Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not Enough Time in The Day.......

.....Bring out the lights! As usual I have bitten off a bit more than I can chew and I run out of daylight pretty much daily. A little honda generator and some sets of jobsite lights have remedied that problem! I actually got a head mounted flash light for Christmas.

Got the underground plumbing in on Wednesday evening and am getting ready to set the floor joists maybe even this weekend if I can get caught up on everything else. (Theres no hope of getting caught up, but such is life).

Every spare moment has been working on my house. During the days I have been to really cool places like Brownstown, St. Elmo, and Tolono. This week was extra special because on Tuesday morning down in Southern Illinois before a new lake consultation I was fed the best breakfast on the planet by Connie from Brownstown!

Yep, the highlight this week isn't fishing (there isnt a whole lot of that going on...) Gourmet French Toast, Homemade Biscuits and Gravy, Ham and Potato Casserole, and Cinnamon Rolls so good I keep dreaming about them several times per day.

Anyhow after I get done writing this blog post I will be putting together a lake stocking plan for Jim over near Burlington, Iowa. He has a brand new 6 acre lake that he wants to grow trophy largemouth, smallmouth, and bluegill. He doesnt want to wait so he is getting a heavy dose of shiners and fatheads and superior genetic bluegill first thing this spring, and then wants to go the route of stocking feed trained largemouth and feed trained smallmouth bass in advanced sizes just a couple months later. 50 LMB and 50 SMB per acre which is a bit more than what I normally stock for a trophy bass pond, but since all the bass will be feed trained we can support quite a few more than typical. He is gonna have a very fun fishing pond and a full fledge feeding program!

Ryan down in Southern Illinois has a brand new 5 acre pond that I will be posting pictures of next week. The habitat he has created on the bottom is unbelievable, stay tuned for those pics. Anyhow he also wants a trophy largemouth and smallmouth pond, but is going at it from a different approach. He is going to stock less fatheads and shiners initially and give them more time to populate on their own. Than we will stock fingerling not feed trained LMB and SMB. Ryan is still going to feed the bluegills which in turn will produce extra forage for the bass to eat. His feeding program will be way less intense, but he is going to have an unbelievable awesome fishing pond.

Every lake stocking plan I do is completely customized to the owner and their exact situation. I have been setting up lots of crappie ponds lately which is super fun!

Anyhow, there will be a wedding at this little pond in June for a clients daughter and I need to build a big removable dock and figure out how to do some awesome floating candles for the pond for the wedding/photos.

Also we are tinkering with the idea of fishing gear/fishing for them for some of the wedding photos as well. Here are some photos from my sisters wedding where I got the idea for them from. (these are printed photos that I snapped a pic of with a cell phone so the quality isnt too great, but you get the concept).

The thing I love about my job is the diversity and being able to be very creative. When I started the pond management company full time back in '07 I could only visualize killing algae and lake weeds and stocking some fish.

So right now I got quite a few different things on my mind, the bulk of which never makes the pages of the blog. First off main thing right now is those cinnamon rolls, and well none of the other stuff really matters...I'll get er all done. It was a shame how there was quite a bit of the icing left on the bottom of the cinnamon roll platter. I sneaked a couple scoops of it off when no one was looking, but really just wanted to pick up and lick the plate off clean. Brook's been trying to teach me table manners, but all bets are off when some really good icing could potentially go to waste....

I actually made some homemade egg nog on Christmas Eve. I read a few recipes online and then kind of took the best attributes from them all and created the best egg nog on the planet! I cant wait for New Years to make another batch.... I made a gallon and a half and it all got gobbled up pretty quickly. I never realized how many eggs were in egg nog, I am gonna have a whole shopping cart full of eggs this weekend!!

Drake got a stuffed fish for Christmas, among a million other things from grandparents, cousins, etc. Anyhow the fish is his favorite, booyah! Thats my boy. Brook got a pair of muck boots and some flannel lined jeans (for working on the house).

Hey, if we ever get ice, make sure to save the date of Saturday, January 21st. I will hopefully be posting the details soon, but make sure to SAVE that DATE! You dont want to miss this event, gonna be so much fun with super good food.

Jim is gonna have to wait till next year for his fish stocking plan, cause I got real tired finishing this blog post and my whole body is sore and getting stiffer by the moment from all the digging and grading of my basement floor. Only two days left of 2011! Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fishing Blog is Back!

Gonna try to catch up on the pictures from the last month. Got quite a few deer pics, fish pics, food pics and such.

First off I was pretty excited to find my pic on the cover of Fishing Facts January issue! I didnt have a clue until today. Be sure to pick up a copy at your local sporting good retailer!!

That pic was actually taken at Otter Creek Preserve last year while filming with InFisherman TV for the Ice Fishing Guide Series airing this season. Fishing Facts has been teaching people how to fish since probably before I was even born!

Speaking of Otter Creek, right now Chef Todd and I are putting together an ice fishing event of epic proportions on Saturday, January 21st at Otter Creek. Mark your calendars and save the date! More details about this event to come very soon, stay tuned. We actually filmed a commercial for the event this afternoon so definitely stay tuned for this one! Lots of fun!!

