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The joy of winter lake trout off Chicago: Getting bigger and bigger

Casey Shell with his personal best lake trout of 35 inches.

Jim Shell was pretty happy with the lake trout fishing in mid-March off the breakwalls by Chicago Light.

His son Casey is pictured with a 35-inch laker, a personal best. They boated seven on March 16, then 10 the next day.

“All the ones boated were 26 to 35 [inches],” Shell emailed. “A couple came jigging at the lighthouse, but the rest came trolling cranks close to the breakwall on either side.”

Casey’s YouTube channel is FishCraft.

FOTW, the celebration of big fish and their stories around Chicago outdoors, runs Wednesdays on the Sun-Times’ outdoors page. Submit nominations on Facebook (Dale Bowman), on Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (