Chicago Sun-Times
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Fish of the Week: A pike from a Chicago harbor [updated]

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Jason Molenaar doubled up while ice fishing at Belmont harbor Saturday afternoon. The second fish, a 34-inch northern pike, earned him Fish of the Week. [Update on sores was added at bottom]


He was fishing a couple spikes on a gold jig for perch with an HT ice combo and 2-pound line. But what he was catching was ``a bunch of 3- or 4-inch smelt or something.''

The lawn care man from Oak Lawn was reeling in one of those small fish when a second fish hit. He landed it after a 25-minute fight, and a valiant effort to pull it through an 8-inch hole.

``I started screaming and dancing around that hole,'' he said.

But his first lakefront pike, a reviving species with the clearer water and better weed growth in recent years, was a beauty with scars.

``It had a fist-sized sore on both sides,'' he said. ``I have seen a bunch of fish with a bite taken out of them, this wasn't like that. . . . It is a shame on such a beautiful fish.''

(I do not know what the scars or sores might be, if a biologist knows, I would love to know.)

He took the fish to Henry's Sports, Bait & Marine to be officially weighed at 10 pounds, 14 ounces.

`I must have called everybody on the lake that I caught [a pike],'' he said. ``I have caught almost every fish imaginable out of the lake. That was pretty sweet.''

For other sweet nominations for FOTW, e-mail

FOTW tops the Midwest Fishing Report on the outdours page of the Sun-Times each Wednesday. An extended online version appears here, usually by midnight Tuesday.

Sorry, but I am running late because of a talk at Arlington Anglers last night.

{ADD ON SORES} I just talked with Cook County biologist Frank jakubicek and he thought one mark may be related to lampreys, but the other one he was fairly certain was a bacterial infection, most likely the most common known as Aeromonas infections.

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Ice fishing should lead this Midwest Fishing Report, but let's hash out the opening day and other matters at LaSalle Lake.... Read More


If you find out what the sores are from, I would like to know.

I've been going to Door County in the fall to fish smallmouths religiously for the past 10 years. This past fall was the first year I've seen sores like this on 4-5 bass we caught. And I mean they were disgusting sores - to be honest, we didn't even handle the fish: we simply cut the the line. And again, the sores on our fish weren't lamprey sores but large ones similar to this picture. I sure hope the state DNR's are aware of this? This is definitely concerning.

Thanks for the reminder. I meant to try to track down possibilities yesterday. i will try to get on it today.

just to make sure it got noted, I reached Frank today and had a chat with him. And he suggested what the likely causes were. He noted that pike move around a lot and sometimes come in from other bodies and water are stressed by the new water.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 20, 2010 5:45 AM.

Buck of the Week: Family affair was the previous entry in this blog.

Midwest Fishing Report: LaSalle loony [Updated] is the next entry in this blog.

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