First Illinois record fish of ’09?

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At first, I didn’t think “Chef Todd” Kent was going to get recognition for his pumpkinseed, which he caught in late July in hopes of establishing the first Illinois record for the species.

Now I hear that the 7 3/4-inch fish with a girth of 7 1/2 inches, which weighed 0.41 pounds on a certified scale at Presley’s Outdoors, will be recognized as the record.

If, and it is a long if, if it is proven to be a pure pumpkinseed and not a hybrid by DNA testing. In Illinois, the process in DNA testing of record fish is appalling long. In Illinois, it takes months, sometimes around half a year to do that testing, yet Wisconsin turns such testing around in a matter of days.

It is a matter of priorities.

But I am glad for Chef Todd. He is one of my favorite people to do stuff with in the outdoors, in part because the Peoria chef is apt to show up with smoked salmon spread or something equally tasty.

He and PrairieStateOutdoors Jeff Lampe cooked up the scheme to catch the record pumpkinseed in an event they dubbed Pumpkin Quest.

It made for quite the story, the kind of story I wish I had thought of first.

Maybe there is hope for records coming out of all those odd species and hybrids of the sunfish family caught in the Chicago River, the fish dubbed “idiot fish” by river prowlers like Carl Vizzone and Ken “The Lakefront Lip” Schneider.

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