Monday, August 30, 2010

Hook and Hunt TV features Herman Brothers!

I filmed a show with last month. It is now live online. The show's host Jim Crowley is a regular on Midwest Outdoors fishing and hunting show that airs on local channels across the midwestern states and nationally on the sportsmens channel. This is the first of 3 segments featuring the process of building, stocking, and catching fish on this 1/2 acre backyard pond.

We will be stocking fathead minnows this fall. Then we will be stocking feed trained smallmouth and feed trained hybrid striped bass along with bluegill in the spring. We will install a waterfowl aeration system over by the goose pit and a smallmouth bass aeration system out in the deep hole. We will grow more 4 lb hybrid striped bass and 3 lb smallmouth bass and 1 lb bluegill in this 1/2 acre pond than most people will catch in their lifetime of fishing in Illinois!

I am no good at tv shows or interviews yet and I look like a giant compared to Jim, but overall it was alot of fun and a good learning experience. Some day hopefully soon I will fulfill a lifelong dream of actually being on a real outdoor show on a national tv station.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Flyfishing Lessons at the Fishing Park

Flyfishing Lessons and Demonstrations
Hooked on Fishing Park East Peoria, IL
Saturday September 25th from 8 am to 2 pm
$10 suggested donation

Come down to Hooked On Fishing Park in East Peoria to learn how to fly fish! We have some experienced fly fishing instructors coming down to teach anyone who wants to learn hands on as well as a casting demonstration at 11 am by Jonn Graham on the trout pond!

If you have your own fly gear and are willing to teach others how to flyfish or you just need to get in a few practice casts of your own please come on down for a fun day of learning, teaching and fishing! Please contact me at 309-303-5691 or if your interested in helping in any capacity or have any questions.

Also we have a pavilion with big grill that we will be using for lunch. Bring a sack lunch or some meat to throw on the grill. Families are invited and encouraged to come down for the day!

We will be fishing in all the ponds and want to have the day be devoted to fly rods! Here is a funny video of fly fishing gurus Jonn Graham and Curt Eber having fun scoping out the ponds with their fly rods:

Also here is a video of our trout hatchery where we raise our young fingerlings up to trophy sizes before releasing them into the big ponds!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Loftness Timber Ax for Tree Clearing

Herman Brothers Pond Management is evolving into HB Lake and Land Management. This year we have planted lots of food plots, hung lots of deer stands, and now we are going to be clearing trash trees! We have partnered up with and Ryan Pudik to offer a full gamit of land management services to our clients.

This fall and winter we will be clearing willow trees, russian olives, and locusts with the loftness timber ax attachment for the skid steer. This tool cuts down and completely mulches those trash tress in less than one minute! Here is a sample video we made today while creating some trails on a 40 acre property for a client.

The timber ax cuts perfect ATV and Horse trails through the timber and our many other attachments can quickly accomplish any timber clearing job imaginable! Clearing food plots is a breeze! Shoot me an email or give me a call if you have any trails to make or trash trees to remove!!

Tiger Muskie from 5 acre lake

This tiger muskie we stocked in 2007 as a 12 inch yearling into a 5 acre strip mine lake. It was caught on a terminator spinner bait last week by James Fiddes. The fish measured 39 inches!

The lake was full of 12 inch largemouth bass back in '07, but I am guessing those little largemouths don't have too many buddies hanging around these days!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Outdoor Lunch with Chef Todd

This Friday August 27th we are having another outdoor lunch with Chef Todd. He will be cooking shark, pig, deer and beef down at the hooked on fishing park in East Peoria. Everyone is invited and a $10 donation is gladly accepted. All proceeds benefit kids fishing programs at the park for next summer. The lunch starts at 11 am and ends at 1 pm. Stop in to grab a unique bite to eat and finish off your lunch with one of Chef's special grilled bananas. Here is what a grilled banana looks like:

We are wrapping up an awesome year of fishing down at the park! I don't have the exact numbers yet, but we provided fishing trips for over 1000 children, senior citizens, and folks with special needs! They all caught fish too!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mens Campout at the Lake Pictures

Friday night we invited all the young men from church out for a campout at the lake. Just as everyone was showing up so did the rain! It rained and winded pretty hard for about an hour, but then cleared off enough about 8:30 pm to start a fire and roast some hunks of bacon. Yep, we don't roast marshmellows at a mens campout, we stick with a meat theme! We had enough meat to feed an army, I guess that was a good thing because we basically did feed a small army!

