Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Chasing Samp: Smallmouth on Lake Michigan

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Here's the thing.

smallmouth05-06-09ralph

The Illinois record smallmouth would have to be about twice as heavy as this one Capt. Ralph Steiger is hoisting against one of my favorite fishing back drops around Navy Pier.

He caught it late this morning.

Boy, am I glad i bumped into North Sider Cary Gelfond at a show this winter and he set up May 6 for a trip with Steiger.

I predicted the Illinois record will fall over the next week. Joe Egan came close on April 25.

For the record, Mark Samp caught the Illinois record smallmouth (6-7) from a Fulton County strip pit on March 26, 1985. Dana Yoder caught the Indiana record smallmouth (7-4) from Twin Lake in Lagrange County in 1992.

We tried Wednesday, hoping for a miracle catch.

It started slow when we left Hammond Marina about 5:30. Steiger is one off the youngest captains chartering around Chicago. And one of my favorites. It was nice to be out with him again.

Gelfond broke the ice at Navy Pier with the first of the two 3-pound smallies we boated on the day.

smallmouth05-06-09firstcary

Then came a flurry. We would catch and release about 20 bass, including one largemouth in stops around Navy Pier, Monroe Harbor, several South Side spots and several Indiana spots.

All but three came on Poor Boy grubs on 1/4-ounce jigs.

By 2, it was time. I had to be home for the kids getting out of school.

Full moon is Saturday night.

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I predict the record will come out of Belmont harbor. If not by the piers south of doggy beach. There is a reason a 15 Lb. Northern was caught there earlier this year!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 6, 2009 9:43 PM.

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