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.....


  1. I can't remember the last time I used a snap swivels, I prefer loop knots. I do use swivels though, on bottom rigs, on wire leader bait rigs, and occasionally when casting spoons or Gotchas for macks and bonito. I keep meaning to buy some snaps for attaching Sabiki rigs but I always forget. Come to think of it, the Sabikis I use for bait and silver trout have a snap swivel on the bottom end for clipping on the sinker (I prefer to use a Gotcha instead of a sinker) so I guess I do use them

  2. These photos are awesome! It's like a panfish angler's dream! What are your favorites? Perch, walleye, bluegill, crappie, sunfish? It looks like the kids went well over there limit! Traditionally, I'll use Gitzit Micro Tough Guys as my lure of choice. However, I am not too picky, Northland lures are awesome. In a place like this though it looks like a colored jig and a spoon would be enough to attract them!