Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Get Rid of Duckweed and Watermeal

This is definitely the most boring blog post I have written to date! Yep, I think I am going to write all about watermeal and duckweed. I just hope I can keep my eyes open as I type.....Anyhow, many of you will hopefully find this information very helpful, easy to read and understand. Here we go:

To get started try to grasp this concept, it is key to learning about everything in your body of water. An organism can survive pretty much anywhere, but with IDEAL HABITAT, that organism will thrive! Basically anything alive will only thrive if it has its preferred habitat. If you want fish to thrive, give em their preferred habitat. If you want crayfish- habitat, if you want waterfowl- habitat. Basically here is a saying you need to remember "If you build it, they will come"

So as goes the habitat, so goes the organism. This is a pretty basic and very understandable and accepted statement for deer, pheasants, rabbits, and many other desirable animals. For some reason though, it is a concept that many folks just simply cannot grasp when it comes to undesirable or invasive specimens. So I have written three full paragraphs now just setting the stage for the topic at hand.

How to get rid of duckweed and watermeal? Well, the first step is to properly identify what exactly you have. The very most costly mistake folks make is to not properly ID the green stuff growing on top of their pond. Next step is to understand the preferred habitat of your species. Spend a few minutes on Google researching. Third step is to do something to change or alter the current conditions. If you dont change the conditions, the green will just come right back. Then the last step is to completely kill it out.

Watermeal is teeny tiny green dots smaller than grain of sand. They float on the surface and are blown across the pond with the wind. They are very very romantic creatures and basically just spend their entire lives making babies. Here are some pics of watermeal:

Duckweed is also small and green, but waay bigger than watermeal. Duckweed usually have 3 little tiny leaves connected together kind of like a floating 3 leaf clover with little tiny hairlike roots attached to the bottom of the leaves. They also float on top of the pond and blow back and forth with the wind. Here are some pics of duckweed:

So anyhow its getting late and I didnt get nearly as far into actual information as I hoped, but hopefully you learned something about duckweed and watermeal so far. If I get a chance in the near future to pick this topic up again I will get into habitat alterations, treatment options, and application timing and rates. In the mean time if you have any questions about your specific situation, just shoot me an email to

Extreme Carp Fishing Video

So I stumbled across this video from a fishing blog called lunkerhunt. I figured some would enjoy and probably you more conservative, mature, safe, boring, sane, older people probably not so much, but regardless it was a pretty funny video filmed just down the road:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Evergreen Lake Fish Structures

The high school bass fishing sectional was at Lake Evergreen last week and Mike Steffa the head honcho at Comlara Park put all the high school kids to work this year! Instead of just standing around waiting all day long, the kids assembled 36 porcupine fish attractors to enhance the habitat in the lake for the fish!

Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management in Peoria, Illinois provided the porcupine spheres to the park for a discount and would love the opportunity to provide materials for similar habitat projects in the future at discounted rates. The 1/2 inch pvc pipe was purchased by the park from a local hardware store. If your just an average guy though looking to purchase these attractors odds are you dont stand much of a chance to purchase them at a discount, you can however purchase them 24 hours per day online at full retail value simply by visiting

Assembly of these units is pretty much rocket science, but high schoolers these days pick up on technology faster than I can vanish a fistful of fudge rounds. Getting the right amount of glue onto the pipe is crucial...... Anyhow here are some picks of the assembly process and a pic of the finished batch of fish attractors:

Also of note is that if you contact Comlara Park they will provide you with very detailed maps of Evergreen Lake and also GPS coordinates to the fish attractors. They have a full service bait shop and boat rental and one of the finest campgrounds in Illinois! A half day fishing trip with a local guide and you will be set on how to catch some serious fish on the lake for an enjoyable camping/fishing weekend!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ultimate Southern Illinois Bass Pond

I started helping Aaron plan out the ultimate bass pond from scratch two years ago. I actually met him three years ago when I was speaking at a pond conference down in Southern Illinois. Anyhow Aaron is a tournament bass angler and wanted to create the ultimate bass fishing pond.

