Sunday, July 14, 2013

Monster Hybrid Striped Bass

Shew Boy its crazy how summer is flying by! As of late the weather has just been spectacular and the mix of sun, heat, and rain has been perfect. Its been a couple weeks since I had a free moment to post any updates so I don't even know where to begin.

I guess no better way than to start with some really big fish... Shelby Condello came up from Nebraska with her daddy and smoked some big hybrid stripers at our lake in Fulton County. We caught about 30 of them that day, here are the three best:

Hybrid Stripers grow faster (and bigger) than any other freshwater fish here in Central Illinois, and we are growing them in 1/4 ponds to 100 acre lakes....If you dont have a handful of them in your pond or lake, you are missing the boat...

Bryan from Wisconsin has been staying at the lake for the last couple weeks as they finalize the adoption of their little newborn Lily. (Lily is doing great, she was a high risk baby from a lady who chose to do drugs during her pregnancy). Even at such a young age, Lily is having withdrawal symptons, but overall is doing awesome... Anyhow Bryan and his family have been introduced to the crazy summer life out at the lake. They have fit in pretty good overall:

We started another fun floating boathouse dock over in Lewiston. In just two days we take a pile of lumber and floats and turn it into this:

Obviously its not finished, but not bad for two days of work so far.... Also right before the 4th we squeezed in a dock for Dr. Ed near Iowa City. We left for Iowa City about 5 am, started building by 8 am, and we were home by 5 pm with the dock completely finished:

We have successfully spawned out thousands of albino catfish this year! They just hatched last week:

We have built an underwater fish viewing platform and that is perhaps becoming the most favorite activity at the lake... the fish will come eat out of your hand. We have two levels, the first level is about 40" deep for those who dont want to go underwater, the second is 12' deep for those who want to hang out down under with the fish. We also rigged up a breather machine where 4 people can breath underwater at the same time.

Somewhere in the mix I took Dan Joseph and his boys fishing one evening late. They caught monster bluegill, bass, stripers, and a catfish:

Drake came along with us that night too:

Pucker Up Ladies, these are some soft lips:

So then 4th of July was an adventure beyond...Jared, Chad, and I decided to take our 9 kids primitive camping along the spoon river...Ages 3-10. It wasnt 30 minutes in and I realized we didnt think this through all the way when I hear "I have to go number two"...... So anyhow within the next hour all the kids did their business in our homemade bathrooms...

We did our bathing in the river that night before bed:

We made a big fire and all slept around it....when I say slept, I mean we layed around it all night... Drake was so fascinated with the stars, and the leaves, and the fire, and the animals making noises, that he just couldnt sleep... plus eating smores at 10 pm didnt help either.... but by 1 am he finally slept.....until 4 am he was wide awake again.....he wasnt scared of the dark at all, he just wondered around.....the other kids stayed tight like glue out of fear of what was out beyond the darkness..... he wasnt fased at all, he just wondered around:

Mae partied a little too hard and woke up with a camping hangover:

So anyhow the next morning we went for a float on the spoon river...the kids absolutely loved it and for sure we will be doing that again this summer...(the floating, not the camping). We decided the camping was just a once per year thing with all those kids and no moms to help make sure they do their business properly and eat healthy and stay safely supervised... Oh yeah, we introduced them to "itch weed" and all kinds of bug bites, thorns, and splinters...

Believe it or not, the kids are the ones chomping a the bit to go back camping, they loved it beyond!! Freedom has its price, but ultimately when they are camping with us dads they tasted freedom and they liked it...

So we got back to civilization and spent the rest of the weekend playing in the lake:

Anyhow, now is the time of year to be building or renovating ponds. We have lots of very cool pond construction projects ongoing and some just getting ready to rock n roll:

Yesterday I shocked a smallmouth pond near Brimfield, IL

Then I headed out to Fulton County to check on some apple trees that had some dying leaves and rotting apples. This is beetle damage to a cherry tree that didnt get sprayed:

But then on the flip side, here is rotting fruit and burnt leaves on an apple tree that did get sprayed:

Anyhow, either way you can't win. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what is happening to all the fruit trees at this farm. We have about a dozen orchards we are maintaining and they are all rocking and rollin awesome, except for this one. Any fruit tree experts out there that would perhaps want to come tour one of the premier hunting properties in the midwest and offer some insight on all these fruit trees contact me at this farm is set up for world class pheasant, quail, deer, and turkey.

Here is a sweet idea for a handgun range from this farm as well:

So anyhow, next week I will be shocking lakes in Beecher, IL and helping a guy buy some property in Lake Village, Indiana. Then the next few days I will be down near St. Louis at Purina Mills Research facility and then back home about Thursday. The following week I will be speaking at this awesome Lake and Land Management Expo near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Yall should come on out, it will be alot of fun and alot of good information:

1 comment:

  1. Bruce, your daughter is beautiful!

    Nate, saying you can grow Wipers in a 1/2 acre pond is interesting. I assume you can really only do that with supplemental feeding? What kind of Wiper density can you achieve in a pond that small? What sort of results could one expect WITHOUT supplemental feeding? Wipers are awesome fish!