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Illinois hunting and fishing

Darren May of Olney holds up the 3-pound, 8-ounce state record bluegill he caught May 10, 1987 in a Jasper County farm pond. The fish is so big, many thought it was a hybrid.

Big bluegill was a show stopper

February 11, 2009 at 01:28 PM

The picture Mark Samp’s state-record smallmouth bass stopped several people.

So did the pictures of trophy bucks we had on display last weekend during the Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show.

But the top attraction at our Prairie State booth was a picture of Darren May’s state-record bluegill. Time after time people stopped and said, “That doesn’t even look like a bluegill.”

No it doesn’t. And when May caught his fish on May 10, 1987, the huge size of the 13.75-inch fish prompted some to say it was a hybrid. But the Illinois Natural History Survey ran tissue samples of the fish in its laboratory to determine that May’s bluegill was indeed a bluegill. A huge bluegill that weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces.

Telling the story of that fish and other big catches is something we plan to emphasize in the months to come at Prairie State

In our first 18 months of existence, we have built a reputation as the No. 1 source for information on deer hunting in Illinois. Now we want to build a similar reputation in the fishing world. We want to become the source for information on fishing in Illinois.

With that in mind, we have upgraded our Big Fish Stories page and have created a form for anglers to submit their stories. Starting in March we will be giving away prizes to those who submit stories and pictures.

We will run weekly statewide fishing reports every Thursday starting March 5.

We are looking to ad more fishing Bloggers to join Jonn “Stream Stalker” Graham.

We will look for more tips, tactics and tales on fishing in Illinois.

One story we don’t anticipate, though, is someone catching a bluegill that will top May’s.

‘‘It was as big as a pan,’’ May said of the fish which had a girth of 16 inches. ‘‘Its eyeball is as big around as my thumb. And the black dot (gill cover) is bigger around than my thumb.’’

Click here to read more of May’s story.

And check back frequently to see what other fishing facts we will be posting in the months to come.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Great to see Fishing is going to play just as large of a role on this site as the hunting. I’d love to hear an in depth story of the state record LM as I have never really heard anything in detail about it other than the date and place it way caught.

Posted by WIUBassin on 02/12 at 06:35 AM

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