Sunday, June 30, 2013

Big Bass, Bigger Bluegill, and Beautiful Sunsets

Clients have been sending in lots of pics of BIG fish this summer from their lakes and ponds. Ryan Luginbuhl caught the biggest largemouth of his life recently from his family's pond:

Chad Fargher and his son tag teamed this big female:

Greg Fell caught the biggest bass of his life this month as well:

Greg's dad also caught a pig on the same day, how cool is that?

Chris Brackett caught the biggest bluegill of his life at my lake on Friday, check out this amazingly big bluegill:

Chef has been on fire pretty much everywhere he has been fishing lately. Either he is becoming a better fisherman or he is fishing waters where the fishing is getting better and better (or both):

Andy Fliege over in Iowa, your pics and testimonial are at my office computer, but they would have been perfect for right here.... his kids have an awesome crappie picture from his pond we have helped renovate....

This week I traveled to Floyds Knobs and Evansville, Indiana and Mt. Vernon and Effingham, IL helping some really cool people grow bigger fish at their properties. In about a year or two you will hopefully seeing those big fish pictures just like the ones above...

The stuff we are doing right now with lake and pond management is nothing short of amazing. We have so many fish experiments going on across the midwest right now I have trouble picking out which ones to daydream about. Mark my words, SMALL WATERS are going to be breaking many state records in the months and years to come. I have lots of fish like this smallmouth and this largemouth being grown in small waters utilizing undocumented, cutting edge fish management techniques.

This Largemouth we are growing along with several others just like her in a small body of water utilizing some crazy techniques we are helping a crazy dentist develop.... You will hear more about this experiment for sure in the weeks and months to come!

SIZE OF LAKE OR POND DOES NOT MATTER. If you have a 1/4 acre swimming hole or a 200 acre lake, We will show you ways how to grow the biggest fish you have ever caught in your life! Those pics above are just an inkling of what we got going on across the midwest! What we are figuring out specifically about each body of water is stuff not yet written in the fish mgmt literature.

Anyhow, moving on from fish. I got my 70 hrs in this week by Thursday at 9 pm so on Friday I took the day to play with the kids and a bunch of friends from all over came to the lake for fishing and swimming and eating...

We were fishing for Hybrid Striped Bass for our big fish fry, but we kept on catching these pesky bluegill on our chicken liver:

Tod Todd (an ice fishing addict) and Debbie Compton who fished professionally on Team USA also came down for the day for some bluegill fishing and she had a smile like this most of the day:

We caught enough fish to feed about 80 people that evening! I had alot of help from everyone catching, cleaning, cutting, prepping, and frying the fish. Man that is a lot of fun:

So changing gears again, Jared, Justin, and Chad have our food plots looking AMAZING!! Check out these pics from Saturday morning strolling through our hunting property planning on what projects to there next. Pretty much all of our plots we utilize a mixture of sorghums strategically to close them in.

You can see the sorghum screen again blockin in this 2 acre bean plot. The neighbors can't see in, the deer can't see out, and we create good access for getting in and out as undetected as possible:

This is a shade mix we are experimenting with on a shooting lane through the timber behind one of our box blinds.

Here is the above mentioned box blind overlooking a 3 acre plot that is just poking out through the dirt:

Just like fish, we are experimenting like crazy on not just our farm, but clients farms as well. Every plot has experiments with new food plot fertilizers, seeds, sprays, and such. The guys are pushing the envelope and getting results!!

So anyhow the sunsets this year have been nothing short of amazing: Perhaps the best medicine ever invented is to reflect for a minute as the sun drops down below the horizon!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Speaking at QDMA Event This Saturday!

This coming Saturday, June 29th I will be speaking at a QDMA field day event in Chillicothe, Illinois. There are still a handful of tickets left to purchase here at this website:

I hope to see you guys there on Saturday!!! Call the Chase at the number in the flyer below with any questions...


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ultimate Pond Waterslide and Lots of Fish

Lots of red skies so far this summer. Here is one my mom texted me a couple nights ago.....

The last two weeks have been jampacked beyond. No time for sleeping, let alone writing. I've stockpiled a bunch of pictures so here goes. First picture out the gate is Chef Todd's Fulton County bass of his dreams. Peanut Butter N Jelly Jig about 20' down. You can read more about this fish in the next issue of Heartland Outdoors...

The next day, Chef and I headed to Iowa City to electrofish for Dr. Ed's pond at his family farm. His grandkids were all lined up and they all had a blast learning about the fishes and nuances of this special family water hole... Here are some of the pics from the day:

Justin Schick started working for me a couple days a week this spring/summer. He is an aspiring young angler who actually just won the high school state championship a couple weeks ago. Here he is holding up a big grass carp we shocked up at a large property over near Canton.

