We started out filming a fly fishing show for trout monday morning early and caught a boatload! Heres the biggest one.
Then after our fishing trip, Justin and I raced over to an Ethanol plant out in Fulton County to install a Vertex aeration system and investigate a fish kill. The lake has been contaminated with some sort of corn sludge and fish are dying in other lakes of that watershed as well.
I'm very curious how things will turn out, we will be working out there at those lakes off and on this spring fulfilling EPA regulations for the lakes. We finished up late monday night and headed for home. Justin was late for Katy's birthday and I missed something too, but cant remember what it was at the moment? I made it home just in time to read a few bedtime books and get the kids to bed.
Tuesday we had to get to the office super early to ship out all of our online orders from the weekend. We had like 17 orders and it took forever to get all boxed up and shipped out. UPS and Fedex come daily to pick up, but usually just a couple packages a day for each. Lots of shipments came in to the office tuesday as well. We unloaded pallets of fish feeders, aeration equipment, barley straw and other supplies to get started for the year. Then we loaded an entire trailer full of material, tools, and floats to build a swim platform and floating dock with bench seats for a client out in Secor. We were supposed to head that way tuesday morning, but it took till 6pm just to get everything shipped out, loaded, organized, and also take care of a few local clients orders and catch up on emails and voice mails. We also set up a couple really cool fish tanks in our office to help keep us sane while we are stuck inside doing real work.
Wednesday we headed out early and built one of the coolest floating docks ever and also built a swim platform too. The dock has bench seats around 3 sides and is open out the front. Very cool. Anyhow about 9 am wednesday morning I was leaning over the railing of the old dock taking it apart when I took out the last screw the whole thing fell over and so did I right into the lake. I was over an hour from home, 50 degrees, and soaking wet.
Good thing Justin had some old stinky hunting clothes at the bottom of his truck! I wore them and just my socks the rest of the day. Note to self, dont unfasten a railing while leaning over it. Here are some pics of the docks we built. It doesnt take long to build em at all.
Thursday Justin stayed back at the office to take care of a few local clients and other office stuff. We had a whole bunch more shipments to get out. I never in my wildest dreams every thought our online store would get this many sales at all. This blog actually comes up real good in search engines just by me writing about pond stuff, etc and I think that is where alot of online clients come from? Anyhow we sell way more stuff online to people across the country than we do here in Illinois. I have access to warehouses across the nation so alot of our large orders we ship from the closest warehouse. My father in law Lee came out and helped me finish the docks in Secor. I didnt have my camera so finished pictures will have to wait until we get back out there again in a couple weeks. Once the docks were done we then also rebuilt the 8 foot tall rope swing platform at that pond too. That will be alot of fun to try out this summer!
Friday we headed back out to the fish kill to put in some more aeration on another lake and help them formulate a game plan for this spring. The 20 acre lake that is now getting contaminated is losing huge fish too. 10 lb northern pike, tons of big hybrid striped bass, thousands of bluegill and crappie are all floating belly up. That would have been an awesome lake to fish!
Saturday was super windy and cold outside so I worked inside trying to finish up some bathrooms out at the lake. They are shaping up real nice! All wood on the inside. We are building a boys bathroom and girls bathroom each with a couple stalls and showers. One bathroom in the summer time with 100's of people at the lake just wasnt going to cut it for this summer.
About 3 pm we had enough of working for the week and decided to just go out fishing anyways, despite the 25 mph wind gusts. Here was our weapons of choice for the afternoon:
We threw 6 feet deep diving cranckbaits and number 3 silver fox spinners and caught a ton of rainbow trout and super fat largemouth bass! I love coming out of winter and catching fish with 130-140% relative weights!! Check out the bellies on these fish:
Yeah, Yeah how come there is no pic of me holding a fish? I can hear it now. I actually only caught one fish today, a 13 inch largemouth bass. The wind was blowing so hard, all I could do was run the motor just to keep us from blowing out to sea. When I would take my eyes off the motor for just a second to snap a pic, we would blow off course 100's of feet. Plus if running the motor wasnt enough, Chad's wife Julie kept catching fish right and left. We only fished for a little over an hour and drained 2 fully charged trolling motors just trying to get back to the beach!
Sunday I am gonna head to church and spend the afternoon playing with kids. (with the basketball games on in the background). Building dragon towers out of legos is on the agenda for sure. Pretty much every week until after the 4th of July is about booked up solid for us. Traveling to southern Illinois next week to install some aeration systems and squeeze in a handful of pond consulations. And after that we start electrofishing for the next two months solid. We have scheduled road trips to a few places in Indiana, Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Chicago and try to coordinate as much as possible going to and from each of those places. Then locally we have surveys and fish stockings for many local fishing clubs, private lakes, and even some huge lakes like Oak Run we will be sampling and helping devise longterm management plans for. This spring is going to be crazy awesomeness.