Chicago Sun-Times
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``Borrowed hooks & other looks:'' A line in the water?

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Mike Planthaber raises a good question about the boundaries of Fish ot the Week and it became the sixth ``Borrowed hooks & other looks.''


In essence, he suggests, for example, that Alex Tuccori, 12, and his 30-pound-plus carp is more worthy of a FOTW because it was caught from South Ridge Lake in Hoffman Estates,

fishing by john 251

than say J.J. Phillips, 13, with his 42.5-inch muskie from Lake of the Woods.

Below is Planthaber's question/suggestion, followed by my reaction.

``I have another suggestion - for FOTW, I noticed that a lot of the fish are caught in non-Illinois waters. I think it would be cooler to showcase fish of the week from fish caught in and around the greater Chicagoland water. I mean, we don't need to drive to Lake Erie or Northern Wisconsin to catch some big ones! Why not post FOTW from people fishing Chicagoland waters?''

That made me think, so I went back and tracked the FOTW, which tops the Midwest Fishing Report in the Sun-Times and in extended version here each Wednesday. In the fall through the spring, entries are much more likely to be local, than in the summer months when fishermen are more likely to be vacationing.

BTW, here is some insight into my brain (a scary thought) and how I pick FOTW.

It starts with a good fish (and once a good turtle.) A good photo and a good story make a near lock to make it. A kid in the photo earns extra credit. Nominations that tie into current fishing conditions or the column are more likely to make it. Holiday weekends like the last Labor Day produce more nominations, a cold rainy weekend and pickings are slim.

Here are the areas/waters for the 13 FOTW for the three summer months. Sister Lakes, Michigan; northern Wisconsin; Ontario; Pewaukee Lake, Wis.; Heidecke Lake; Cass Lake, Minnesota; Lake Michigan; Heidecke; Webster Lake, Ind., a Palatine pond, Mississippi River, Chicago River and a Hoffman Estates lake.

Those are all fairly common destinations for Chicago-area fishermen. That kind of spread is one of the reasoos that the area is such a hotbed of outdoor shows in the winter: Chicago fishermen get around.

Planthaber sent back this:

``Makes sense. I was suggesting at something more like a 50 mile radius of Chicago. But you can't please everyone. Either way, I enjoy the blog and FOTW. When I land a 20lb Chinook this year from shore I'll email ya the pic for consideration.''

I would love to hear the thoughts of others, either in comments below or emailing me at

And may somebody land that big king from shore soon.

``Borrowed hooks & other looks'' normally run on Fridays.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 5, 2008 8:22 AM.

Fishes of the Week 9-3-08: Back to schooling was the previous entry in this blog.

Wild Sunday 9-7-08: a frigatebird, spoonbills and a cicada killer is the next entry in this blog.

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