The pond is 4 acres with several narrow fingers and bunches of different contour, shelfs, depths, and various forms of cover and structure. Perfect habitat is the key to growing many large bass. Also not only did Aaron want to grow the biggest largemouth on the planet, but he wanted big smallmouth bass down in Southern Illinois too.

We set up ideal smallmouth habitat and then installed a Vertex Air Three aeration system to provide water circulation and movement, optimum water quality, and increased carrying capacity.

As the pond was filling with water we put in a handful of fathead minnows and we let them multiply to the umpteenth degree before we even thought about adding any predators. Then we added bunches of regular bluegill from several different sources and several different sizes. Creating the ultimate bass buffet.... We fed the minnows and bluegills aquamax 400 and let them grow and multiply all year long before we added the yearling smallmouth and largemouth in June of 2010.

The day the smallmouths were being unloaded from the truck, the pond was so full of baby fatheads every square inch of water was basically pinheads swimming around. The smallies burst out of the bucket and started nailing those tiny fatheads instantly. I think it was pretty much one of the best moments of Aaron's life by the way he was jumping up and down with excitement to see those fish hunt down their prey! He said every penny spent on building the pond was worth seeing that first fathead slaughter....

Anyhow I got a couple emails from Aaron this week and figured I would just plop em online as an update. Keep in mind this is less than one year from stocking 2-3 inch baby bass:

Dude, my pond looks awesome! So far so good I should say. Couple small outburst of duckweed that I caught in time to spray and kill. I think starting the Aquashade early maybe helped the most. Algae is growing but under control, I have added copper sulphate once. I just added my second bacteria treatment for the year.

No sign on the Koi yet, but I am hopeful they are alive. These bass are so mean though that I am afraid a 4" orange fish was an easy target. No sign of the smallmouth yet this year either.

Check out the pics of my largemouth bass at less than 1 year of age! The bluegill have really taken off as well and I am catching several of all sizes now. I can't hardly go a night without fishing for a while after work.

Thanks for all the help!


So then I asked Aaron to take some weights and lengths of 5 bass for me and the very next day this is what he sent:

Not sure if this is the kind of photo you wanted or not, but here are the 5 I caught tonight. If you want different kind of pictures just let me know. You can get the lengths off the pictures and I also listed the actual measurements below because the mouths are not pushed tight to board in the pictures.

Notice the last one is a smallie!! Caught another one yesterday too, so they are alive and well. They smally's are just doing ok and not near as fat as all the largemouth though. Definitely not full of eggs like a few of the largemouth appear to be. Here was my catch:

1. 10 1/4" - 11 oz (smallie)
2. 11 1/2" - 1 lb l oz
3. 11 1/2" - 1 lb 1 oz
4. 11" - 13 oz
5. 11 1/2" - 1 lb 1 oz

That's a 5 bass limit weighing just a hair under 5 pounds. Wouldn't get me far in a tournament, but I'm as proud as a peacock of them! This is a pretty representative sample of what I have been catching.

See ya,


So then I let Aaron know that typically a 12 inch bass should weigh between 12 and 13 ounces. His bass that are just one year old already are averaging 16 ounces which is a relative weight of 133%! By the end of this summer he is going to have a pond full of 2-4 lb fish. They are going to explode in size this year as they will be able to start taking down the bluegills! Also I let him know that growing a smallmouth bass to 10 inches in less than a year is pretty stinkin amazing. Just because his smallies are not as obese as his largemouths didn't mean they were just doing ok.

Last email from Aaron this morning:

Full pool this morning. Both wood duck boxes occupied also. Never knew a pond could bring this much enjoyment to a family. Have a Happy Easter! See Ya

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pond Boss Conference at Big Cedar Branson

Monday morning April 11th, I headed out at 2 am to the fish hatchery to pick up a big load of fish for stocking.

I drove around to lakes and ponds across Central Illinois until 10 pm that night dropping off the appropriate fish to their new homes. Stopped in at Norris en route, crawled up to a bed and was pretty much sleeping instantly. Then at 4:30 am Tuesday morning headed out to finish delivering as many fish as humanly possible. Finished working at 9 pm that night and crashed again, but this time I was able to shower, shave, and brush my teeth before hitting the hay. Up again at 2:30 am Wednesday morning and headed out to Branson, Missouri for the Pond Boss Conference and Expo! This time though I loaded up the family with me, and also Justin and Katy, my mom, sisters and all of their kids. We arrived about 10 am and headed straight for the heated outdoor pool! Here are a couple pics of pool at Big Cedar Lodge, pretty nice eh?

