Friday, August 28, 2009

Weeds, Fish, Dock and House...Sold?

Monday we headed up to Princeton, IL to treat a pond infested with duckweed, watermeal, curly leaf, algae, and coontail.

Tuesday I cant even remember what we did, but it was a busy day and we needed to gather and load up tons of material for our project on wed. Also I showed the house at 6 pm and then headed out to Menards to load up the rest of the materials.

Wednesday we headed over to Mahomet, IL and built a cool dock, installed an aeration system, bojo buglight, and a Texas Hunter fish feeder for a client just finishing up an incredible half acre pond in his back yard. Tom the excavator was finishing up a few things while we were there and we decided to dig a deep hole in front of the dock for fish congregating purposes.

The pond is being filled with a big well since there is no watershed and the water coming out of the ground is so cold that we will be stocking rainbow trout into this backyard oasis!!! Shiners, Fatheads, Hybrid Stripers, Albino Catfish and Hybrid Bluegills will also call this pond home.

Thursday we delivered 4500 big bluegill and 3000 hybrid bluegill to one of our featured properties: Otter Creek Preserve. Stocking that many large fish this time of year is no easy task! It takes 100's of buckets of water to acclimate the fish in the tanks to bring up the water temps in the hauling tanks and then 100's of buckets of fish to get them down into the water and acclimate them slowly there too. Much easier to stock fish in the fall when water temps are the same, anyhow we also finished filling and adjusting the settings on 10 of the 17 fish feeders we have on the property.

This place will be hands down the best fishing destination in Illinois and rank up near the top as the best in the US in a few short years. We have several lakes totalling over 200 acres of water that are being intensively managed for over 10 different species of fish! These are not just any fish, but rather the best genetics and broodstock available! Bluegills and Albino Catfish from Missouri; Feed Trained Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass from Arkansas; Walleye, Smallmouth and Tiger Muskie from Minnesota; Jumbo Yellow Perch from Wisconsin, and Black Crappie from Illinois. I have scoured the nation for only the very best fish humanly possible and you cant even fathom how good the fishing already is after just 2 years into the program!

Friday (today) we took 37 students from LightHouse academy fishing at the fishing park. We gave them a tour, a fishing education, and made sure that every single student caught plenty of fish. The teachers will email over some pics next week. The kids had a great time!

This afternoon I showed my house to some nice ladies looking for a house for their new boss who will be moving to town in a couple weeks. They think it will be a perfect house to get him started in Peoria and while he gets acclimated and works on future building plans. Hopefully we can reach an agreement and get this house sold! Now I will need to move out and find a place to live, cause the boss man is moving to peoria Sept 18th. That is going to make things a bit more interesting this fall, but nothing we cant handle!

Mens Night at the Lake

For both of my loyal blog followers, after a 10 day marathon, I have a very small window of opportunity to plop a few thoughts and pics down in my diary....

So last friday I had 50 guys spend the weekend out at the lake: we swam, fished, jet skied, wakeboarded, volleyballed, rope swinged, and basically just went 100 mph for about 40 hrs straight. They were the young men from our church and we also spent quite a bit of time learning and listening to some very important life topics from several speakers.

On Saturday morning a group of old men came out and cooked a feast of about 130 eggs, 15 lbs of bacon, 20 lbs of sausage, pancakes, and flying saucer pancakes!!!!!!! After breakfast I took the old guys out for a quick fishing trip before they had to take their daily naps! I will let the pics give the summary of our 20 minute trip:

Then Sat night we had over 100 guys from church come out for a cookout of epic proportions: we grilled burgers, chops, brats, and chicken! We finished the evening singing praise songs and just had a great time worshipping and fellowshipping together. Mens night at the lake will be an annual event!

I didnt have much gas left in the tank, but was able to stay awake long enough to avoid being the one with shaving cream and other liquids smeared all over, etc before crashing for the night. Sunday morning we all headed in to church and my wife and I were in charge of watching the 1-3 year old kids in the nursery. After church Brook was ready to dump the kids off on me after being a single mother for a couple days, but I fell into a very deep sleep for 3.5 hours before waking up for some dinner just before bed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some pretty stinkin sweet pictures!

