Got word from Sims Spinners CEO, Dan Sims, that a large northern pike was caught from the Des Plaines River on July 7th by anglers, Mike Leska, and Officer John Guettler of the CPD.
This fish is by far the largest pike that has been reportedly caught, and documented, from the DPR during the 2011 calendar year. In my estimation it appears to be in the 40 inch class, and if I’m wrong, then in the upper 30’s.
The original report was posted elsewhere online, and other than mentioning the fish was caught on a Rapala Husky Jerk, little details are known in regard to the fishes length and weight. After some hook extraction, and cutting off the trebles, it was released.
Here is the story behind this fish, reported by Mike Leska:
“My friend John and I hit Des Plaines for a few hours during the morning of July 7, 2011, and let’s just say that it was a good day to be on the water. We started somewhere south of the Wisconsin border, and trekked to our “secret location” deep inside the poison ivy and mosquito infested woods of northern Illinois. We started out late, but it didn’t seem to matter, as we both got plenty of follows and a few whacks. I finally connected on a small largemouth, and my friend landed a hammerhandle pike . We moved on, through the clouds of sandflies and curtains of poison sumac, until we came upon our honey hole. Working the area I hear John say, “I either have a log on, or a very lethargic fish”. Ends up it was a very (huge &) lethargic fish. It had entirely inhaled his husky jerk, and we had to clip two trebles to salvage the monster’s gills, which were bleeding a bit. We then took that nice photo, returned the beast to the river and held it until it thrashed itself a dramatic exit.”
Despite the great length of this fish, it is on the skinny side like most northern pike that are in the Des Plaines River. The lack of girth is attributed to a few different factors such as high summertime water temperatures which lead to weight loss, the competition for food amongst other pike, and then possible stunting because there are so many small pike and nearly not as many larger ones such as this caliber. But the fact that this fish reached 40 inches from this river, so abundant with pike, is impressive!
Last but not least, David Mannion, co-CEO of Sims Spinners has enjoyed some decent fishing of his own. Dave reports that prior to this past weekend, fish were concentrated in deeper pools and along weedlines. Dave mentions that one outing last week produced over 30 fish between him and his father; largemouth bass, northern pike, and channel catfish. All fish were taken with single and double bladed #4 and 5 Sims Spinners in a variety of colors.
With river conditions stabilizing, and fish becoming a bit more predictable now as we are into mid-summer, prospects for this week and into next week are very good. Although river levels shot up a bit earlier yesterday morning due to the downpour, they will quickly recede and things will get back to normal in a hurry.