requires only 0.5cfm per disc - aerate up to an 18 acre lake with 2/3 hp!
• Higher Performance = Independent tests confirm over 37,000 GPM/hp!
- Provides higher lake turnover rates with less power consumed=saves you money!

QuietAir™ Cabinets
• Last Longer = lifetime warranty from rust!
- Equipped with tough, electro-statically bonded powder-coated finish
• QuietAir = a fully gasketed seal provides not only greater protection from moisture, but quieter operation.
• Safer = Equipped with integral GFCI protection.
• More Secure = Equipped with integral barrel lock for protection against unauthorized access.

Brookwood™ Compressors
• Piston design (vs. rotary vane).
• Increased durability!
(typically twice the service life).
• Higher pressure (for longer tubing runs, deeper water or higher altitude applications) without sacrificing air volume.
• No possibility of reverse operation after loss
of electricity.

BottomLine™ Tubing
• Self-weighted = faster, easier installations.
• PVC composite = no dangerous lead in
the eco-system.
• Flexible under any conditions.
• Heavy duty wall thickness for protection against cuts, fish hooks, kinks, etc.

LakePro 5.7™
• The industry’s only data based aeration design/sizing program!
• The most systematic, scientific-based approach to aeration design-based on individual specifications of lake conditions!
• Provides confidence in aeration recommendations and tangible, fact-based reports to
substantiate them.
• Can target specific customer (or governmentally required) lake turnover rates.

Complete Vertex Aeration Systems are available at Herman Brothers Pond Management in Peoria, Illinois and also available online at Herman Brothers Lake Products

If you need help determining what system to get, have any questions, or you want to make sure you will get at least full turnover per day, Contact Us for a free design and estimate.

More info about the concept and need for aeration. What does it do and why do you need Aeration: Your Lakes Dynamics

Friday, March 13, 2009

HB Blend Pond Muck Bacteria

HB Blend Pond Muck Bacteria is the very best and most cost-effective way to breathe new life back into your lake or pond. HB Blend naturally reduces layers of organic muck buildup consisting of decaying aquatic vegetation, fish and animal waste, tree leaves, grass clippings, and fertilizers. HB Blend not only eats up the organic waste on the bottom, but also will clear up muddy water caused by suspended organic sediment.

HB Blend Pond Bacteria is a premium blend of 8 different strains of naturally occuring bacteria specifically selected to quickly digest organic muck. HB Blend comes packaged in 1/2 ounce water soluble packets that contain more than 56 billion colony forming bacteria in each packet.

HB Blend Pond Bacteria is specifically designed to digest organic muck. It is not the same as most other Pond Bacteria products on the market today that are specifically geared for reducing algae by removing nitrates and phosphates. HB Blend will not efficiently reduce silt and muck caused by mud and soil runoff, the enzyme forming bacteria in HB Blend is only able to digest organic muck.

Application Tips:
Just simply toss the 1/2 ounce water soluble packets of HB Blend Pond Bacteria about 10 feet from the edge of your lake or pond. Evenly space them around the pond, but focus on the shallow areas and coves. I don't recommend applying the first dose until the water is at least 65 degrees.

Another method of application that I use is to put a scoop of organic muck into a 5 gallon bucket half full of pond water. Then I put in one HB Blend packet and let the mixture sit. After 25 minutes the 56 billion bacteria colony will literally double its population size. Then I simply pour the bucket into a muck infested cove or along the shoreline.

Application Rates:
Application rates vary greatly depending on the age of the pond and amount of organic waste that has accumulated. I typically recommend between 12-48 packets per acre for most lakes and ponds.

For new ponds I recommend using 12 packets per acre at the beginning of the summer when the water temps reach 65 degrees and 12 packets per acre towards the end of the summer. A brand new lake or pond would need a total of 24- 1/2 ounce packets per acre for the growing season. This is the most cost effective and absolute best life insurance policy you can buy to protect your pond.

Example applications for brand new ponds to prevent muck buildup and prolong the life of your pond or lake:

1 acre pond- apply 12 packets at the beginning of summer and 12 packets at the end of summer.
2 acre pond- apply 24 packets at the beginnning of summer and 24 packets at the end of summer.
3 acre pond- apply 36 packets at the beginning of summer and 36 packets at the end of summer.
10 acre lake- apply 120 packets at the beginning of summer and 120 packets at the end of summer.