Chef Todd cooked a company Christmas Dinner for Lone Wolf Concrete. He had a special 10 lb lobster flown in and then he bacon wrapped the cubed lobster chunks, cooked em and then put the lobster bites back into the prepared shell and used it as a serving dish....Here is the before:

So here is a new way we found to cook loin meat and all kinds of stuff for that matter. Edwin introduced Jared who introduced me and now I am hooked! It is a Himalayan or Siberian or some sort of amazing miracle salt stone. Just heat up this stone made of salt in the oven or on the grill and then place it on the counter and put your meat on the stone. Less than a minute on the stone and your ready to eat fully seasoned meat. This thing is my new favorite contraption of all time! (I dont even own one yet, but am hoping to get one of my own for Christmas, hint hint, wink wink!)

Thursday was my 9th wedding anniversary. Nine years! Yep we got married very young, not too long after graduating from high school and still a teenager. I actually had no plans of getting married and most people had me pegged as lifelong mountain man, but when Brook came along it was game over for me...

So anyhow to celebrate our anniversary we got to spend some quality time together shoveling mud off of our footings and footing tiles until well after dark. We already had a baby sitter lined up for the evening... The rain the day before caused quite a bit of mud to cave in the sides of our basement and this time of year we can't afford any setbacks when trying to get the rest of the foundation in place so there we were scooping mud under the lights of my F250 which we also managed to get stuck and had fun getting out. Picture perfect anniversary!

We got er done and got the footing tiles in and covered with pea gravel and now are hoping to pour basement walls at the end of this week! As bummed as I am about not having ice for fishing, I am pretty thankful for the mild weather for building this house. Here are some pics of the boys watching the basement get dug:

Another story about Brook is that her birthday was last week as well. She got a new tool belt, tape measure, hammer, spead square, utility knife, push broom, and garbage can. The kids thought it was the best gifts ever and helped me wrap em each individually! She was definitely surprised!! Can't wait to see what Santa brings her for Christmas this year....

Here are some long overdue deer hunting pics. I only made it out for one morning deer hunt this year and actually just carried a video camera. Once my kids are old enough to deer hunt ( year....) I will be able to get back out into the woods!!!

These ladies are my nieces holding up the deer their daddy shot!

Greg Grimes shot this knarly buck out at Otter Creek:

Client from western Illinois emailed this pic of a snake from her pond eating a catfish.

Buddy Tyler shot this monster Fulton County 9 pointer earlier in the season!!!!

Ella and her younger sister (sorry Rachel and Drew, cant think of her name right now and Brook is already sleeping) holding up a 10 pointer that Jay shot.

My mom holding up a Fulton County buck. She wont admit it, but she was pretty excited to be on that hunt!

My friend Neil's son shot this beast earlier this season as well!

Good friend Steve Ryan has been catching some awesome fish this fall. About every weekend I get amazing pics from Minnesota, or Michigan, or Thailand, or somewhere crazy awesome to fish. He will be at Otter on the 21st snapping photos, but in the mean time here are a few recent pics from him this fall:

I still have a ton of Colorado trout fishing pics to post, but again will have to wait for another chance. I got to get to sleep. I just might have a few too many things happening all at once to function normally. Hey, any chance you get to email over some good hunting, fishing, trail cam or outdoor photos please do! Checking out cool photos is a nice break!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nate's Construction Blog

Unless we get some ice soon, the name of the blog will probably have to be changed to Nate's Construction Blog, as opposed to Nate's Fishing Blog.

On Monday, I am digging the basement to my house and man am I ever excited to build a house on nights and weekends during the dead of winter! I am excited, but its gonna be a pretty busy winter, even without building a house, but for anyone who knows me, I pretty much always have a few too many irons in the fire all at once. Business as usual I guess....

Keeping with the construction theme, the last few weeks I have been working on a poolhouse addition for a client in Morton. On top of that been working nights and Saturdays on building my brothers house near Wildlife Prairie Park (just two blocks away from where I will be building).

Also this week on Thursday I traveled to Tolono, IL to help an association come come up with a renovation plan for their subdivision retention pond. Tuesday I was in Havana going over some projects with the I am very excited and will announce some of that coming up in the next week or so! Last week I was near Camden, IL consulting with a guy who just picked up a new 300 acre farm for deer hunting and fishing! Very neat project!

Every other spare moment has been spent getting house plans, permits, writing articles for several outdoor magazines this month and playing with the kids. I have to say that I am only home one morning per week when they wake up and my 30 second long Sunday morning hug from Drake when I get him out of his crib has to be the highlight of my week. Changing his soaking wet diaper 1 minute later definitely isnt a highlight, but hey I guess it just comes with the territory.

The weather forecast doesnt look to good for ice fishing anytime soon, but it actually looks great for getting my basement dug and foundation put in. I don't know what type of weather to pray for this winter? Most of you are probably thinking duh, no brainer- cold weather for ice fishing, but the thought does cross my mind, maybe a 60 degree winter wouldnt be so bad just for this one ice fishing season.......