A smallmouth bass in record range caught and released at Northerly Island
Car Vizzone caught and released a smallmouth bass that would have been within range of the Illinois state record, one of Illinois’ most hallowed fish records, at Northerly Island.
On his first cast with a jointed Rapala Wednesday morning, Carl Vizzone caught the biggest smallmouth bass of his life at Northerly Island.
“I’m still shaking,” he texted later. “My PB for sure, anywhere.”
He initially estimated it at “just shy of 22 inches,” before a quick release. But later, he measured the rod butt he used for measurement and it was longer than that.
“I made a mistake not getting this fish weighed and officially checked,” he then texted. “If a prespawn fish, definitely a state record.”
Vizzone is an experienced smallmouth angler and knows near-record fish up close. He helped when Ryan Whitacre had his epic smallmouth catch in 2016 near Diversey Harbor. That’s when Whitacre held it in the water for an hour until Tom Palmisano and Ken Schneider arrived with a portable certified scale. Vizzone said it was bigger than that fish. Click here for the that story.
Joe Capilupo caught Illinois’ smallmouth record (7 pounds, 3 ounces) on Oct. 14, 2019 from Monroe Harbor. Click here to read the tale of that fish and some perspective on the chase for the record.
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/outdoorsgoes up at varied days of the week, depending on what is going on in the wide world of the outdoors.