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.


  1. Amen, Nate! Blessing to you and your family on the new addition!


  2. Indeed, Nate...our God is an Awesome God! If we are to walk with Christ, then we have to answer when he calls. I wish more folks in this industry would allow themselves to be blessed with God's incredible grace.

    Bless you, my brother!
    Jim Gronaw