2012 might be year for fishing records

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A lakefront regular flopped a prespawn yellow perch onto the rocks next to Tony Boshold during the historic stretch of Chicago fishing in March.

‘‘He throws his rod down exclaiming, ‘Dat’s the biggest perch I have ever caught!’ ’’ Boshold messaged. ‘‘I have to inspect, and I can’t believe it.’’

The regular just thought he had a notable jumbo. Boshold, a gold medalist for the USA Ice Team, knew it might be Chicago fishing history.

‘‘So he finally agrees to get it weighed on his way home,’’ Boshold messaged. ‘‘My buddy Jerry had a tape, and we measured it at a full 15 inches on the button. Next time I saw him, I had to ask, and he said it was 2 pounds, 1 ounce.’’

God, I hope. If so, please contact me. You deserve your place in the history of Chicago fishing.

For more than 16 years, I’ve listened to Ken ‘‘The Lakefront Lip’’ Schneider talk about his 2-pound, half-ounce perch, the unofficial verified record caught in Chicago. He caught his
155/8-inch perch on May 7, 1995 — his 50th birthday — at Chicago Light.

Hans Johannsen caught the unofficial verified record perch from the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan on May 10, 2004, near ‘‘The Pipe’’ south of Waukegan Harbor. His 16-inch perch weighed 2-2 on the certified scale at the Salmon Stop.

I want to believe a lakefront fisherman will top the Illinois record (2-8.75), which was caught by Joseph Grega of Coal City on Jan. 5, 1974, from the old Arrowhead Club Lake in Will County, but I begin to wonder.

But this might be the year for several Illinois records to fall on Lake Michigan. Here are the ones I think might:

Somebody will catch the Illinois-record rock bass, probably at Northerly Island. I’ve said that for years, but the 1-10 record, which was caught by George Nielson of Crestwood on May 5, 1987, from Aux Sable Creek in Grundy County still stands.

The second-most likely Illinois record from Lake Michigan is smallmouth bass. Mark Samp caught the record (6-7) on March 26, 1985, from a Fulton County strip pit. Joe Egan came the closest (6-5) to breaking it on April 25, 2009, off Chicago.

Considering Lake Michigan and a tributary have produced two world-record brown trout in the last several years, a record brown seems possible. The Illinois record (36-11.5), which was caught by Deva Vranek of Palos Hills on June 22, 1997, east of Burnham Harbor remains one of the most impressive fish I’ve witnessed.

I used to think the Illinois walleye record would come from Lake Michigan, but I have begun to doubt. On March 11, Jim Zimmerman set the Illinois record with a 31.5-inch, 15.08-pounder from the Pecatonica River.

But anything is possible, especially in a spring like this.

Wild things

South suburban insurance agent Ron Williams advised novice hunters of morel mushrooms, like myself, not to despair. ‘‘Lilacs are in blossom, but May apples aren’t mature by any means,’’ emailed Williams, a veteran morel hunter, who found his first Sunday in southern Cook County. ‘‘Need rain.’’

Stray cast

Hearing Dan McNeil back on the radio is like catching a northern pike on monofilament while fishing for smallmouth.