I know I am going to sound like a broken record, but fall fishing is one of the best times of the year to catch the trophy fish of your dreams. In the past couple of weeks two state records were broken with really terrific catches, one in Minnesota and the other here in Illinois.

On Oct. 10, on my favorite lake, Lake Vermilion, a young man fishing with his handmade lure tied on to an 80-pound test line hooked the new Minnesota Catch and Release record for muskies. It took him nearly 20 minutes to get the fish close to the boat where he could net her. The fish was a monster, measuring 57¼” long with a girth of 25½” and weighed an amazing 47 pounds.

The new Illinois State record smallmouth bass was caught on Oct. 14 shore fishing in Monroe Harbor in downtown Chicago. It measured 22½” long with a 16½” girth and weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces.

Both fish were CPR’d, that is, catch, photograph, released. That speaks volumes about the character of anglers today who are conscious of the fragile nature of our fisheries. Way to go guys! They are both having Kevlar replicas made of their trophy catches.

Speaking of muskies, last week Lake Geneva was stocked with 950 10” muskies. The fish were a Leech Lake strain that is renowned for producing some very large fish (see Minnesota record). This will help create the record-breaking fishery the State of Wisconsin is hoping Lake Geneva will become. If you’re still hoping to fish on Lake Geneva, the smallmouth bass are the most active this week. The best fishing has been down deep in 20’ to 40’ of water. They are nice sized and chunky from filling up for winter. There is still time to get out and enjoy the fall colors as well as some great fishing.

Unitl next … time keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.