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Recent entries


Lake Doctor

Stocking Smallmouth and Shiners

Fri, October 15, 2010

Today we stocked a whole truckload of various species of fish. Here is a recap with a bit of reasoning. First we unloaded over 1000 pounds of golden shiners for several different lakes. Golden Shiners are a great supplemental forage for largemouth bass and all species of predator fish. Shiners grow to about 8 inches long here in Central Illinois and they reproduce great in lakes and ponds with lots of vegetation or woody brush. Bass absolutely love them and they convert them to flesh at a much higher ratio than fathead minnows. I stock 20 pounds of shiners per acre in larger lakes and up to 100 lbs per acre in smaller lakes.

Here are some pics of shooting the shiners into this 35 acre lake:

Also we stocked a whole bunch of smallmouth bass into a few different lakes. Smallies grow great here in central Illinois, they just dont reproduce well when a lake is overcrowded with largemouths. They reproduce great when largemouths are not overcrowded or not present. The key to getting smallies established in a mature lake is to stock them large enough so they dont get eaten by the existing predators, and supplement them every few years if natural reproduction is not occuring.

Stocking rates for smallmouth vary depending on your goals and your habitat. Typically if your lake is clear and produces lots of 12-14 inch bass, your habitat is actually more geared for growing trophy smallmouth than largemouth. Smallmouth can grow to larger sizes on smaller forage than largemouths can. A diet of crayfish, amphibians, and small fish will grow 3-4 lb smallies whereas that same diet will only grow 12-14 inch largemouths. Largemouth bass need big prey items that they can capture easily in order to reach trophy size.
Next fish we stocked today was the rainbow trout. Last week we stocked thousands of trout, today we just finished up our trout orders with 200 fish into several different ponds. Trout need clear water typically over 40 feet deep or heavily spring fed in order to survive our hot summer months. Surprisingly we have quite a few lakes and ponds in the area that sustain trout year round. I still stock more trout into farm ponds than you can imagine. We put em in as bonus fish for ice fishing and cold weather open water fishing. They are alot of fun:

The last pond of the day is a male only bluegill and female only perch pond. Sounds interesting doesnt it? Male bluegills grow abnormally large in the absence of females, and female perch grow HUGE in the absence of males. We have this one acre pond setup to grow some monster panfish for our client for ice fishing this season. It takes a bit of thinking and management to pull this off, but this one acre pond will be the best icefishing pond on the east side of the Illinois river. Its off to a pretty good start eh?

It was a very busy day. Started in Norris, then to a couple places in Canton, Cuba, Mapleton, Peoria, Washburn, and Spring Bay. Lots of driving, but got alot of fish into their new homes!


Nate’s Bio

Tue, October 12, 2010

I am super excited for the opportunity to write for Heartland Outdoors! I live in Peoria, Illinois with my wife Brook and our little herd of mini-Nate’s. At the time of this first introductory blog post my oldest daughter Mae is 5 years old, Noah is 3 years old, and Drake is 8 months. I have been blessed with an amazing family and my passion for all things outdoors runs thick into their blood as well! Just tonight we got back from Presley’s Outdoors with brand new hunting pajamas for the youngins!
Mae and Noah Hunting Pajamas

With my older brother Chad and my younger brother Justin, I own and operate a very exciting lake and land management business in Central Illinois- Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management.

On the cutting edge of science, experimentation and genetics, Herman Brothers is perfecting the art of raising “the other fish” in ponds and lakes across the Midwest. We specialize in feed training smallmouth, largemouth, hybrid striped bass, yellow perch, hybrid bluegill and channel catfish. We also create trophy northern pike, tiger musky, walleye, rainbow trout and crappie fisheries! Services include elctrofishing, consulting, fish stocking, applicating and aeration installations. We also carry a full line of lake and pond supplies and toys. To compliment our lake management, we have just started a land division in 2010. We have assembled a crew of Illinois’ finest food plot and wildlife specialists to help our clients become better stewards of not only their lakes, but of their entire property.

Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management
8913 N. Prairie Point, Peoria, IL 61615
Contact: Nate Herman
Phone: (309) 303-5691 FAX: (309) 693-3254
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

With this blog at Heartland Outdoors I will be documenting many of the pictures and stories of various lake and land projects, fishing trips, and a touch of family life stuff on a weekly basis. I really look forward to writing and hope you will find some sort of value or entertainment in the pages to come! Feel free to ask any questions or post any comments, your input is much appreciated.