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Fish of the Week: A pike from a Chicago harbor [updated]

Jason Molenaar doubled up while ice fishing at Belmont harbor Saturday afternoon. The second fish, a 34-inch northern pike, earned him Fish of the Week. [Update on sores was added at bottom]

He was fishing a couple spikes on a gold jig for perch with an HT ice combo and 2-pound line. But what he was catching was “a bunch of 3- or 4-inch smelt or something.”

The lawn care man from Oak Lawn was reeling in one of those small fish when a second fish hit. He landed it after a 25-minute fight, and a valiant effort to pull it through an 8-inch hole.

“I started screaming and dancing around that hole,” he said.

But his first lakefront pike, a reviving species with the clearer water and better weed growth in recent years, was a beauty with scars.

“It had a fist-sized sore on both sides,” he said. “I have seen a bunch of fish with a bite taken out of them, this wasn’t like that. . . . It is a shame on such a beautiful fish.”

(I do not know what the scars or sores might be, if a biologist knows, I would love to know.)

He took the fish to Henry’s Sports, Bait & Marine to be officially weighed at 10 pounds, 14 ounces.

`I must have called everybody on the lake that I caught [a pike],” he said. “I have caught almost every fish imaginable out of the lake. That was pretty sweet.”

For other sweet nominations for FOTW, e-mail outdoordb@sbcglobal.net.

FOTW tops the Midwest Fishing Report on the outdours page of the Sun-Times each Wednesday. An extended online version appears here, usually by midnight Tuesday.

Sorry, but I am running late because of a talk at Arlington Anglers last night.

{ADD ON SORES} I just talked with Cook County biologist Frank jakubicek and he thought one mark may be related to lampreys, but the other one he was fairly certain was a bacterial infection, most likely the most common known as Aeromonas infections.