A bighead carp was snagged just downstream of the Kankakee dam by well-known Kankakee River fisherman Bill Ramsey while he fished for walleye on Jan. 10.
``This is one fish I wasn't happy to get,'' the 48-year-old from Manteno said. ``Well, I was happy to get it out of there.''
Nick Carr at the Kankakee River Trading Post sent the photos of the 40-inch, 28.2-pound bighead. The IDNR took the fish over the weekend.
Here's more from Ramsey.
``I fought it for half an hour. I saw the black tail. At first, I thought it was a flathead, then dogfish. it took a minute to register [what it was]. I pulled it out and hit it on the head with a piece of concrete and the concrete bounced off.''
He was using walleye gear: a 7-foot Fenwick HMX medium light with a Shimano Stradic 1000 MgFB reel loaded with 8-pound MagnaThin and a 1/8th-ounce plain lead Gumball jig with a fathead minnow.
``I think the minnow swam under it,'' said Ramsey, who went back this week to try for more in the area downstream of the dam.
He has caught lots of walleye, but not the one that he truly wants, the new Illinois record. But his other high marks from the Kankakee are pike over 9 pounds, a 23.5-pound flathead and a 14.5-pound channel catfish.
This is not the kind of trophy he wanted.
If others catch bigheads or silver carp in an area where they have not been before, Mike Conlin e-mailed this advice, ``If folks find a bighead or silver carp in an area they believe didn't have these fish recently, they should contact Steve Shults, Illinois DNR (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 618-435-8138.''
Oh yeah, if you get one, don't put it back.