On a May day with a heavy chop on Lake Erie, Mike Mangano latched into a heavy fish, worthy of year-ending Fish of the Week honors.
The customers on the Sea Breeze charter were using bottom bouncers with night crawlers when the Burr Ridge man landed was a fish of a lifetime, what another reader once called a FOAL.
His 31.6-inch walleye, weighing 13 pounds, 1.5 ounces, is a fitting capper for a year with several FOALs as for FOTW. It was the top walleye caught out of Wild Wings Marina near Port Clinton, Ohio for the year, with its own reward.
FOTW tops the Midwest Fishing Report on the outdoors page of the Sun-Times each Wednesday. An extended online version appears here, usually by midnight Tuesday.
Here's Mangano's tale:
This year on May 16th, I caught a 31.6" walleye weighing 13lbs 1.5 oz out of Port Clinton, Ohio's Wild Wings marina on Lake Erie. I don't know if it is news worthy, but with the hundreds of thousands of walleye caught through the season I consider myself very lucky. Also, as you know, the big females are usually caught in March and early April so to catch a fish that size in May...I guess I was sitting on a horse shoe.
We were fishing with some pretty heavy chop on the water using bottom bouncers with a nightcrawler.
When I hooked it I thought it was one of the big sheephead we were catching. I'm glad my first hunch was wrong.
Last week Wild Wings Marina sent me a check for $600.00 for the biggest fish. The 600 bucks was a real nice bonus, but that once in a lifetime fish on my wall is truly the best.
That's a Christmas gift.
But it is also not the first time a Chicago-area fisherman turned a trip to Erie into gold.
Rick Schlinger of Monee did in 2005 with a 32-inch walleye weighing 12.8 pounds on Capt. Tom Straus' Erie Drifter!
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