Texas Hunter Products' Dale Baden and Chris Blood sit down with Matt Rayl at the Society of Lake Management Professionals' yearly summit in Savannah, Georgia - an awesome opportunity with the top manufacturers and the national salespeople from the leading products sold in the lake and pond industry.
Sitting Dockside Podcast took this opportunity to ask vendors...
- What new products they have out this year?
- How are their products different than other companies?
Listen as these vendors answer the same questions that you would be asking as a pond or lake owner if you could be here.
Matt: We are your hosts, Matt Rayl and my Tennessee buddy, Troy Goldsby.
Troy: Together we had been working with lakes and ponds for over 40 years. And during that time, we have picked up on a ton of tips and tricks from lake owners and experts from all over the country.
Matt: So if you want to learn how to catch some smiles from your kids or grandkids on your lake …
Troy: Or learn how to grow some memories on your pond, come sit with us on Sitting Dockside.
Matt: Welcome again to Sitting Dockside special edition were at SLMP, Society of Lake Management Professionals. We talked about it in the last two podcasts about all the professionals that are here, over 130, and we are going to bring it to you. We are going to actually bring-in some vendors, talk about the new launch for 2022, the new products in the lake industry at the show. We are going to bring in some vendors and talk about some really-cool new stuff happening throughout our industry.
And unfortunately, Troy Goldsby, the second best aquatic biologist in the country, cannot be here because of some issues at home and we are thinking about you, Troy, but I have the next two best things. We have Mitchell Morton from Foster Lake and Pond Management in North Carolina, and
Matt: The little ace in the hole, we have the big brother of Troy Goldsby, Bryan Goldsby.
Bryan: Yeah, bigger, more superior, better looking, more intelligent. Troy is my little baby brother so …
Matt: Yeah. You’re saying that you could still whip him then.
Bryan: If I cheated, yes. If I caught him off guard and he didn’t know that there was something.
Matt: [Laughs] You want to start out with a funny story from Troy?
Bryan: There’s a million of them.
Matt: Oh, Florida ounces.
Bryan: Oh yeah, the Florida ounces. This was when Troy was younger and he did this with songs as well. But on his way back from Florida one time, he was looking at his orange juice bottle and it had “FL” ounces. And he looked up after a few minutes of being confused looking at those, “Mom, what’s the difference between Florida ounces and regular ounces?” [Laughter] And he thought that Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard was pour some sugar Hombre. Like “pour some sugar, my friend”. And yeah, we ragged him a lot over those kinds of things.
Matt: That’s funny. So you’re in the business, too, alongside Troy. So day to day, you guys are in the trenches so you know a lot about this world. But we are going to move on to two of my really-cool guests today we have on show. We are going to talk about feed. We are going to talk about feeders. And so as you guys can listen, we brought in what you guys see on the Facebook page. A lot of people are talking about Texas Hunter at least once every couple of weeks somebody is posting something out there. You guys are notorious and known for your automated feeders. But now, you have some newer products too. Why don’t you start by talking about your feeders and what makes you kind of cool and then we will end it up with some really new stuff that you’re bringing, kind of out of the box stuff that you’re bringing to the lake and pond industry.
Chris: Sure. I’m Chris from Texas Hunter and Dale’s here with me too. Thanks for having us today. Did you want to talk about the habitat first or the feeders?
Matt: Let’s talk about the feeders because everybody knows you from the feeders.
Matt: And then why, why Texas Hunter and talk just a couple of minutes if somebody for goodness gracious doesn’t know who you are, talk about them and then talk about the secrets of the habitat you’re bringing in.
Chris: Sure. We have a broad line of automatic fish feeders, four different models that are available through lake and pond management companies throughout the country. They're very reliable, include a 5-year warranty on the timer and they feed up to 9 times a day, so you can really get a feed program going quickly on lake. And we have four different capacities for every type and size of pond that’s out there.
Matt: Mitch, do you use Texas Hunter?
Mitchell: Exclusively. We don’t use anything else. It’s our primary feeder - many years ago when I think Dale first reached out to us. In fact, we bought back almost everything we had in the field just so we could get Texas Hunter products to our customers. So we didn’t want to have the hassle with working on them over and over and over again. That’s one thing with Texas Hunter. We just don’t have that problem.
Matt: Yeah, they’re just built like a tank. All that being said, you do some wildlife feeders too and then tell us about your capacities just briefly about your feeders. You got some small ones and some very large ones too.
Chris: Our smallest fish feeder has a 70-pound fish feed capacity - so it’s designed to where it doesn’t have to be empty to add a new 50-pound bag in there. And then we go up to a 100-pound capacity, so if you need a little bit more capacity which is two bags. Then we go up to three and a half bags or 175-pound fish feed capacity and then up to a model 425/435 which is 5 bags or a 250-pound fish feed capacity. We’ve have a good variety. If you have a big lake - and on the other side you don't want to go over there as often - get a larger capacity. The small ones look great on a dock. They are available with straight "dock" legs for mounting on a pier or a dock and we also offer angled adjustable legs for the side of a pond depending on how you’d like to mount them.
Matt: And for a lot of people, they run off a battery, and then you have a solar panel too so it’s pretty much just program it.
Matt: Put your panel on there and then feed.
Chris: Feed up to 9 times a day. The solar charger mounts on any side of the feeder so no matter where you put the feeder on the lake, you can mount it on ideally the south side - where you get the most sun. It keeps that battery charged year-round. We average 2 years or so on the battery – all you do it put feed in it. It’s very maintenance-free and super-reliable.
Dale: I think simplicity when you talk about the timer. One of the things we wanted to do is to have a timer that was really-easy to operate where you don’t need an instruction manual and you could – because typically, you’re going to set it maybe once a year or once every couple of years so it’s easy to go out there and look at it and just walk right through the process. There are only three buttons on it so it’s easy as far as operation.
