Brandyn Shepherd caught and released on the Fox River what he figures was an Illinois-record silver redhorse sucker on Nov. 29. He's just fine with that decision, and earns a special Fish of the Week honor.
FOTW tops the Midwest Fishing Report in the Sun-Times each Wednesday. An extended online version appears here, usually by midnight Tuesday.
Here's the young west suburban man's basic tale:
I don't normally share photos, but this one is pretty cool and would have been the third state record fish of its species caught out of the Fox River. I was Muskie fishing at the time. Its really crazy how these fish will attack a Muskie bait like it wants to eat it. Almost reminds you of a Redfish and you sometimes think you've got a Muskie. Carp do it too. Must be a territorial thing, who knows. I did some research online and saw that the current state record Silver Redhorse was caught by a young kid, so I'm glad I released this fish that would have shattered that record. Hopefully the brothers will see the picture or hear of the news and get back out there and chase another.
That young kid was part of one of the great fishing stories of 2008.
John Chione (above), then 13, caught the record silver redhorse (6.71 pounds) from the Fox near Montgomery on April 24, 2008. The following day, his brother Andrew, (below) then 15, caught the Illinois record shorthead redhorse (3.74 pounds) from the same area.
The story of the brother's feats is posted here.
Must be quite the stretch of river. The previous record silver redhorse was caught by Jake Keenlance on April 13, 2003 from the Fox in Kendall County. ADD/CORRECT (Brandyn just informed me that it was Jake, not Jane, which I previously had listed from the IDNR list of previous record holders. But Brandyn assures me that Jake is a friend of his, I am changing it on my list of record Illinois fish, which I update as needed.)
In a follow-up e-mail, from Shepherd, who muskie fishes on the Fox from the Chain to the Dayton Dam, he added:
I thought maybe the picture of the Redhorse would do some good for the kids out there and others that fish for something other than Bass, Walleye, Muskie, etc.
I like that idea, made me even happier to have it as FOTW.
E-mail FOTW nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.