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Girl, 15, lands big Chinook: ‘If you are a fish, you should definitely fear her.’

Olivia Bukowski, 15, earned Fish of the Week honors for a Chinook that came up just short of 30 pounds.

Olivia Bukowski, 15, earned FOTW honors for a really big Chinook.
Olivia Bukowski, 15, earned FOTW honors for a really big Chinook.

“Her name is Olivia Bukowski and if you are a fish you should definitely fear her,” emailed Capt. Dan Wheeler of KingFin Charters out Waukegan.

The 15-year-old caught a 29.6-pound Chinook on the KINGFIN over the weekend.

“She would not let anyone take the rod from her or even let them touch it,” Wheeler noted. “She kept the rod up the whole time and worked the fish perfectly. She had already caught a few coho that morning without losing one and was ready to go when this beast hit.

“I have seen teenage boys and some men crumble on fish half this size. Definitely a catch I will never forget and a story I will be using for many years to come to put teenage boys to shame.”

On the so-close to 30 pounds, he explained, “I used a digital scale and it came in at 29.6 pounds. I wanted it to be 30 so bad , but it is what it is.”

What it is is Fish of the Week.

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 goes up at varied days of the week, depending on what is going on the wide world of the outdoors.

To make submissions, email ( or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).