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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following article is reprinted with the expressed permission of Mike Norris.

Anglers targeting Fox River for trophy muskie Outdoor with Mike Norris SuburbanChicago Newspapers April 12, 2002 Three years ago I joked to a colleague that one day we would see anglers throwing large plugs for muskies on the Fox River.

That day has arrived.

With Fox Chain O' Lakes muskies migrating through the locks of the McHenry Dam to lower portions of the Fox River, anglers are now specifically targeting Fox River muskies with oversized lures. The results are impressive.

I recently stopped at a public park along the east side of the Fox River about a half-mile downstream from the South Elgin Dam. Romeo Martinez worked a small spinner through an eddy formed where the river curved around a point. His fishing partner, Bud Tissus, methodically worked a six-inch jerkbait through the same eddy. Martinez was targeting walleyes. Tissus was searching for muskies.

"Some days the muskies are here, and others days they are not," said Tissus. "I live near the river and come down as often as I can. Every once in a while I hook into one."

Jerry Lally, a member of the Elgin-based Fox River Valley Chapter of Muskies, Inc., told me of an incredible stretch of muskie fishing he had on the Fox River earlier this year.

I first crossed paths with Lally on a snowy day last February while driving along the Fox River near Aurora.
Despite steel-gray clouds and temperatures below freezing, Lally was standing waist deep in the Fox River in insulated waders casting an eight-inch jerkbait. I stopped to watch him, wondering all along what would drive a sane person to stand and fish in 40-degree water while snowflakes fell on his head.

"Low-light periods with snow seem to the best days to fish for muskies on the Fox River in the winter," said Lally, who has targeted muskies on the Fox River for the last three years.

Lally's results speak volumes.

This past January Lally caught seven muskies from the Fox River ranging in size from 33 to 47 inches. In February he caught one muskie measuring 35 inches. During that two-month stretch he hooked eight more muskies that got off for one reason or another.

Lally's 47-inch Fox River muskie, caught in an eddy formed on the back side of a Fox River island, fell to an eight-inch jointed Depth Raider on Jan. 16. The fish capped a three-day period of muskie fishing that would rival anyone's best efforts.

"I raised the fish on the 14th of January and caught a 43-inch muskie the same day," said Lally. "Then next day I caught a 43 1/4-inch muskie and raised the bigger one again."

With snow falling the third day he finally hooked the big one. But Lally, who releases his muskies, almost lost his chance to photograph the fish.

"I was fishing alone and steered the fish into shallow water," said Lally. "But once I got her into two feet of water she began thrashing back and forth and broke my 50-pound braided line. Fortunately I was able to get my arm under it and scoop her out of the water."

Before releasing the behemoth fish, Lally set his digital camera on top of his tackle box and set the timer for a delayed photograph. He then submitted the photograph to Muskies, Inc. and was awarded the organization's "Lunker of the Month" award.

I recently met up with Lally again and asked him about prospects for muskies on the Fox River for the remainder of this year.

"June and September are traditionally my two best months for muskies on the Fox River," said Lally. "But I may have to rethink that based on the January fishing I had this year."

The waters below the Montgomery and Yorkville Dams of the Fox River areas are two renowned muskie hotspots.
Before a barrier net was installed along the face of the Shabbona Lake spillway two years ago, muskies regularly filtered over the dam into Somanauk Creek. Tiger muskies also escaped over the Lake Holiday spillway and into Big Rock Creek. Both creeks empty into the Fox River downstream from the Yorkville Dam.

Illinois Department of Natural Resource regulations generally require both Tiger and Pure Muskies caught in the Fox River which are under 36 inches be released. Site specific regulations require anglers release muskie under
48 inches caught in that portion of the Fox River north of the McHenry Dam and throughout the Fox Chain O' Lakes.
The creel limit for muskie in Illinois is one fish per day.

Lally is a member of the Fox River Valley Chapter of Muskies, Inc. which meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Ramada Inn in Elgin. For more information on the club, contact Rich Gallagher at (847) 741-9771.
 

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When Pat and I were fishing Sat am a guy and his wife walked up and said they watched a man catch an almost 50" muskie last week. They even watched him measure it and the fish was definately over 49". WOW!
 

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:)13
Great!!!!! Things are looking up close to home. What IS the state record? I know it's over 50" but....

Wouldn't that be great to grab a new state record out of the "lowly" Fox River ????

Looks like it's time to get the serious gear (and the camera, CPR) into the back of the van for those short trips to the Fox.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just thought I'd mention this to the guys who in the past have stated they didnt think a Fox River Musky would have the weight to hit record measurements, I saw a picture of the fish in the Norris article, it looks like it had a 5 Lb carp for breakfast, lunch, & dinner, with a not so occasional mid-day snack! that fish was (is) a PIG!
 

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last year i hooked a muskey in the 30 to 35 inch class had it on a real lite rod and reel fishing for smallies lure popped out and almost hit me in the head. on a small 3 inch orange rapala
 

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On 2002-04-15 14:06, Bob Hicks wrote:
Just thought I'd mention this to the guys who in the past have stated they didnt think a Fox River Musky would have the weight to hit record measurements, I saw a picture of the fish in the Norris article, it looks like it had a 5 Lb carp for breakfast, lunch, & dinner, with a not so occasional mid-day snack! that fish was (is) a PIG! why do u edit every one posts
 

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Friday afternoon at Montgomery Dam, April 12 I did manage to finally land a musky. It was 37 inches long and very slender, with a big plug taken out of its head. I caught it on a deep diving Rapala crawdad. This same lure in the past has ben very productive for smallmouth, but it is now one of my favorite musky lures. This fish was released. It was the thirdhookup I had this year, and after being 0 for 5 last year, it is good to finally land one again and with witnesses too.
 

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the state record muskie is over 37 pounds. it was about 49 1/2". i definitely think there are several state record muskie in the fox. will i catch one? of course not! muskie hate me!
 

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DaveBien - Illinois record is by weight. The current record is 37lb 13oz, out of Lake Shabbona. Their 3rd record muski was longer but the latest was full of eggs. Over 5lbs of eggs.

jaytheno1 - Posts can be edited for bad language, personal assults, racism, threats, etc. CLF is a public board that is viewed by many age groups. Tall, thin, short, fat people come here to share information, mostly fishing, and enjoy themselves. If someone can't play well with others......well, any moderator can have his way with them. Bob Hicks is our main man/moderator. I have limited permissions and will only use them for GOOD.

Be GOOD, guy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On 2002-04-15 21:28, jaytheno1 wrote:
why do u edit every one posts
Just to clarify.....This isn't editing...It's called "" Quoteing..
And you can QUOTE me on that... :)23 :)23
 

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Why do you guys insist on ruining a perfectly good forum due to semantics? We are all fisherman here not english professors, why worry about meaningless bull? It never ceases to amaze me how some people can go on and on and on about nothing in particular. We should all focus more on why we are here and why we come to this forum, and that is to learn about what is going on in the lakes, rivers, and streams in our area. Lets not ruin a good thing with meaningless babble. Hope some of you feel the same, Pinks
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
jaytheno1

If you are asking why I quote in many of my posts the reason is simple, it's so others reading my post will know which post in the thread, or who, I am responding to as posts tend to wander off course for the original theme after just a few posts.
 
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