So about 40 guys ended up staying overnight and they stayed up quite a bit later than I am used to. Going to bed at 2 am after eating a couple hunks of pig, handfuls of baked goods, and caffeinated beverages is not really a good recipe for properly functioning arteries. Anyhow I was up at 6 am and getting stuff ready for breakfast. You can never guess what was on the menu for breakfast, but for those not able to visualize here is a pic of one of the grills:

I actually had 10 old guys from church come out and cook breakfast for everyone. They grilled bacon and sausages, cooked 96 eggs, a couple hundred pancakes, and some secret recipe flying saucer pancakes for everyone. After breakfast we went down to the water and talked to the young men for a few minutes about life and then sang some worship songs and prayed together.

From there guys from church kept showing up all day long. We invited all guys and no gals! About 100 guys total came out for Saturday and just played hard all day long. Fishing, Swimming, Jetskiing, Tubing, Wakeboarding, Water Sliding, Volleyballing, Water Basketballing, Eating, Rope Swinging, Golf Ball Driving, 4 wheeler and Argo riding, and some more eating were the highlights from the day.

Even with all the activity on the water we still managed to catch some fish:

Chef Todd came out to cook up a cookout of epic proportions for our evening meal. He made up a whole bunch of marinated pork chops, burgers, and barbecue chicken. Here is everyone scarfing down the meat. We didnt have any women out at the lake the whole weekend so our food consisted of meat, meat, and desserts.

Chef did shake things up a bit for our final dessert of the weekend. He brought out 100 bananas, slit them open and packed them full of chocolate chips and some other secret ingredients and threw them right onto the grill on low heat.

He cooked them for about 15 minutes and served em with a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream. That hit the spot pretty good. Here is Chef grilling the bananas.

So everyone left about 9 pm Saturday night and I barely made it home about 10 pm. I stumbled in the door, got no sympathy from Brook and fell asleep on the chair for about an hour before mustering up enough strength to take a shower and go to bed.

Sunday morning was off to church and then out to Hanna City for the annual Horsemeister Hog Roast. Over 300 people came out to my grandma's place to dine on pig and watch the horse show!

I love hog roasts but would have rather spent the afternoon snoozing in my chair on this particular day. Anyhow the hog was great and the kids loved riding the horses and now it is 9:57 pm and I am headed to bed. Next week thankfully isnt too busy. We are just planting the rest of our food plots, doing a couple pond consultations, and working in the office.
Oh yeah, here is a picture of some sort of moth. Chef says its a very rare special moth so I took a picture of it. If anyone knows what it is please let me know. It is actually pretty big.

Deer Trail Camera Whitetail Buck Pics 2010

We started putting out our trail cameras for clients at the end of July and beginning of August. So far most of the pics have been female does and fawns, but starting last week some bucks started showing up! This guy below is by far the most impressive and so far we have him patterned pretty good!

This week we will be finishing up planting most of our fall deer food plots. If your interested in more information about wildlife food plots just shoot me an email or check out our website My brother Justin and brother in law Jared have been running trail cameras, building and installing deer stands, and planting lots of food plots for several clients this spring, summer, and fall! I am super excited to start being able to offer these services to my lake and pond clients. Some people that don't even hunt have been having us plant food and prairie grasses to help out their wildlife.
Stay tuned for hopefully some more deer trail cam pics in the weeks to come!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summertime Multi-Species Fishing Trip

I had the privilege of taking out a group of Steffa's and co fishing on Wednesday. I haven't had a chance to do much guiding this summer, but hopefully will start taking out some more trips this fall and especially winter. When I say hopefully I am implying that my lake management season is rapidly coming to an end and I hopefully can start booking some guided fishing trips and electrofishing surveys to fill in some dead time between the seasons.

Anyhow here are some of the pics from our trip wednesday. We had alot of fun and caught lots of fish! We caught hybrid stripers, walleye, muskie, big bluegill, crappie, catfish, largemouth and smallmouth!! Jighead tipped with nightcrawler bounced on the bottom was the main weapon of choice, but a handful (small handful) of fish were caught with an ugly crankbait.

