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Royal effort for the king record: Latest really big Chinook comes up short of Illinois mark

Capt. Bob Bachler boated a Chinook big enough to have Brad Reineking bring out a 50-pound scale to weigh it, just in case it was the Illinois record; and to earn Fish of the Week honors.

Capt. Bob Bachler with a Chinook big enough to consider the Illinois record. Provided photo
Capt. Bob Bachler with a Chinook big enough to consider the Illinois record.
Provided

Capt. Bob Bachler hooked a Chinook big enough Sunday off Waukegan that he called for a 50-pound scale, just in case it was the Illinois record.

Bachler, while captaining for Spendthrift Charters, was setting out 10 colors of lead core line with a Dream Weaver Super Slim spoon ( gold and orange ladderback), when the hit came.

“The line got ripped out of my hand and I did a bit of finesse work to loosen the drag and lock the spool,” he messaged. “Coached the client and it was landed in about 20 minutes. We were fishing in 77 feet of water straight out of the harbor. The fish bottomed out my 30-pound scale and we called Brad Reineking, who caught the 35-pound king last year.”

Click here for the tale of Reineking’s big king last August.

“[Reineking] came out of North Point and brought us a 50-pound scale on the water because we thought we might have had a new state record in the box,” Bachler messaged. “Unfortunately, we did not, but it is one heck of a fish in any event for Illinois waters.”

It was 34 pounds, short of Marge Landeen’s Illinois-record Chinook (37 pounds), a seemingly unassailable record, caught on Aug. 7, 1976 out of Waukegan.

A full-length view of Capt. Bob Bachler with a Chinook big enough to consider the Illinois record. Provided photo
A full-length view of Capt. Bob Bachler with a Chinook big enough to consider the Illinois record.
Provided

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.

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