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Pond Fishing Heaven

by Kevin Patton

"The proof is in the pudding," as the old saying goes, but sometimes the proof is in the fishing.

Dee Dee Kumpf and I had the opportunity to sample the results of excellence in pond management when we accompanied Nate Herman to a private farm pond on April 21st.

Nate and his brother Justin operate Herman Brothers Pond Management, which is a Peoria company specializing in managing and rehabilitating small waters, such as farm ponds and strip pits.

It didn't take long to enjoy the results of the fish stocking and water management efforts in the 25-acre pond.

Smallmouth bass have made a home under the main boat dock on the pond. They eagerly put on a show for us by gorging on small minnows thrown into the water.

The pond has been stocked with bluegills, largemouth bass, smallmouths, walleyes, catfish, perch, crappie, and hybrid striped bass. We were armed with a variety of artificial baits, live minnows, and nightcrawlers.

We loaded our gear aboard a comfortable pontoon boat with lawn chairs for seats.

Having mapped the pond, Nate was familiar with the bottom contour and location of the planted fish attractors that would hold fish.

Our goal was to see how many of the species we could coax from the gin-clear water during this sunny, windy day.

Almost immediately we began catching small bass, despite a water temperature of less than 50 degrees.

Smallmouths have done particularly well in the pond, having been stocked as six-inch fingerlings during 2004. Four pound fish have now been caught from the fishery.

We caught 1 1/2- pound hybrid stripers that that were four inches long only one year ago.

One obvious benefit of aggressive pond management polices is that it doesn't take long for fish to grow to keeper size.

At days end, the walleye, perch and crappies had eluded us, but we did catch impressive largemouths, smallmouths, catfish, hybrid stripers, and bluegills.

Results such as these are the product of good stocking and harvest strategies. HB Pond Management offers fish stocking of more than 20 game and forage species.

Supplemental feedings with protein pellets, planting of fish attractors, and aggressive water quality techniques have also helped develop the fishery.

HBPM sells products for any pond need, including aquatic chemicals to control algae and weeds, as well as fish attractors, aerators, and feeders.

Related products include fish cages, water circulators, fishing lights, fish cleaning equipment, rod racks, nets and seines. Floating islands and fountains are available for those wanting to achieve a unique environment.

Services provided by HBPM include population analysis, stocking and harvest strategies, feeder installation and pond aeration.

HBPM is also a Lake Mapping Partner with Cabela's Trophy Properties. They utilize specialized lake mapping equipment to map ponds and lakes, some as small as less than two acres.

Customers can order a printed contour and structure map, DVD, and 3-D fly-through version of their lake.

If you're interested in creating an unbelievable fishing pond, revitalizing an older fishery, or having a map of your lake, you may want to consider contacting people who have proven that they can get impressive results in fish and pond management.

Contact HB Pond Management by calling 309-303-5691

Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management