Todd Reeves caught a freakish bluegill to earn Fish of the Week honors.
Here's his story:
I have never written to you before, but I read your columns all the time and love fishing. I attached some pictures of a bluegill I caught in a residential pond in Joliet this last Saturday and was wondering how big the state record is for pan fish. I did not not weigh it but it measured out to be 10 and 3/8 inches long and I released it. I did take one of his scales cause my brother said they can test it and tell how big it was but I figured you would know more about it than I would and was wondering your opinion on it.
That is a thick bluegill, almost looking like a hybrid with its width.
Monster bluegills are not often noted around the area of Chicago fishing. This is one.
Darren May caught the Illinois-record bluegill (3 pounds, 8 ounces) from a farm pond in Jasper County on May 10, 1987. Reeves caught a helluva bluegill, but it is not near 3.5 pounds.
All the same, I wish I had caught one like it. I caught an 11-inch bluegill as a kid at camp when I was in my early teens and have never come close to a bluegill that big again.
So I admire Reeves' accomplishment. I think this is only the third bluegill for FOTW, if I counted right.
Plus I just love this photo which shows his daughter running around the pond. Reeves was fishing with his brother and the cousins were runing around and doing things like catching frogs.
That's how you teach the outdoors to kids in a way that sticks.
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.
E-mail FOTW nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.