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Chain O'Lakes muskies: 50-plus & cute

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There are fish stories too good to wait for Fish of the Week.



Thnik big and cute for the day Lance Zimmerman and his daughter Autumn had Monday on the Chain O'Lakes.

Thanks Russ Schaller, a local guide and member of the Fox River Valley Chapter of Muskies, Inc. for sending this along::

I wanted to send along an Incredible story of a day on the Fox Chain that one of our members Lance Zimmerman had with his 6 year old daughter Autumn. 4 muskies one of which was a 50.5 incher, probably one of the biggest fish caught and released in Illinois. I have attached pictures and his story of the day.


Lance and Autumn's day on the Fox Chain

Hello all, I got out on the Chain with my daughter Autumn on Mon. 6/15/09 to see if we could maybe at least get a glimpse of a Muskie since she has never been able to see one up close. Little did I know what was in store for us?

We started casting on Catherine and we got lucky right away. I caught a 30.5 on a bucktail and this was a perfect size for her to handle so I got some good pics of her holding/releasing the fish. My day was made right there. We could have left right then and I would have been the happiest dad on earth.

But she thought it was so cool that we decided to keep at it and see if we could get another. At about 3:30 we moved to Channel and with luck on our side I managed a nice 42" on the same bucktail. After some quick celebrations she was releasing the fish with a smile from ear to ear. O.k. Back to Catherine we go, now the fish seem really active so im really burning the bucktails along the weed edges hoping for another when a 37" just inhales it as its bulging out of the water. After we cut the hooks out of her and I really explain how important it is to release these fish unharmed to my daughter Autumn we take a few quick pic's and she back in to fight another day.

Now it's approaching dusk and Autumn and I decide to maybe call it a day. I mean we are just spent from casting all afternoon and we accomplished what we came to do so we say let's head out. Then, as im driving off my little trooper of a 6 year old say's "Dad, maybe we should try that spot where we got the big one just one more time" I smiled at her and off we went. I pulled up on the spot and even after all the bucktail fish something is telling me "Topwater." I put on the Black Widow Topraider and blast a few casts as we work towards the icon on my GPS. Right as we get on the spot I turn into my figure 8 and a mid-thirties came right up on it but I spooked it off trying to get Autumn to see the fish. One more cast to the spot and as im looking back at her talking my rod just stops dead, this fish went ballistic on the surface headshaking and I instantly knew what I had. It was a real struggle to get her in the net but I pulled it off.

50.5 but with a tail pinch she would of gone 51" What an unbelievable day on the water with my daughter. I wanted to get a release pic and a pic with Autumn but I dropped my camera and that was that. O'well, nothing could ruin this day!!! Here's some Picture's
Lance Zimmerman


That's a day. That's a day for a lifetime.

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Congratulations Lance on a great day.
Your fish is the second largest muskie captured in Illinois this year.
It joins the list of 42 other veriified Illinois muskie!

I meant to say 42 other verified Illinois muskie of 50" or greater!

Lance and Autumn: great teamwork and congrats!!

Lance: you are a true sportsman, thank you for releasing that beautiful musky back into the Fox Chain. You (and Autumn) are what it is all about.
Your story will motivate other Dads to take their kids fishing this week. And that musky will be waiting for them!

Hey Team Zimmerman, Just wanted to congratulate you again on a AWESOM day. I look forward to seeing you on the water.

Lance, Just wanted to congratulate you again. What a great day on the water with your daughter Autumn,I am sure she will remember it forever.

Way to go big brother!! That's one ridiculously big fish!

whats your number one lure and spot /lake on the chain

Congrats on you and your daughters day on the chain, you both had a great one.I hope you get the new record. Great photos thank's for releasing them your a great fisherman.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 19, 2009 4:06 PM.

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