But I would say reliability, when people think of Texas Hunter Products, no question, the number one thing they are going to talk about is reliability. It’s so critical that once you start feeding fish that you continue to feed them at the right times, consistently, the right amounts consistently. And Texas Hunter is going to deliver that to you every time, every day.
Matt: Perfect. You have – at SLMP, this is kind of like the show for the launch of new products, the first of the year and then 2022, you have really-cool stuff coming out that goes along. I think the listeners are going to like this because this is one of the most talked about topics on the Facebook page and why don’t you go ahead – why don’t you guys start and look at – you guys are bringing a whole line of fish habitats to the industry and why don’t you go ahead and tell us – tell the listeners as best as you can what it is, how you – I mean what products you are bringing to the line and then also, how they can contact you.
Dale: Hey, Matt, just before we get into it, and we are very excited to talk about the new launch but this summit has been by far the best summit. I’ve been to every one since the opening one. And for those of you who have not had a chance to be here, boy, keep watching the different podcasts and listen to them and watch them on Facebook because there’s a lot of great products that have been introduced here.
As Matt mentioned, we are – any time we have an opportunity to launch a product, a new product, and this is designed really-right up your bailiwick. It’s designed for your customer base. This is only sold through lake and pond management dealers exclusively. We are not planning on taking this to big box stores and so the new line of fish habitat and attractors. And Chris Blood has been very involved in this project from the very beginning so if you don’t mind, I’d like Chris to kind of just walk through just real quick and go through it.
Chris: We have developed and brought here and introduced – this is our reveal here at SLMP, five new products on the fish habitat and attractant side. And we have a little bit of everything. We have some top water fish attractants, we have some lily pads, and fishing lilies. Everything is eco-friendly, no tools required to assemble. These float on top of the water and they create shade for bass – it makes a perfect bass hangout. We toss a lure on top, in fact, they’re sold in 6-packs and they come with a Booyah® Pad Crasher fishing lure included in the 6-pack so you can open them up, get them out there and start fishing immediately.
Matt: Right. So, it’s like a 24-inch lily pad that they can put out. It actually gives some shade, some structure out and it floats very… like right on top of the water.
Chris: That’s right.
Matt: You can hardly see it so it’s really neat.
Chris: We use a marine bungee cord so it actually expands and contracts with the water fluctuation. So as the pond or lake rises, it adjusts to that and stays right on top of the water.
Chris: There’s also a snag-free tube that comes with it so you can put that on as you are attaching it to the line. It makes it real fishing-friendly, prevents snags on the line that holds it there. They also make good markers for the other products that we have which include what we are calling the Fish Pyramid. So this is a product designed as an escape habitat for bluegill and other forage fish. They can get inside and take refuge from bass and other predators, cormorants and other types of predators. It also has shade blades that create shade for bass. And that product can be anchored on the bottom - or - it also floats in the water so you can submerge it between the surface and 6 to 8 feet of water. Put them out around the perimeter where the fish feed pattern is so that the small forage fish can get in there and come out and feed and take refuge and grow to a bigger size - so the bass don’t have to expend as much energy chasing all the little guys. They grow to a point where... the slots are designed so that the big bluegill can’t get in there. That’s the ideal bass meal, so we are trying to conserve and grow more forage fish and deliver a bigger forage meal to the bass.
Chris: And then we have really cool Fish Grass that’s a polymer material. You just simply strap a Pavestone paver to it and drop them in the water with 24-inch or 48-inch grass strands - and immediately it’s a fish attractant. I think shad are going to attach their eggs on there and use it for spawning as well to that substrate, it creates lots of surface area. So those are great, you just drop them in where you want some aquatic vegetation. You don’t have to worry about herbicides and fighting off natural plants. You drop them in. You have an instant fish attraction and fishery right in there. The polymer is thick enough where it’s not going to snag a lure so you can just drag a lure right through it.
And then finally, we introduced a spawning colony which is a way to create spawning environments. It’s sold in 6 packs. You add some pea gravel in there, drop them in. They are also going to have some grass attraction that can attach right to it. And what’s really nice about the spawning colonies is that we incorporated the same escape habitat in base - all the way around the perimeter of the spawning colony. So when the fry hatch, they can get in there and take refuge immediately and they’re not going to get picked off by predator fish right when they hatch.
Matt: Yeah, this is – we needed some structure and you guys are hitting it out of the park. So, all that being said, a lot of these listeners are going to want to know exactly where to – and we will put on a link below in this podcast too. If you would, tell where they could get in contact with you and see these online …
Chris: Well, we are introducing these to the lake management companies here at SLMP, to SLMP members. So we encourage anyone who is interested in the new fish habitat products to talk to their local Lake Management Professional and we are going to have brochures and information for them to hand out to their customers and that’s how we are introducing this to the market.
Mitchell: And if you want to see a list of those companies, you can go to LakeProfessionals.org and all the accredited associate member companies are listed on the website so that’s a great place to find us. There are links so you can find someone near you.
Bryan: I’d also like to add without using the product at all, they are fantastic-looking products. I really like them. All my guys were oohing and awing and we really want to try them out.
Chris: Thank you. We worked on this for two years with Auburn University, the Industrial Design and Fisheries Schools, and lake management companies and some biologists throughout the country and they’re great products.
Matt: Well, we are happy to have you back after we get our hands on there and test them and we will talk about it so thanks guys.
Dale: Thank you very much. I appreciate it and keep watching and listening to podcasts and learn a bunch. It’s a great program that you’re offering. We appreciate it.
Matt: I appreciate it too.