Lots of different species of fish and more than 10 bluegill over one pound each!! Anyhow for the first time this year I actually don't have much scheduled on the calendar in the weeks ahead. Trying to fill out the rest of September and October completely we actually are going to try some print marketing for the first time. Brook designed this postcard that we are sending out to over 500 lake owners in peoria county and 250 other lake owners across Illinois. Very curious (and hopeful) of what the response will be once people start getting these cards in the mail? Currently we are heading on a couple road trips towards Chicago, Carlinville, and Indiana and I am hoping to fill in the road trips and the rest of my open dates with more Electrofishing Surveys. If you know anyone who may be interested in an electrofishing survey now would be the time to book for the fall!

Noah and Willow go Fishing

Yesterday I took a big group of people fishing (I will post those pics and report later). After the group left I went down on the dock and let the kids fish for about 30 minutes. Mae and Tate were on the dock too, but Willow and Noah were the ones most into the mini fishing trip. After about 2 minutes of Noah fighting this big fish I realized that my camera also took video so here goes his epic battle:

The kids caught 14 fish all by themselves in about a half hour. Here is a pic of Noah and Willows best fish:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Healthy Ponds and Trophy Fish Newsletter

I wanted to say thank you to all of my clients this year who purchased lake
supplies or services from Herman Brothers Pond Management! I sent out this newsletter to all of our online clients and the response was actually much better than I anticipated. Here is the email newsletter:

This email is kind of long,
because I have a lot to say and I promise I will not flood your inbox with
future emails. I figured I would just pack it all into one annual
newsletter. I am reaching out to you in order to provide you with some
helpful pond management practices, to let you know about our end of the
season sale, and hopefully get some pond and fish pictures from you.

We have been experimenting with and managing 1000's of acres of water and
would be glad to help you with your pond specifically. Give me a call or
shoot me an email with all the details about your pond, and I would be glad
to help you create a customized management plan to create healthy water and
grow big fish! If you are in the Midwest and would like us to visit your
body of water for an electrofishing survey or extremely customized lake
management plan just give me a call for more information about getting on
our fall road trip schedule. We will be heading to Missouri, Iowa, Indiana,
and all over Illinois in the months of September and October.

One generalized tip for healthy water would be to apply 12 packets of HB
Blend Bacteria

per surface acre of water once the vegetation in your pond starts dying back
for the season. Our blend of bacteria will eat up that decaying vegetation
along with some of the organic muck and excess nutrients to give your pond a
great jump-start for the 2011 season!

To help us close out the season we are offering 10% off your next online
purchase in 2010! Just use coupon code HBPOND10 at checkout to save 10% off
of your entire order with FREE SHIPPING at Now is
the best time to stock up on items you know you will need in the future or
pick up the perfect gift for the pondmeister in your family.

Last bit of information for anyone still reading this far down is about our
fishing blog- We update this blog
regularly with all of our fishing stories, pictures, articles, information
and videos. I would absolutely love to put pictures, stories, and videos of
your pond or your fish onto the blog as well. Please email them over to me
and I would love to feature them online. I think this could be a lot of fun!
Here is a pic from one of our featured properties and our latest blog post.

Those could be your fish! Growing big fish in small ponds is very possible!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Outdoor Lunch With Chef Todd

Today we had a wild game outdoor lunch with Chef Todd at the hooked on fishing park. It was delicious as usual. He whipped up a batch of homemade cole slaw, grilled some elk and venison burgers, and topped it off with grilled peaches!

Charlie Bracket also helped out with his slow roasted vegetables and fresh mako shark and Todd Clanin brought in a slow cooked hunk of smoked pig shoulder. For those of you who didnt make it out, you definitely missed out!

Even with the 100 degree heat, we had 60 people come out for lunch today!!! Here are some pics of the event and the view looking out of the pavilion at the park.

We have been working extremely hard for the last 3 years building this park and this summer we were able to take over 1000 senior citizens, special needs folks and children fishing all free of charge!!! We still have a couple big events left at the park this year. We are having another outdoor lunch with Chef Todd in two weeks and also a big year end fishing derby at the end of september with a top prize of $500 and a big fish fry and wild game feed at the event as well- everyone is invited and there will be more details available soon.

The big fishing derby will help us celebrate the end of a great year of fishing at the park! Thanks to all of the volunteers who made this year a great success!!!! (if you didnt get the opportunity to volunteer or take a group of kids fishing this year, please contact me and I could defininetly use your help for the fishing derby and for next summer!