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Holiday fish: Fishes of the Week come from ones caught on holidays with their own special joy

Fishes of the Week go to the joy of celebrating holidays.

Jim DeGrane with a holiday muskie from Lake Shelbyville. Provided photo
Jim DeGrane with a holiday muskie from Lake Shelbyville.
Provided

Let’s celebrate the symbolism of catching a fish on holidays.

Jim DeGrane caught a 40-inch muskie [top] on their annual Thanksgiving fishing trip to Lake Shelbyville.

George Peters with a Christmas smallmouth bass from the Kankakee River. Provided photo
George Peters with a Christmas smallmouth bass from the Kankakee River.
Provided

On Christmas Day, George Peters caught a 17-inch smallmouth bass [below] from the Kankakee River with an eighth-ounce jig in a slow backwater with a log jam.

For decades, the late Ed Mullady to encouraged me to try for a Christmas smallmouth from the Kankakee.

There’s a reality to cold-weather holidays, as Rudy Radasevich showed in his annual effort on New Year’s Day by open water in Naperville.

“Wasn’t for lack of trying,” he tweeted. “I had one small one grab on to a jig tail, but that was it. Two hours in the river, and my hands were numb.”

Not sure why, but those kinds of quest appeal to my idealistic side.

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 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).