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: Beyond exaggerating

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Now Chris Hession thought his friend Richard Ulbrich was exaggerating, but it ended up a worthy story and fish for Fish of the Week.


Well, let Hession tell it;

Read your weekly fishing and outdoors column with interest in the ST. I was ice fishing this past Saturday on a lake near Lake Barrington with a good friend of mine, Richard Ulbrich, and he landed a giant Northern Pike (32-33" and approx 8lbs+). Attached are two pics that I would nominate as fish of the week. Definitely unusual to pull a big pike in the suburbs and particularly in winter.

Plus, there's a great back story. We had a couple of tip-ups with shiners set out and were also sitting by separate holes jigging with spikes (wax worms). Rick gets something on his jig and starts yelling "It's a big one!". Since I know he's prone to exaggerate I didn't' really give much attention, especially when the fish that was on his line broke him off before Rick even saw what it was. Now Rick is pretty excited and upset and I'm sitting there thinking he exaggerated the whole thing. About a minute later a tip-up about 10 yards from Rick went up, Rick jumped it, set the hook and reeled in the big pike. Lo and behold, but Rick's jig, minnow and broken off line were in that pike's mouth too! Craziness! That big pike just kept on crusin' and picked up the next tasty minnow he came across (on the tip up) after breaking off the jig line. Pretty cool to see that play out and what are the chances of hooking the same fish 60 seconds later after he breaks you off. Good stuff.

Good stuff indeed.

If you have more good stuff for FOTW, send those nominations to

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.

With the election, I am cutting it close tonight.

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That reminds me of a similar experience: while fishing on the Tippiecanoe River with a friend, I notice he's grumbling about being snagged on an exposed boulder that's breaking the current - he breaks off his jig to continue fishing without re-anchoring the boat; a few minutes later he's grumbling again about being snagged in the same place...he breaks off again! I had cast to that spot many times without getting snagged, so I threw into that spot, felt a heavy tap and set the hook! I ended up landing a 6 lb. buffalo that still had his 2 jigs in its jaw...guess he should have been more patient, LOL. That fish must have just put him in a place where he thought he was hung on the boulder...

Great job on the pike, WTG!

I know both of these guys and don't believe a word either of them say about fishing...Dominick's must of had a special on Northern Wisconsin pike that day! Rick must of owed Hession money or something.

Great fish and story! I know that lake and have caught fish there with Chris! One of the best places to fish, in my humble opinion, have had fish literally jump out of the water to snag baits sitting on the side of the boat there. Only story that beats that is catching a fish in the Chicago River amid floating... stuff...

What a stupendous story and what a big fish!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on February 2, 2010 10:40 PM.

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