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Print

Rockford Big Fish List set records

January 21, 2009 at 10:42 PM

ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR

The 2008 Big Fish List was another record-setter.

Ken Hatcher of Rockford broke a record that had stood for 14 years.

He caught — and released — a 15-pound largemouth bass on the St. Johns River in Florida.
Bill Blitzblau of Rockford had held the record with a 13-pounder caught at Florida’s Lake Kissimmee.

Two longnose gar records also fell. David R. Young of Rockford entered the longest one ever at 48 inches, while John Rasmussen of Belvidere had the heaviest of all time at 5.8 pounds.

Tabitha Niesman and Roger Niesman, both of Rockford, tied for all-time longest redhorse sucker with two 19-inchers they caught in the Kishwaukee River.

Bill Karlson of Garden Prairie caught a 50 3/4-inch lake trout at Lake Athabasca in Saskatchewan, which was the longest ever reported.

Here are some other catches ranking in the top 10 for their species:

Muskie: 57 inches, Jim Peary, Rockford, Winnipeg River (Ont.), fourth longest.

Blue catfish: 32 pounds, Richard Gribbins, Oregon, Lake Texoma (Texas), third heaviest.

Chinook (king) salmon: 65 pounds, Kevin R. Flosi, Cherry Valley, Kenai River (Alaska), fourth heaviest.

Paddlefish (spoonbill catfish): 50.8 pounds, Wendell Rosene, Machesney Park, Lake of the Ozarks (Mo.) third heaviest; 45 pounds, Wendell Rosene, Machesney Park, Lake of the Ozarks (Mo.) tied for fifth heaviest.

Sauger: 4.8 pounds, Scott Zegunis, South Beloit, Lake Wisconsin, sixth heaviest
Spotted (Kentucky) bass: 3.2 pounds, Tim Spinker, Winnebago, Lake of the Ozarks (Mo.), fifth heaviest.

Redhorse sucker: 3.13 pounds, Jim Rayphole, Belvidere, Kishwaukee River, second heaviest.
The 2008 list was shorter than previous years with 1,303 entries. The main reason for the decline was the Flatlanders Club, the local chapter of Muskie Inc., turned in only its largest catches this year. In the past the club entered all the fish caught by its members.

Thanks to everyone who submitted entries in 2008 for making the Big Fish List the top reader participation feature in the Register Star.

Listed below are the top 10 percent for each species reported in 2008.

The full list and the all-time Top 10 can be seen on the Web at rrstar.com.

Perfect participation
Six anglers have participated in Big Fish every year since the program began in 1982.

The anglers are David F. Johnson and Dave Young, both of Rockford; Brad Gillis of Machesney Park; Dick Bjork and Dennis Culvey, both of Belvidere; and Jim Hess of Byron.

30-pounders in 2008
Eight fish reported to the 2008 Big Fish List surpassed the 30-pound threshold. The all-time list of 30-pounders also can be seen on the Web site rrstar.com.

Last call for buttons
As we close the books on the 2008 Big Fish List, this is the last call for Big Fish buttons.
Anyone who submitted an entry and didn’t receive a button should call 815-987-1386 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) this week.

When submitting big fish, please include the following information:
Fish species, length or weight of fish.

Name and hometown of fisherman.

Name and location of water where fish was caught.

Send information to Big Fish List, Sports Department, Register Star, 99 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61104; call 815-987-1380; or e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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