Friday we had a group from Lexington come on out to the lake for the day. It was a GREAT day to kick back, relax, and just enjoy being out on the water with some friends. I thought I had some pics from the day, but realized they had all the pics. We focused on swimming, but had to cast a few lines. The fish were hanging deep with the bright sunny day, yep we actually had a bright sunny day this summer and were able to enjoy it to boot!

Anyhow the pictures I do have are from fishing with my kids Sunday evening as the sun was setting! We just sat out on the dock, threw some worms out, watched the geese come in, and didnt think about nothin but what was right in front of our eyes:

Mae and The Bluegill

Noah and The Redear

Noah and The Hybrid

Noah and The Bluegill

Shaeya and The Trout!

Nate practicing taking pic again (I always for some reason catch my best fish when I am by myself or with my kids who are too young and finally have decided to start taking pics of those fish)

Recap and Update

So my busy season is winding down in terms of treating and maintaining ponds and lakes, but for some reason I feel like I am always busier than ever???? Its as if I am not capable of just switching into a lower gear. I found myself a couple weeks ago with actually potentially a bit of extra time available and did I GREAT job of completely overfilling and overbooking like usual. Anyhow I have been to several consultations over the last few days, treated a handful of ponds, stocked some fish, had an open house at my house, had an open house at my parents house (let me just say that getting a home ready to sell and cleaning for an open house takes mucho horas!) hosted some friends out at the lake friday (will post some pics soon), had a few meetings about the hooked on fishing park, found and bought 7000 feed trained bluegill over in Missouri for a clients lake, bought a new aquarium business, yep, you read correctly we bought out an aquarium business from a gentleman moving to California. Now we have about 30K worth of tanks, filters, pumps, lights, and gizmos and gadgets that I have never even heard of, to clutter up our already cramped space, but hey lets throw another iron the fire! Actually the aquarium business is for Justin to take care of , he is the tank expert and knows all about that stuff, I am just along for the ride on this one. Justin has been setting up and maintaining Saltwater tanks for awhile now for friends and family, now he gets to sort through and set up and sell aquariums all winter long. He also has tons of live rock, sand, etc to sell as well, its all really cool stuff, I just need to start learning it all.

Anyhow after getting ready all day Sat for the open house at my parents, we had time to do a little fishin' on the pond for a few minutes (btw, the pond goes along with the house!) I have been practicing taking pics of myself holding fish. Its actually not too easy.

Jared landed this whopper!

My dad was trying desperately to catch a trophy perch and in the eleventh hour was able to hook up.

I have a handful (or so my dad thinks, but really a handful or two or heck possibly 3 handfuls) of bonus walleye in there as well

Also I forgot to mention that this coming Friday, I am taking lighthouse academy fishing at the fishing park from 9 to 11, then Peoria Christian School is coming out to the lake from noon to 5 pm, then friday night we are hosting 50 young men from our church at the lake overnight, and then saturday evening over 150 guys from a few churches are coming out to the lake for a cookout of epic proportions! Youth group is staying Sat night as well, heading to church on Sunday, then heading up north monday morning at 7 am to do some work up in Princeton. Meetings in the office tuesday, showing my house tues evening, then heading to build a dock in champaign on Wed wont be home till midnight or so and then that brings me all the way up to next thursday. Also forgot to mention that the 7000 big bluegills from missouri were coming in tues or thurs next week as well.

So yep, my busy season is over, but somehow I am busier than ever??? Thats only a portion of the stuff that I can think of, can you imagine all the other stuff I am supposed to do that I have and will forget about!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fuggly Cox

We have a new addition to our fish tank in our office.

Fuggly is a mutated bluegill/green sunfish mutt of a fish. The pictures dont even do this fish's uglyness justice- he is just plain uggly and quite frankly kind of creepy.

Dads Biggest Bluegill Ever!

So my dad calls me up early Saturday morning and says that he just caught the biggest bluegill of his life. He was catfish fishing with Chicken Livers when the behemoth hit. He then in such a proud voice declared that they ran up and got a camera phone to take a pic and he caught another beast before they got back with the camera. So instead of taking a nice picture with the best bluegill he ever caught he naturally had to add the 10 incher in the pic. He was so proud that they even took 2 pictures and were figuring out how to email them over to me.

