Fish of the Week: King of the Year perspective

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The 24-pound, 10-ounce chinook salmon caught by Bob Tortolano on Aug. 14 earns Fish of the Week honors and needs some perspective.

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FOTW tops the Midwest Fishing Report each Wednesday in the Sun-Times. An extended online version usually appears here by midnight Tuesday. Send nominations to outdoordb@sbcglobal.net.

Here are the details from Capt. Ralph Steiger:

It was caught on Aug. 14th on a Eddie Fly Meat rig on a wire dipsy 155 back on a 2.5 setting in about 85 ft of water. I know thats a alot of info but it all there. Bob is a very good fisherman and a good customer of mine. He is a avid perch fisherman and has seen some of the best bites of the year.

Tortolano, a Crown Point, Ind. man, was fishing on Steiger’s boat out of East Chicago Marina when the king was caught.

Steiger sent this:

The DNR creel lady is the one who said it was the biggest one weighted in a long time (years) but you might want to confirm that with the DNR to be sure.

So I did.

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Fisheries biologist Janel Palla was impressed enough to suggest that Tortolano apply for Indiana’s Fish of the Year program, which recognizes the top fish in various species for the year.

And she added some hope for shore fishermen:

We are waiting to see what they are like when they come back to the streams. They were big already in May.

She credits a 25 percent reduction in stocking in 2006 and lots of alewives. For perspective, she said kings averaged 29 inches and 9.8 pounds from 2000-2008.

For long-time perspective, the Indiana record king (38 pounds) was caught from Trail Creek in La Porte County by Rich Baker in 1980.

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