For older nutrient loaded ponds with layers of organic muck build-up I recommend applying 24-48 packs per acre at the beginning of summer when the water reaches 65 degrees. Then I recommend applying another 24-48 packs per acre towards the end of summer as some of the aquatic vegetation starts to die and trees start to drop their leaves into the water. I sometimes add a third application in the middle of the summer on ponds that are in desperate need of muck removal. HB Blend Pond Bacteria is a very affordable alternative when compared to the costs of mechanical dredging and silt removal!

Example applications for older muck and nutrient loaded ponds to prevent more muck from building up and actually to start slowly eating away at the existing layers of muck:

1 acre pond- apply 36 packs at the beginning, apply 36 packs during the middle, and apply 36 packs towards the end of summer. Total of 108 packets per season.
2 acre pond- apply 72 packs at the beginning, apply 72 packs during the middle, and apply 72 packs towards the end of summer. Total of 216 packets per season.
10 acre lake- apply 360 packs at the beginning, apply 360 packs during the middle, and apply 360 packs towards the end of summer. Total of 1080 packets per season.

How much does HB Blend Pond Muck Bacteria cost?
12 packs- $51
36 packs- $135
108 packs- $351
216 packs- $648
360 packs- $990

I do not recommend purchasing more HB Blend Pond Bacteria than you will use within 3 months time. The bacteria is alive inside of the water soluble packets and starts dying after a couple of months inside the packet. After 6 months, instead of having 56 billion bacteria per packet, you will only have about 28 billion of bacteria still alive in the package. Using fresh bacteria is very important! The bacteria will live and colonize much longer and better in your pond as opposed to in a small packet.

Water Use Restrictions:
HB Blend Pond Muck Bacteria has absolutely no water use restrictions. It is completely safe for fishing, swimming, and irrigating. In fact, the beneficial bacteria in this blend help keep your pond or lake clean and healthy!

Where to Purchase:
HB Blend Pond Muck Bacteria can be purchased at Herman Brothers Pond Management in Peoria, IL or at any of the following online shopping sites:

Digging Deep for Material

I have spent more time inside the last 2 weeks, than any other 2 week period of my modern life. Everything is wet, muddy and flooding. I havent been fishing in almost a month and am just now getting a minor case of the winter blues.

I did get out to some really neat properties for a handful of On-Site Surveys, but other than that been behind a computer for like 12 hours a day just trying to get everything done for our upcoming season.

The end is in sight- Next week we will be trapping Muskies at Spring Lake, starting some big dock projects, and tuning up the electrofishing boat!

Yesterday I was at one of the neatest ponds. It was shaped like a river and kind of wrapped around the property- Super Cool! I am gonna take some pics next time I am out that way.

Another cool pond I was at had this awesome rope swing.

The pond is about 3 acres and is a perfect swimming hole, except for the fact that the owner said it gets covered with duckweed and watermeal for July and August- Not this year though! This year they will be installing a Vertex AIR 3 aeration system, and killing the duckweed with White Cap.

Come on Spring!

Cygnet BioBlend Beneficial Pond and Lake Bacteria

Cygnet BioBlend is my favorite beneficial pond bacteria! I have been experimenting with bacteria in ponds for many years and have found Bio Blend to be the very best bacteria product available. It comes in 1/2 lb water soluble packets and contains over 5 billion CFU/g. That stands for Colony Forming Units per Gram.

These bacteria are a specific blend of high-quality, gram-negative, naturally occurring bacteria designed to augment existing pond bacteria populations to enhance their ability to reduce organic pond sediment (“muck”).
-Concentration of 5 billion CFU/gram
-Contains 16 different gram-negative strains
-Short reproduction time (30 minutes)
-Little mortality on first budding
-Extremely active compared to gram-positive Bacteria

Bio Blend is DNA tested to confirm strains and verify quality and content. All Strains are confirmed to be non-pathogenic bacteria which produce the following beneficial enzymes:



Bio Blend pond bacteria naturally removes decaying organic wastes such as grass clippings, leaves, excess fertilizer runoff, dead plants, fish and animal wastes. It also eliminates murky water, odors and bottom sludge caused by organic waste buildup.