Man was that a nice afternoon just to relax and spend some time with the kids. Thursday morning Justin and I attended a Pro Breakfast and we listened to some pretty interesting seminars and demonstrations. The most interesting topic was with Debbie Crain about the Bass Pro Aquariums. I met several Bass Pro aquarium people over the weekend and we are working on a way to get some of our Herman Brothers fish into the East Peoria aquarium as well as potentially into some other aquariums as well. Wouldn't that be pretty cool to see some of your fish in an aquarium like this:

Then at 1 pm in the afternoon we headed out onto Table Rock lake for a 'friendly' fishing tournament. Justin was paired up with Rex Rains of R and S Aqua Ranch, my sister Amy was with Nate Robinson and I was partnered with John Wilson of Aqua Doc. We were fishing against folks like Bruce Condello of, Dr. Grant Woods of, Mike Oreilly of, Greg Grimes of, and many other lake professionals and celebrities. Here are some pics from the tournament, I didn't take them, but rather took them from the Pond Boss Website.

Unfortunately neither of us Hermans won the actual fishing tournament, but I did win the competition for biggest miscellaneous fish with a .75 lb goggle eye! I am gonna buy myself a new fishing pole with the prize money from Bass Pro Shops. Later that night at the banquet I delivered my victory speech at the trophy presentation:

Then Friday morning at 8 am the actual Pond Boss Conference kicked off and we spent the next two days listening to speakers talk about everything imaginable about lakes, ponds, and wildlife. Topics geared around cutting edge feeding programs, aeration systems, deer, hummingbirds, wood ducks, aquatic vegetation, new products, and incredible new ideas for things to do in and around your pond. The speakers were the best of the best from across the entire nation! Listening to Grant Woods, Allan Warren, Bob Lusk, and many many others was a highlight for sure. Also Saturday evening at the restaraunt I had a few minutes to just chat with Bob and Johnny Morris!

During the breaks and lunches we would walk through the expo learning hands on from all the major lake and land product distributors from Florida, Texas, California, and every state in between. If only I had about 50k extra laying around I could of spent every penny on trying out many cool looking new products.... If you missed this years conference and you have a lake or some property than you would be a fool to miss next years conference.

Saturday after the expo ended we were sent home with quite a few new products to test out from distributors like Porcupine Fish Attractors and Texas Hunter Fish Feeders. Also we did end up spending some money on a Road Boss road grader, that thing just looked awesome and we will report online with product reviews for sure!

Also I forgot to mention that during this jampacked week my older sister (out of the blue) gets a call on Tuesday evening that there is a mother down in Louisianna looking for a family to take care of her 9 month old son, not just for a while, but forever. Anyhow from Branson on Friday morning, my mother and sister flew down to New Orleans, met with the mother and some lawyers and came back to Branson Saturday evening with a new member of our family.

For the first time in his life, Nikau (pronounced nick-0) has a DAD!

For those of you who don't know me or my family very well yet, God just works in crazy/mysterious ways and to Him be the glory. We are flawed and sinners just like everyone else, but one thing that we have been taught and that is key to being a follower of Christ is that when we mess up we make it right and when God speaks we try our best to listen. Life doesnt always make sense and it definitely isnt easy, but no amount of money, drugs or alcohol can replace the joy of living unchained and forgiven.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Squeezed in Some Fishin!

