Water Body

What a year! I have never ice fished this much this early in the year. The weather has been relentless, bone chilling cold fronts. It looks like this trend is going to continue into the new year. Ice is here to stay. Last week I got the opportunity to fish a 30 acre private lake in Illinois. I was joined by a few other members of the Custom Jigs and Spins team. What makes this lake so special is that the lake is managed by Nate Herman. Who is Nate Herman? He is a very talented guy indeed. He is known across the United States as one of the best pond and lake management consultants. He runs a company named, Herman Brothers. They offer electro shocking, fish stocking, management plans and sell are wide variety of tools you need to create your own perfect fishery.

Our CJS team hit the ice at 7:30. About 25 other anglers took part in this open lake fishing extravaganza. Nate had hand-drawn maps of the lake showing locations to fish. He explained what to try for enticing his monster boon and crockett gills in to biting. We made our way out to a channel with trees. We drilled several holes around the area and set up. I hooked up right away but lost the fish before I could see it. Dang! I felt kind of tired after a 3 hour drive. I needed to get focused and snap out of it. I dropped my black chekai jig tipped with a purple finesse plastic back down into the gin clear water below. The water was so clear, with 20 feet of visibility. Sight fishing with a tent was an option. After a few seconds a red mark showed itself on my Humminbird. The mark moved up as I continued to do quick quivers to vibrate the plastic tail. It didn’t take more than that. I noticed a slight change in the cadence of my rod tip. I set the hook. The fight was on. My line started moving in a circular direction in my hole. Only one fish fights like that…..gills! After a well fought battle the gillzilla came top side! Wow! This was going to be a very special day.

The gills weren’t the only attraction of the day. Off in the distance a pack of folks had formed. Every few minutes a chorus of hoots and hollers could be heard. I could see a pile of large fish starting to accumulate on the ice. I didn’t take part in the great catfish harvest, but it was fun to watch. 38 catfish were harvested in about a 5 hour span. We dropped a camera down and saw hundreds of catfish piled on the bottom. Nate sees catfish as a great food source. They are easy to manage and fun to catch.

Another surprise came when Bob Gillespie hooked into something very big. It ended up being this amazing 4 pound small mouth bass! What a fish!

This day was an absolute blast! Nate is an amazing host. He had a wonderful spread of food waiting for everyone for lunch. First class all the way. Fishing with Bob, Walt, Carl and Chef Todd was very entertaining to say the least. The biggest gill of the day was a monster 1 pound 8 ounce, 12 inch Goliath Gill. Nate really knows what to do. If you have a lake or pond and want to have a management plan to meet your personal goals… this guy!

This weekend I will be fishing Ice Blast II. This is a private fishing event down in Sigourney. Should be another beyond belief experience! I will have a big report on this shortly after the 3 day event.

See you on the ice….. Keep warm!


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I mostly fish between Lansing and Harpers on the Mississippi for walleye and sauger. I also fish a lot of South East Lakes for monster Gills. Ice fishing is my favorite thing to do.


  1. Looks like a good time. Thanks for the write up. I haven’t been able to get out much lately myself. Always nice get a good read to keep spirits high

  2. Great report and it sure sounds like you had a blast. I had the opportunity to meet Nate last ice season and he spent a couple of days fishing Whitefish with us here on the Bay of Green bay and it sure sounds like he has some very well managed lakes with some super nice fish in them.

    Paul Delaney

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