Jack Caunter, 7, may have caught the biggest freshwater drum landed on the Chicago River.
More importantly, his dad Brian said, “I take him out every other night and we watch the sun set and fish for an hour.”
That’s doing it right.
Jack caught his drum Sept. 18 on a worm near the Wells Street Bridge as they were packing to leave.
“He usually fishes with a worm,” said Brian, who works at Henry’s Sports and Bait.
Also this fall, interrupting his Pokémon game, Jack caught a redhorse sucker on a worm at Diversey Harbor while his dad cast for salmon.
“He was screaming, he thought he had a salmon on,” Brian said.
I forwarded the redhorse photo to Olaf Nelson, redhorse aficionado and holder of the Illinois shorthead redhorse record (
3 pounds, 11.8 ounces 4 pounds, 12.8 ounces) who replied, “Shorthead redhorse. Did they keep it or get any measurements? Hard to tell without something for scale, but looks like it could be in state-record territory. As much as I don’t want to say that.”
Jack’s redhorse was released without measurements.
For now, Nelson’s record is safe.
FOTW, the celebration of big fish and their stories (the stories matter, as this one shows) around Chicago fishing, runs Wednesdays in the paper Sun-Times. The online posting here at https://chicago.suntimes.com/outdoors goes up at varied days of the week, depending on what is going on the wide world of the outdoors.