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

Fish of the Week: Lifetime brown

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On Nov. 22, Mike Planthaber caught the biggest brown of his life and earned Fish of the Week honors.


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

Here's the tale of this week's FOTW from the North Suburban man:

This past Sunday, 11/22, I caught the biggest brown trout of my life. This fish was caught in the middle of the day in Milwaukee on a tiny 1.5" crappie tube jig suspended under a slip float on a super light setup. I was working the jig just as if I were crappie fishing, and watched the float go under. I gave it a quick set, and the fish immediately peeled drag. When this whale came to the surface and gave a few vicious head shakes, I saw what was on the other end - a fish of a lifetime! With the assistance of my number 1 net man, Tom Harris (who also has a fantastic blog at, we landed this brute of a beast on 6# test flouro line! This German brown tipped the scales at 20.28 lbs. We took some great shots of this spawning male (note the big kype) and this one is my favorite. Enjoy!

Now that's how you get a plug in.

BTW, he has good fishing friends. He said,

I've seen three of my friends featured for FOTW (Tom Harris with a 14" jumbo spring perch), Hank Gonzalez (with a fantastic spring Jackson Park steelie, and Keith Jasch (who also caught a 20# brown)..

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Great job out there Mike!!

That's awesome. Congrats! REPRESENT!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 1, 2009 10:14 PM.

Illinois Hunting Report: Will firearm deer hunters reach 100,000? was the previous entry in this blog.

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