A pair of northern pike, both caught by ice fishermen on Saturday, earn rare double Fish of the Week honors.
Don Schurr caught his 37.25-inch pike at North Point Marina.
Jim Kachel caught his 39-inch pike from Bangs Lake in Wauconda during the Walk on Water benefit.
FOTW tops the Midwest Fishing Report in the Sun-Times each Wednesday. An extended online version with photos is posted here usually about midnight Tuesday.
Let's start with Schurr's account:
``This past Saturday 1/31/09, myself, fishing partner and one of my union brothers from Carpenter's L.U. #58 headed up to North Point Marina to see if we could catch one of those Great Lakes Pike I've read about for years.
``We had 3 tip ups set up with live minnows and 1 tip up with a 6-7" dead smelt fished off the bottom in about 10 FOW. About 4:00 P.M. this Pike decided to hit the dead smelt. She measured 37 1/4" long, had a 16 1/8" girth and weighed 11 1/4lbs. on my Rapala hand held scale. I hope you'll consider her for FOTW.
``Thanks, Don Schurr, Chicago
``P.S. I didn't measure it but the ice at North Point is so thick I recommend a power auger or big muscles.''
I couldn't resist asking some details from the 40-year-old from the Forest Glen neighborhood some questions and he added this bit of fishing history.
``I've been fishing the Chicagoland area since1985. Started off catching plump Yellow Bullheads off the Higgins Ave. bridge on the Des Plaines River.''
Plump pretty much describes Kachel's pike. He e-mailed these details with his photo:
``Jim Kachel from www.angling101.com wins the 2009 W.O.W Derby with a fat 39" monster Pike caught on a self developed dead bait rigging system.
``The bait used was a whole 15" Spanish Mackeral, and the giant Pike is a Bangs Lake record.''
Maybe pike aren't as forgotten as a Chicago-area fish as I think.
For details on WOW, go to www.icebenefit.com.
E-mail FOTW nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.