By naturally removing excess ammonia-causing and nitrite-causing wastes from the water, Cygnet BioBlend is an entirely organic method of maintaining your water body. It works throughout the entire water column and bottom sludge layer, to digest organic wastes generated by animal and plant life.

Bio Blend programs rejuvenate life back into your lake or pond! I use Bio Blend Pond Bacteria to create natural, healthy bodies of water and reduce or even eliminate the need to use algaecides and herbicides altogether.

Application Rates:
Application rates can vary significantly from one pond to the next and depend greatly on the nutrient level and organic muck build up. I typically recommend starting out with 8 lbs per surface acre initially, and then supplement the bacteria with 4 lbs per acre every 2 weeks. Nutrient loaded ponds with heavy duckweed and algae infestations usually need to double those rates for the first year of a BioBlend Bacteria program.

For Example:
A typical pond in the Midwest will need 50 lbs of BioBlend per surface acre for a 6 month season. Apply 8 lbs of BioBlend per acre once the water temps reach at least 55 degrees in the spring. Then every 2 weeks throughout the season use 4 lbs of BioBlend per acre.

Application Tips:
Simply take out the 1/2 lb water soluble packages and toss them around the edge of your lake or pond. I usually throw them about 10-15 feet from shore. The bacteria within will self disperse and multiply on their own!

Water Use Restrictions:
BioBlend has absolutely no water use restrictions. It is completely safe for fish, animals, drinking, irrigating, swimming, and fishing once diluted.

Where to Buy BioBlend:
Cygnet Bio Blend comes in 1/2 lb water soluble packets packaged in buckets of 10 lbs and 25 lbs. It can be purchased from Herman Brothers Pond Management's Online Store.
It is also available at Herman Brothers Lake Products Ebay Store

Aquashade Lake and Pond Dye

Aquashade is our best selling and the industries highest quality lake and pond dye! It is made by Applied Biochemists and is the only lake dye on the market registered with the EPA.

Aquashade contains a blend of blue and yellow dyes specifically designed to screen or shade portions of the sunlight spectrum (red-orange and blue-violet) required by underwater aquatic plants and algae to grow. This action effectively inhibits photosynthesis in young, bottom growth and may prevent development altogether if applied early enough in the season. Aquashade is primarily effective at depths of 2 feet or greater.

We not only use Aqua shade to inhibit lake and pond weed growth, but we mainly use Aquashade to give ponds and lakes a natural deep blue look. We have used every lake dye product on the market, and Aquashade looks the best and lasts the longest!

Application Tips:
Aquashade is easy to apply by simply pouring in along the water's edge or from a boat. Natural water movements will quickly disperse the product in less than 24 hours until even coloration is achieved throughout. Aquashade is non-corrosive and will not stain bathing suits, fountain surfaces or other water features at use dilution.

Application Rates:
For effective control of lake weeds, 1 gallon treats 4 acre-feet of water. To calculate how many acre feet your pond has, you need to determine your acreage and average depth. For example, if your pond is 1 acre with an average depth of 8 feet, than you have a total of 8 acre-feet. You would need to initially apply 2 gallons of aquashade to effectively filter out the sun's light. Than you will on average need to apply 1/2 of your initial dose (or 1 gallon in this case) every month until the end of the growing season.

For most of my Aquashade applications I do not want to completely filter out the sun's light, I just want to make the pond or lake look more aesthetically appealing. I typically just apply 1 gallon of Aquashade per surface acre initially, and then 1/2 gallon per acre every month of the recreational fishing and swimming season.

A typical one acre pond in the Midwest has a 6 month season and will need 4 gallons of Aquashade to keep the water looking great for the season!

Another example: For an 8 acre lake I will initially apply 8 gallons of Aquashade. Then I will apply 4 gallons per month until the season is over. During a 6 month season I will use 28 gallons of Aquashade.

Water Use Restrictions:
Aquashade is completely safe for fish, animals, irrigating, drinking, fishing, and swimming. It has absolutely no water use restrictions, but I would recommend waiting 24 hours to use the water after treatment, to allow the dye to evenly disperse throughout the water column.

