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Fox River, smallie before & flathead after the flood: Fish of the Week

Before the flood, 15-year-old Abby Ftacek caught a nice smallmouth bass, the photo above.

Then on July 11, proud dad Steve Ftacek caught a 19½-incher of his own.

‘‘What a fight!!!’’ he emailed.

While night fishing with his wife after the flood, Luis Gonzalez messaged that he ‘‘was able to find some nice slack water that was fishable and was lucky enough to find a couple of smaller flathead.’’

That’s the photo below. He tried fishing the fast water, but even a 9-ounce weight wouldn’t hold in the high flow.

FOTW, the celebration of big fish and good stories around Chicago fishing, runs Wednesdays on the Sun-Times’ outdoors page. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (straycasts@sbcglobal.net).

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