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‘Big Fish Contest’ Participants Reel in Prizes for Winning Entries

Photo for: ‘Big Fish Contest’ Participants Reel in Prizes for Winning Entries

Christian Luna snagged the biggest bass, which measured 22.5 inches.

The “Monee Reservoir Big Fish Contest” has come to a close and the winners have been announced.

The contest began June 1 and wrapped up on August 31. 

Prizes were awarded for the largest bass, largest panfish and largest catfish, as well as one grand prize winner, whose name was drawn from all entries. 

Christian Luna had the largest bass at 22.5 inches long. Bass category runners up were: Armani Lee, 21.5 inches; John Ringer, 21.2 inches; Thomas Webster, 20.5 inches; and Drew Aldridge, 20 inches. 

First place in the largest panfish category was Walter Mankiewicz, with a perch that was 11.5 inches long. Panfish category runners up were: Gary Zaworski, 11-inch perch; Walter Mankiewicz, 10.5-inch bluegill; Gary Zaworski, 10-inch sunfish; and Joseph Davis, 9.5-inch bluegill. 

First place in the largest catfish category went to Dan Burklow with a channel catfish 29 inches long. Catfish category runner up was Dwayne Dooley, who had catfish catches of 28.5 inches, 27 inches, 26.25 inches and 26 inches. 

The grand prize winner drawn from all contest entries was Dwayne Dooley. 

Prizes were gift certificates to Mystery Tackle Box and free all-day boat rentals at Monee Reservoir. Mystery Tackle Box sends new equipment each month for anglers to use in the pursuit of big fish. 

Fishermen brought their catches to the Monee Visitor Center to be measured, photographed and recorded, which served as an entry into the contest.

The three-month contest replaced a one-day “Adult Fishing Derby” that used to be held in June.

Bob Bryerton, an interpretive naturalist for the District said overall the contest went well. There were more entries earlier in the summer. Once large fish made it onto the leader board, anglers waited to see if anyone would outfish them with a bigger catch. 

“We updated the display at the visitor center weekly with photos and sizes so all could see where they stood,” Bryerton said. “Now that the contest has concluded, we will update the display to show the winners.”


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