Chicago Sun-Times
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Bigheads reach Kankakee (updated, photo added)

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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.

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``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 (steve.shults@illinois.gov) at 618-435-8138.''

Oh yeah, if you get one, don't put it back.

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6 Comments

The DNR needs to put bounties on those fish, like they used to do with predators back in the day. Pay people $5 per big head carp they turn in.

It was only a matter of time. What a shame!

Would that the state had the money to pay for removal of this invasive and that there was a method that would work.

I also, spoke with a rep of the IDNR and echo the sentiment to report any invasives not only big heads to the proper authority.

There are a lot more sportsmen than employees of all the regulatory agencies combined. We collectively spend more time in the field and on the water than anyone else. Please help be the eyes and ears and report to the IDNR.

You can also find numbers to report invasives in the back pages of the IDNR regulation booklet.

They are getting closer to the des plaines. Lets hope the electric barrier holds up. However, I wouldn't bet on it.

This past fall, I snagged one while casting a Rapala at the Dayton Dam on the Fox. Saw them there before, and figured it is a given since there is no barrier (dams) all the way down to Ottawa. Took a good twenty minutes to get that fella in, maybe twenty pounds or so, on medium weight gear. Thought maybe I got into a muskie until I saw that black tail.
I've seen them below Dresden (Marseilles pool)several times for the past couple of years, so I'm sure a number of them have locked through into the DesPlaines by now.
Once they show up above the Brandon Locks...
well, we'll find out if the barrier in Romeoville will have the desired effect.
I'm not holding my breath though.
Yearly high-water events will get them to the Great Lakes eventually.
I think they will change the Great Lakes' ecology dramatically within the next decade, despite our best (?) efforts to stop them.

All this doom & gloom!!!
"Gobies will destroy Lk Mich" didn't happen!
"Zebra Mussels will destroy Lk Mich" didn't happen!
"Quagga Mussels will destroy Lk Mich" didn't happen!
"Bigheads with destroy Lk Mich" won't happen!
How do we ever sleep at night??
Truth is, The Carp population will explode to a point, then by way of eating themselves out of house and home, or by disease and/or stress or some other misplaced invader/predator, it will eventually fall back on itself long before all is lost...Chill out guys, everything will all be OK...

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 14, 2009 12:56 PM.

Wintery Midwest Fishing Report was the previous entry in this blog.

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