Big bass: Michael Quigley catches and releases a giant personal-best largemouth

Michael Quigley caught and released his personal-best largemouth bass, a giant for Illinois, Saturday at Giant Goose Ranch.

SHARE Big bass: Michael Quigley catches and releases a giant personal-best largemouth
Michael Quigley shows his personal-best largemouth bass, caught and released at Giant Goose Ranch. Provided photo

Michael Quigley shows his personal-best largemouth bass, caught and released at Giant Goose Ranch.

Provided

If you only get one bite, do it Michael Quigley’s way. Catch and release a 9.7-pound largemouth bass, as he did Saturday on High Rise Lake at Giant Goose Ranch near Canton, Illinois.

‘‘Was the only bite we got that morning,’’ he messaged. ‘‘He hit on a black/blue Warrior Jig, made by Jonn Graham, with a black Yamamoto Kreature bait trailer. I knew it was a good fish when he hit, as he stripped about 10 feet of line immediately when I set the hook. He fought very well and was hooked very well.

‘‘My jaw dropped when he came to the surface. We took a few pics, weighed it, called a few of my friends that were at the ranch to see it and released it.’’

Scale photo of Michael Quigley’s big bass. Provided photo

Scale photo of Michael Quigley’s big bass.

Provided

Giant Goose Ranch is the kind of place where those things happen. In 2013, Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management bought the collection of reclaimed pits and turned it into what it justly advertises as ‘‘the Midwest’s Premier Fishing, Hunting, Camping and Family Recreation Property!’’

Thanks to Eric Stark, a fishing instructor and the coach of Glenbard North’s bass-fishing team, for the heads up on Quigley’s catch.

I once ice-fished with Quigley at Giant Goose with the father-son duo of Bruce and Bobby Bergren and Capt. Ralph Steiger. Quigley, not to be confused with the powerful North Side congressman, grew up in Lockport. He has lived for decades along the Kankakee River in Wilmington.

For an idea about how rare 10-pound largemouth are in Illinois, Jeff Lampe, a former outdoors writer for the Journal Star in Peoria and now the publisher of Heartland Outdoors magazine, kept an unofficial list of legitimate 10-pound largemouth in the state.

When I asked Quigley if he had caught one bigger, he replied: ‘‘No, that is my biggest bass. Best before that was an 8-pounder I caught at Mazonia [State Fish and Wildlife Area].’’

IHSA update

The Illinois High School Association’s board of directors announced the cancellation of all tournaments for spring sports and activities, including for bass fishing.

Wild things

Morel finds are as far north as Carroll, Winnebago and Kane counties, according to the progression map Sunday for Illinois Morel Mushrooms’ Facebook group. . . . I’m thinking Wednesday will be my first day to spot a ruby-throated hummingbird. As of Sunday, the progression map at hummingbirdcentral.com showed an Illinois sighting as far north as Zion.

Stray cast

Alex Jones is to Dr. Anthony Fauci what Dale Hamm is to Robert Caplinger.

The Latest
Add the protein of your choosing to turn them into a fuller meal.
A man and a woman were found fatally shot inside a Ravenswood home.
Now she’s pregnant again and having another shower, and guest debates whether to buy another present.
Nearly half of the more than 60 prospective jurors screened on Monday were dismissed, some because of the hardship they’d endure if called to serve and others who said they could not be fair.
Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.