Where to Buy Aquashade:
Aquashade can be purchased in single gallons, 4 gallon packs, 8 gallon packs, 12 gallon packs, and even 24 gallon packs at Herman Brothers Pond Management Online Store

Sonar A.S. Aquatic Herbicide- Kills most Lake and Pond Weeds

Sonar is an aquatic herbicide that is effective for the control of a variety of aquatic plants. Its active ingredient is 41.7% fluridone which effectively disrupts the process of photosynthesis, virtually starving the plants to death.

Sonar can be very selective with proper dosage rates and timing of applications. Sonar provides season-long control with an early spring application just after plants begin to grow.

Sonar effectively controls the following types of aquatic vegetation: duckweed, watermeal, cattails, eurasian watermilfoil, water lillies, american lotus, and most other pondweeds.

Application Tips:

Sonar A.S. is not a contact herbicide and should not be sprayed directly onto the vegetation. It is rather a whole lake treatment that needs to be diluted into the entire water column. The easiest and best way to apply Sonar is to pour approximately 16 oz of Sonar into a 5 gallon bucket of water and simply pour the mixture around your lake or pond. It works best if applied early in the growing season, and needs to be in contact with the lake weeds at the desired ppb for at least 21 days.

Application Rates:
  • Watermeal - 90 ppb or typically 1 quart per acre
  • Duckweed - 75 ppb or typically 24 oz per acre
  • Cattails - 75 ppb or typically 24 oz per acre
  • Water Lilly - 75 ppb or typically 24 oz per acre
  • Eurasian Watermilfoil - 50 ppb or typically 1 pint per acre
  • Curly Leaf Pond Weed - 50 ppb or typically 1 pint per acre

Water Use Restrictions:

Sonar is very safe for fish, fishing, animals, and swimming, even the same day of application. The only water use restriction it has is that irrigating is not recommended for 21-45 days following application. The fluridone could kill your plants if you use enough of the water for irrigating!

Sonar A.S. can be purchased in 8 oz bottles, pints, quarts, and gallons at It can also be purchased from our Ebay Store

Monday, March 9, 2009

WhiteCap Aquatic Lake and Pond Herbicide

WhiteCap Aquatic Herbicide is a 41.7% fluridone based aquatic herbicide that effectively kills most lake and pond weeds. It is very safe and simple to use, lasts all season long, and is our best selling and overall most favorite herbicide. The fluridone in white cap does not immediately kill the weeds upon application, but rather starves the plants and keeps them from growing by interrupting their process of photosynthesis!

We use White Cap at varying doses to effectively control the following types of aquatic vegetation: duckweed, watermeal, cattails, eurasian watermilfoil, water lillies, american lotus, and most other pondweeds.

Application Tips:

White Cap is not a contact herbicide and should not be sprayed directly onto the vegetation. It is rather a whole lake treatment that needs to be diluted into the entire water column. The easiest and best way to apply white cap is to pour approximately 8 oz of white cap into a 5 gallon bucket of water and simply pour the mixture across your lake or pond. It works best if applied early in the growing season.

Application Rates:
  • Watermeal - 90 ppb or typically 1 quart per acre
  • Duckweed - 75 ppb or typically 24 oz per acre
  • Cattails - 75 ppb or typically 24 oz per acre
  • Water Lilly - 75 ppb or typically 24 oz per acre
  • Eurasian Watermilfoil - 50 ppb or typically 1 pint per acre
  • Curly Leaf Pond Weed - 50 ppb or typically 1 pint per acre

Water Use Restrictions:

WhiteCap is very safe for fish, fishing, animals, and swimming, even the same day of application. The only water use restriction it has is that irrigating is not recommended for 21-45 days following application. The fluridone could kill your plants if you use enough of the water for irrigating!

White Cap can be purchased in 8 oz bottles, pints, quarts, and gallons at Herman Brothers Pond Managements Online Store
It can also be purchased from our Ebay Store

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pheasants Forever Hunt: One Last Hurrah for the Dogs

On Saturday my brothers and I were invited out to one of the neatest pheasant habitat lands in central Illinois. It is owned by the Gilles brothers over by Princeville. The Gilles boys are very actively involved with the Pheasants Forever organization and their property would definitely be one to showcase! 
Our mission for the day was to get Jeff and the Farmer's dogs Hawk and Indy out for one last hurrah on the certified dog training fields on the property. My oldest brother Chad was the designated camera man for the day, the Farmer was working his dog gunless due to a shoulder injury, so that left all the shooting up to Jeff, Justin, and I. 
We had great weather and an absolute great time! Indy and Hawk are some really great dogs to hunt with.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fish Population Analysis consists of Electrofishing, Trapnetting, and Angler Surveys

In order to create the perfect fish management plan for your body of water, it is best to take an inventory of what fish you already have. Fish Population Analysis is made up of three main ingredients- Electrofishing, Trapnetting, and Angler Surveys. There are many other factors like water clarity, fertility, and invasive aquatic vegetation present that need to be considered when creating fish management plans, but I can usually pick up on those just by looking at the pond while we are determining what fish are present.

Electrofishing or Electro fish shocking is a specialized boat we use to temporarily stun fish in an electric field fairly close to the boat. The stunned fish float up to the surface and we collect them with fiberglass dipping nets. At the end of our electro shocking session, all fish collected are counted, weighed, measured, analyzed and then safely returned back to the pond. At the owners request, we also tag a handful of the collected fish!

Although not a fool proof method that does have some limitations, we have learned how to accurately assess entire fish populations based off of our electrofishing surveys. Important factors to consider when electrofishing are the time of year, the time of day, the conductivity of the water, the barometric pressure, the weather, the shoreline, and the depths.

Trapnetting is setting up commercial fishing nets from the edge of the pond. The fish swimming around the pond eventually end up trapped in the net. We leave the nets out overnight, and collect and analyze the fish the very next day. At the owners request, we also tag a handful of the collected fish! Time of the year is critical for effective trapnetting surveys.

Trapping fish with nets is a great way to analyze 1000's of fish, especially in lakes that we cannot get our electrofishing boat into, or the water is not very conductive to electricity. We sometimes use trapnetting surveys along with electrofishing. Trapnetting is the most productive in the spring.

Angler Surveys are extremely important when evaluating a private fishery. I will always quiz the owners about their angling experiences on their lake for as far back as they can remember. I have a series of questions to ask the owner, and I have actual written surveys for lakes with multiple owners.

Just like the above mentioned methods of fish population analysis, there are some flaws with angler surveys like bad memories, inexperienced anglers, fish stories, etc. I have however learned how to correctly interpret the necessary data from most Angler Surveys.

Oftentimes I can accurately evaluate a fishery just by looking at the lake and talking with the owner, but by combining the key elements of electrofishing, trapnetting, and angler surveys, I can tell you exactly what is in your lake!

Just gathering and interpreting the necessary data is only the beginning of creating a fish management plan. The most important and often most overlooked aspect to successful fishery management is the goal of the lake or pond owner. I don't just give out a management plan based on the results I see. Not only is every pond unique, but every owner is unique as well. Everybody wants something different from their body of water. Here are just a few of the most popular types of ponds and lakes that we manage for clients:

Trophy Bass Lakes- Growing the biggest bass possible is the goal!

Trophy Bluegill Lakes- Growing the biggest bluegill possible is the goal!

Natural Balanced Population- Create a fishery that keeps itself relatively balanced with little or no maintenance.

Diverse Fishery- Have as many species thriving as possible.

Specialized Fishery- Have the fishery focus on a certain specialty species of fish like Walleye, Catfish, Perch, Muskie, or Smallmouth.

Kid Fishing Pond- Create a fishery that does not focus on trophy fishing, but kid friendly fishing with lots of action.

These are just a few of the most popular types of lakes and ponds we are helping clients create. Each one of these scenarios takes completely different management plans from the next. Contrary to popular belief, there is way more than one way to manage a body of water for fish!

Summary- What you have+What you want+How long you want to wait to get there+How much time you want to devote+How much money you want to spend to make it happen= Your custom fisheries management plan.

For more information about Fish Population Analysis please visit