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A largemouth bass big enough to be worth considering what the Illinois record is

Corey Trammel caught a largemouth bass, while ice fishing a strip pit by Coal City, worthy of discussing the Illinois record.
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Was Corey Trammel’s largemouth bass big enough to be in the discussion for the Illinois record?

Trammel, who lives in Coal City, caught and released a 25.5-inch largemouth in late February while ice-fishing a strip pit. Big fish are no strangers to the pits in the Coal City area. Many state records have come from those pits.

Trammel caught his bass on a 6-inch shiner in 5 feet of water before releasing it. He is having a reproduction made by Douglas Taxidermy, so I reached out to confirm that with taxidermist Doug Petrousek.

Petrousek and I have had several discussions over the years about the Illinois record for largemouth bass. It is listed as 13 pounds, 1 ounce, caught by Edward Walbel on Feb. 15, 1976, from Stone Quarry Lake in Lake County.

The only way I would believe a 13-pound largemouth came from northern Illinois is if genetic testing confirmed it. Put it this way: Even 10-pound largemouth are so rare in Illinois that another outdoor writer for years kept an informal list. Nearly all the 10-pounders came from central or southern Illinois.

Petrousek messaged that Trammel’s largemouth, with a girth of 19.5 inches, projected to be 10.5 pounds.

‘‘It’s certainly one of the biggest largemouth I’ve heard of being caught in Illinois,’’ he messaged. ‘‘I’ve done some 9- to 10-pound bass in the late ’70s from the Fulton County [area] strip pits. I don’t recall doing anything that large from Illinois in the recent past. It’s a shame that the current Illinois record is a sham. Someone is being cheated out of a legitimate state record.’’

CPOs

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is seeking Conservation Police Officer trainee applicants. The written exam will be in June. Go to the CPO page at dnr.illinois.gov for more information or contact Lt. Curt Lewis at (217) 785-8407 or at curt.lewis@illinois.gov.

Hunting

Despite the up-and-down weather, turkey harvest in Illinois remains ahead of last season. Hunters had harvested 11,248 turkeys through Sunday, which compares with 10,359 at the same point last season. Click here for a more complete breakdown.

Wild things

Brian Schlenger was first to report wild asparagus and he does the time code right with the Sun-Times.<br>Provided
Brian Schlenger was first to report wild asparagus and he does the time code right with the Sun-Times.
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Last week, Brian Schlenger became the first to mention finding wild asparagus. He tweeted a photo, properly set on the Sun-Times, and noted, ‘‘No morels yet, but the asparagus is up.’’

In the last few days, more readers are reporting finding morels. I have not.

Stray cast

It’s petty on my part, but I find Chris Sale’s 0-5 start almost as gratifying as catching walleye on Lake Erie last week.