Anyhow when he said it was my older brother who took the pic, and he was holding 2 fish, I knew the pics were going to be pretty bad, but when they got the pics emailed over I didnt expect it to be this bad-

The big one was 12.75" and 1 lb-13 oz.
The small one was 10.25" and 1 lb- 2 oz.

My dad (like all Herman Boys) is a big 290 lb guy, the pics just dont do the fish justice.

They kept both fish in a big tub to get the pics and then let them go. Now my dad was caught up in the moment and excited, but does regret not keeping the big one to get mounted. I explained to him that is was just some form of hybrid (we have mistakenly put about 5 different variations of hybrid bluegill in the lake) and that we dont need that fish for genetics, just put it in the lake and then harvest it whenever you want.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Trout Fishing in Central Illinois

Did a full lake audit today on one of our clients 5 acre lakes outside of Elmwood. This may sound kind of strange, but the lake audit actually involved fishing? Our mission was to check on the rainbow trout that were suspended down about 25 feet deep in 60 foot of water...... The trout are doing just fine!

Monday, August 3, 2009

She made me change his pajamas.....

Brook woke up about 8 am on Saturday morning. The boy and I had already been up for quite awhile that morning. After we ate breakfast we showed her the pics from our sunrise excursion and she promptly made me take off his pajamas??????

The "boy" is 1.5 years old and there is absolutely no questioning who his father is. He is my little fishin' man!

Smallmouth Bass Pond

Let me just say that fishing a 5 acre pond that is full of smallmouth bass as opposed to largemouth bass is just about the most fun you can have fishing! I stopped by Rodger Moons smallmouth pond friday afternoon to check on his fish population, and let me just say again, smallie fishing is 10 times more fun than green carp fishing!

First on our agenda was to check on the 250,000 golden shiners we stocked into rodger's forage pond. We stocked them as little microscopic fry back in May, and they are currently all about 1-3 inches long and fill the pond from top to bottom! There are way more in the pond than I had anticipated!!!

Then we quickly finished setting a dock that Rodger and co had built and hit the boat with an assortment of plastic tubes and jigs. I figured since is was the middle of the day and sunny that the smallies would be hanging along the deep edge of the pond, and boy was I wrong for the first 30 minutes. I didnt even get a nibble! Then as I was starting to get desperate to show off my fish catching capabilities and live up to my fish catching reputation I saw and heard a smallie slam a dragon fly on the other side of the pond!!!

I quickly turned the trolling motor into 5th gear and started heading towards the shallow sunny corner! I pulled out a big oversized rubber worm hook with no weight and threaded on an orange crappie sized tube jig. First cast into this corner and a 3 lb smallie slammed my bait the moment it hit the water!!! 2 other smallies followed this guy all the way up to the boat and I knew I had found the 10% of the water that held 90% of the fish!

After missing the next 2 violent strikes I then landed 5 more smallies before missing the big one.....of course. She was huge and mean and was not going to be caught. Anyhow I just couldnt help but think to myself how I cant wait to find some more ponds this fall to stock with only smallmouth bass as the top dog predator!

Here are some pics, I was fishing alone, so it was a bit harder than usual to get a good shot:

Coolest July Ever and the Fish are Lovin' it!

My digital camera has officially bit the dust. It has been acting up for the last month or so, and finally decided to quit working altogether. It has felt kind of strange not being able to take pics of all the fish being caught this summer. We have been fishing here and there every chance we get and landing some real beauties! 6 lb rainbow trout was caught sunday afternoon trolling a blue rapala tail-dancer 20 feet down, numerous 1 lb bluegill have been landed, 5-7 lb stripers, and even some 3-4 lb smallies! Usually I have the digital proof to back up these bogus fish stories but until I get a free moment to find a new camera I guess your just going to have to believe these fish stories without any proof!

I need a camera that is small, durable, and has very few buttons. I dont need all the megapixels or features for internet quality pics. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My old camera lasted for 2 years, but in reality should of only lasted for a few months with the kind of abuse it got in the tackle box!

Here are a few pics I grabbed with my phone the other night while fishing with my uncle spark (his small head is in the background of the giant bluegill pic), brother in law Jared and cousins David and Caleb Sauder.