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Reel in Some Prizes with Big Fish Contest

Photo for: Reel in Some Prizes with Big Fish Contest

A 22.5-inch largemouth bass reeled in by Christian Luna.

If you think you’ve reeled in the “catch of the day” or season at Monee Reservoir in July or August, enter it into the Forest Preserve District’s third annual Big Fish Contest to be eligible for prizes.

The contest runs through Tuesday, August 31. Prizes will be awarded in three categories for biggest bass, catfish and panfish by length. Even if you don’t have the biggest fish in one of the three categories, there is a chance to win a prize just for entering because one overall winner will be chosen at random from all entries. Each winner will receive a $100 Forest Preserve gift card. 

The contest is free and for ages 16 or older. Registration is not required.

To participate, just bring your catch to the Monee Reservoir Visitor Center, and staff will measure, photograph and record the fish to enter you in the contest. All the fish photos will be included on the visitor center's Big Fish Contest display.


Monee Reservoir supports catch and release, and anglers who participate in the contest are encouraged to keep their entries alive and release them after they’ve been recorded.

“Fishing can be a very relaxing activity, but it also can be competitive,” said Cindy Cain, the Forest Preserve District’s public information officer. “It's fun to see who gets the biggest fish each season and hear how they caught their entries and why they love the sport. That’s all part of the allure of fishing, so we encourage all who fish at Monee Reservoir to take part in the contest and for others to explore this wonderful site and see if they can land a winner.”

The 248-acre preserve features a 46-acre lake. The lake is stocked with bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass and channel catfish. And the visitor center offers fishing poles for rental and fishing licenses for purchase. The visitor center also offers bait, tackle and snacks for sale.

Last year’s contest started late due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it still hooked plenty of entries. A 28-inch channel catfish, a 19.25-inch largemouth bass and a 10.5-inch bluegill won in the three categories.

Winners in the 2021 contest will be announced September 1.    


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.


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