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Ken Krumreich’s catch and pending Illinois fish record: Redear or redear hybrid?


Ken Krumreich and his Illinois record fish, either a redear or redear hybrid.

Here’s the lowdown on Ken Krumreich’s catch of an Illinois-record redear or redear hybrid.

‘‘It is kinda cool,’’ Krumreich recounted last week. ‘‘I thought it was a smallmouth at first. I brought it in and said, ‘Holy [cow], it is a bluegill.’ You could almost hold it like a bass.’’

Krumreich, a suburban construction worker, was fishing May 19 at a lake at the Goose Lake Association in Grundy County.

‘‘I caught it on a whole night crawler, an eighth-ounce egg sinker and a swivel with a 2-foot snell,’’ Krumreich said. ‘‘I was fishing walleye on the bottom, though I was casting the shoreline.’’

The strip pits in that area are notable fish producers of all sorts.

‘‘Once in a while I catch an occasional 13-inch bluegill, but nothing like that,’’ Krumreich said. ‘‘I didn’t think much of it. I was going to take it home and eat it. Somebody said it might be a record, so I said I will go back to Smith’s.’’

For perspective, it was 15¼ inches long.

Krumreich took it to Smith’s Taxidermy in Joliet, where Jamie Giltner of Giltner’s Taxidermy measured the girth at 14½ inches.

The fish is a freak. To get it weighed on a certified scale, they wound up at Miller’s Old-Fashioned Butcher Shop in Plainfield. It was 3.07 pounds.


Weighing of a redear or redear hybrid as a possbile Illinois record, caught by Ken Krumreich.

The question is what record it will be. Biologist Rob Miller ran a piece of fin to the Illinois Natural History Survey lab last week for genetic testing.

If it’s a redear, it will top the Illinois-record redear (2 pounds, 12.3 ounces), which was caught by Mike DeMattei on Sept. 7, 1985, from the Marian Country Club Lake in Williamson County.

Illinois has a hybrid sunfish record, which Brent Kincaid (2-9.4) caught Sept. 5, 2005, from a farm pond in Henry County, but Miller didn’t think it was that hybrid. So if it is a bluegill/redear hybrid, Krumreich’s fish would start a new record category.

I find this stuff fun.

 Shortnose gar

Don Lawrence of St. Louis, a true aficionado of gar, caught the Illinois-record shortnose gar May 27 from Horseshoe Lake in Madison County. Biologist Fred Cronin was so impressed with Lawrence’s gar love and knowledge that he had him do a write-up on gar.


Don Lawrence with his Illinois-record shortnose gar, caught May 27, 2018 from Horseshoe Lake in Madison County.

Interestingly, Lawrence’s shortnose weighed 6-15.2 and topped the record (5-.096) held since July 20, 1999, by William ‘‘Garman’’ Meyer, a suburban educator who was the original advocate in Illinois for gar appreciation. Meyer caught his shortnose from the Vermilion River in LaSalle County.

Click here to read a fuller version of Lawrence and his gar.

Dove update

The web page to apply for permits to hunt doves on Illinois public sites has been down. The vendor is working on an encryption issue. Those who were able to apply June 1-3 do not need to reapply.

Stray cast

Here’s hoping Carlos Rodon’s return bucks up the Sox’ rotation.