Friday late afternoon we packed up the kids and headed out to the lake for the night. Mom and Dad, Chad and Julie, Justin and Katy, and Josh all were thinking on the same page and ended up out at the lake with the same intentions. The weather was hot and we all just pretended like it was summer (minus the swimming). Anyhow we jumped in the boat and headed out to some favorite spots as the sun was setting. We didnt catch anything great, but did catch some nice variety with weirdest catch actually being a monster female bluegill hitting my big number 4 mepps spinner slow rolled near the bottom:

We caught a handful of largemouth bass and this one young smallie:

Justin also caught a trout and was not happy with me making him take this picture:

Then we just hung out around the fire roasting marshmallows, dreaming big plans for this summer at the lake, and just good ole relaxing. We do got big plans at the lake this year. Memorial Day weekend we will be building a new dock with a super high jump platform that overhangs our new Blob. Yep, we got one of these for our summer camps at the lake:

I have a feeling I will be able to send some bony junior high kids pretty much into outerspace when I go dropping onto that thing. Whats nice is that Justin and Chad are also built like tanks (insulated tanks) and can share the load. I am sure when we combine our 1000 lbs together people are going to simulate flying off of that thing! Should be interesting, stay tuned for our own Blob pics and videos in the coming months.

Anyhow, Saturday morning we headed up to the Fairview Cafe for all you can eat Pancakes and Sausage just to make sure we will stay good blob jumpers for this summer.... Then Justin, Josh, and I headed over to a clients property for a few hours. We are getting his mobile cabin all ready for its journey up to the Fox Chain of Lakes.

The Cabin used to sit here overlooking the lake, but we are moving it out of the way to make room for the new hunting/fishing lodge. The lodge is going to be built by Noah Herman Sons builders, but I have helped with the custom design, and will be working on the lodge every chance I get. I will be posting pics as the project progresses, it is really gonna be sweet!

The deck is going to be cantilevered over the water quite a bit, so we dug out a bunch of dirt to help with some depth at the end of the deck to accomodate fluctuating water levels and of course fishing!

Then at 1 pm we headed back to the lake and spent the rest of the day playing with kids, laying in the sun, and fishing of course. Nothing serious, but we did catch a bunch of different species of fish! We caught a 26 inch Tiger Muskie, 3- 16 inch walleye, 6 trout with one of them being pretty big, a dozen largemouth bass, a handful of bluegill, some big crappies, a few hybrid striped bass, a couple smallmouth bass and a catfish. Here are some pics:

Then just before dark we loaded up and headed back into town. Its the kid's Easter Program at Church tomorrow morning. They will be singing some songs and Mae has to say her memory verse in front of the whole church. Its always fun, cause there is always some kid who makes the congregation laugh by saying something funny.

No fishing tomorrow, its gonna be windy and we are all sunburned. Mae is whining like a baby because she has never experienced sunburn before and Noah is conked out on the chair in the living room. Even Drake got pink today. Man did that sun feel good!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lots of Monster Largemouth Bass

Lake Management season 2011 is in full swing and we are off to a great start. I have been electrofishing and consulting and installing aeration systems from sunup to sundown and Justin and co have been working up bunches of ground, and doing all kinds of other miscellaneous lake and land management stuff. I don't get much time to write anymore, but I do have to write an article for Heartland Outdoors every month due by the 15th. Since May is officially the month of the Largemouth, this article is going to be about raising Bigmouth Bass.

I was digging through some pictures trying to find some good article photos when I decided just to plop a few of em here online as well. For those of you who know me well, I actually am not a bass fan partly because I just got bored with the same old same old. Plus I am too lazy of a fisherman to want to stand up and cast all day long.

Anyhow growing big largemouth bass is about as easy as it gets in ponds and lakes. You have to get the body of water started out right or you have quite a bit of work to do to play catch up. People trying to grow big bass typically are the ones who have the most problems doing it because all of the common knowledge being taught out in the media is dead wrong for growing big bass! One quick tip, if your afraid of killing bass, you will never consistently grow big bass. The biggest obstacle people need to overcome is they need to forget everything they have been taught and everything they already "know" about stocking, growing, and angling for bass.

I'm not going into any details about the secrets to growing big bass here, you will have to get a copy of the May magazine for that information. Just email and for the price of postage he will mail you a copy.

Here I am just going to plop a few pictures of monster largemouth bass being grown in private ponds and lakes right here in Central Illinois:

So anyhow, my few turned into quite a few and now its late and I got to get to bed. Those bass only scratch the surface of the pics I got floating around unorganized. This year in 2011 I am pretty excited to check back in on a few lakes in particular!!!