Later that night my brother Justin and I jumped into our perch production pond to snap some pics of our bumper crop of baby yellow perch. We have tens of thousands of them that will be for sale this fall and they will be 3-5 inches by then!

A bunch more work projects later and it was time for Fathers Day Weekend! High School Girls Camp came to our lake for the Saturday, but first early that morning I spent delivering lots of monster bluegill to several clients. Im talking bluegill already over 1 lb each for stocking into some intensively managed panfish lakes to enhance their genetics:

So then a couple hundred girls came out to the lake for swimming, fishing, volleyball, and of course horse back boys just can't get enough of the horses:

Oh Yeah, my brother in law Dave took his dad and brothers fishing that morning as well and caught some real nice fish:

So after the girls all left, I took the kids out catfish fishing for a bit. We wore out the catfish and the catfish wore out the kids!!

So then Fathers Day came along and we decided to all have church out at the lake and then went back to catfish fishing in the afternoon!! We were on a pretty good bite. Basically after the first 45 minutes I had to start cleaning the fish out on the boat because we had filled up our livewell to the brim:

I could keep going on with pictures just from that 2 hr fishing trip, but Im running out of time and space. Still got the whole next week worth of pics and havent even got to the waterslide yet....But we caught several hundred lbs of channel catfish that we cleaned for a huge fish fry for 200 boys the following weekend.....

So anyhow monday and tuesday Chef Todd took famous outdoor writer Mike Pehanich out fishing. They filmed several segments and not only caught lots of fish, but lots of big fish. Here is the biggest bluegill that Mike has ever caught, it was just a touch over 12 inches long:

I guess Chef and Mike have the rest of the pics. You will see many of them in the upcoming issues of BassMaster and Heartland Outdoors magazines, Cabelas Outfitter Journal,,, and many other websites and publications!!

So while Chef was fishing, I was inspecting dams with the best dam guy in the nation. While I was with the dam guy from Texas, the guys were finishing the waterslide and some food plots. Anyhow here is a nice dam picture of the dam guy inspecting one of my clients 70' tall dams.

So we went to lots of places looking at dam pond leaks and once the dam guy got back on the plane my mission was to finish the waterslide project for the weekends birthday party. I learned alot about dams and am excited any chance I get to learn from the best.

So here are the waterslide pics:

I had to leave to go electrofishing in Bloomington before completion, but the guys got er all finished up and tested er out a few times....Here is where they were at when I had to scoot:

So I finished up in Bloomington and then by 10 pm that night I was all loaded up for the next days adventure. Justin Schick and I were on the road by 3:30 am headed down to Southern Illinois University to pick up a load of big blue catfish for a couple clients near Champaign and a couple out towards Lewiston. We also dropped off some fish feeders and aeration systems in Mahomet along the way...

Here we are near champaign unloading these beautiful fish:

So anyhow just a tidbit on blue catfish.... they are totally awesome! These particular fish were used for feed training research at the university and they will readily gobble up fish food. This makes it very possible to stock them into relatively small ponds and grow them in excess of 40 we are talking!!

So I finished up stocking in Lewiston about 9 pm and I got a video the next day of one of my clients kids reeling in a 4 lb blue catfish.....they are super aggressive....

So anyhow now comes senior high boys camp and the big fish fry! I cooked catfish as fast as possible for about 2 hrs straight Saturday afternoon. Im talking every 3 minutes I had a fresh basket coming out and every speck was gobbled instantly.

The only way to pull off something of this magnitude is first to have alot of fish, but second to put alot of people to work...I had the boys cutting, prepping, battering, and seasoning the fish like clockwork. We had two baskets frying nonstop....

We kept the battering crew well fed and happy. I found the happier we kept them the faster everything went:

So I got home Saturday night and fell asleep instantly. The kids just played on and around me...Sunday I have to admit Brook nudged me about 6 or 7 times in church, especially when my jelloheadneckbob was noticeable, then Sunday afternoon I slept for many hrs yet again in my chair.

I'm all rested up now and ready to rock n roll for this week! Fighting Illini fishing guru Lucas Stoner snapped this photo of yet another breathtaking sky. The picture is so amazing it makes you pause for a moment and think how truly amazing heaven really is gonna be.... no eye hath seen nor ear heard nor can anyone fathom the things God has prepared for those who love him...... To think this photo isnt even a glimpse of what is yet to come.....