Chicago Sun-Times
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Another Des Plaines beaut for Fish of the Week

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On Monday, Bill Barkstrom pulled out another example of the return of the Des Plaines River, a 36-inch northern pike.

FOTWDes Planes 5-25-09 007

He weighed it at 8 pounds, 5 ounces, before releasing it near where it was caught by Lemont. It looked so good and the story was so good, that I doubted at first. But the 23-year-old from Burr Ridge had a very worthy Fish of the Week.

Shortly after talking with him Tuesday, he had it posted on YouTube. Well most of the video. He tried to make sure the exact spot was not visible.

FOTW tops the Midwest Fishing Report in the Sun-Times each Wednesday. An extended online version appears here by midnight Tuesday. E-mail FOTW nominations to

Here's the original tale via e-mail from Barkstrom. Below that I added some additional comments after I spoke with him.

This is a pic of a 36" 8lb 5oz northern pike that I caught on the Des Planes River near Lamont. My friends and I were just about done fishing and we were packing everything up when I remembered about the light rod i had farther up river. My buddy went to go grab it to his surprise there was a huge fish on the end of the 6lb line. Almost lost it when he wrapped my line around a submerged tree but we got him in for a picture. Biggest northern I've caught in the Des Planes as of yet.

``As of yet,'' that's the part that gets me. I like the feeling behind it.

He and some friends honed in on a good fishing spot on the Des Plaines. He boats there, then fishes from shore. He said it technically it could probably be reached from shore.

About a year ago, he saw a guy catch a northern at the spot. Of that, he spoke some of the truest words about fishing the reviving waterways around Chicago and the collar counties: ``I would never think to even fish there.''

The pike was caught on a minnow under a bobber. There's the secret. It's a minnow that works very well for the area and that part of the story stayed with Barkstrom.

While we are on secrets, Barkstrom was partially reluctant to give too many details because the 34-inch muskie caught by Steven Kachlic near the Hofmann Dam at the end of April caused a crush of fishermen there when it was named FOTW on May 5.

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Thanks to Bill Barkstrom for this video of a Des Plaines River northern pike, caught Monday near Lemont. It was Fish of the Week, and becomes the first video FOTW posted on STRAY CASTS.... Read More


I've never seen a more amateur landing of a fish. Why would you post that? Fish need to be played quickly and released to ensure that they survive. Those guys had no idea what they were doing. They also used profanity in the video; good for your young readers. I'm really proud of you for learning to put Youtube videos on your blog, but use some sense.

I could not agree more with Jim.. why glorify that guys horrible fishing ethics? I cant believe you actually watched that video and thought it was not horrible

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 26, 2009 10:16 PM.

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