Fiorio family reels in another big winner
By DALE BOWMAN Post-Tribune correspondent November 29, 2012 11:04PM
Updated: January 1, 2013 6:37AM
Members of the Fiorio family are no strangers to Indiana’s Fish of the Year program.
For 2010, Steve Fiorio earned the honor for a 165/8-inch yellow perch caught off Gary Light in the late fall.
Jump ahead almost exactly two years to Thanksgiving last week.
Fiorio was out with his son Jacob, again fishing near Gary Light.
“We were fishing the shore line when he tied on a green jig with a white twister tail,’’ Steve messaged.
And Jacob, a 14-year-old from Dyer, hooked a big fish.
“What a fight!’’ Steve messaged. “I was thinking I want to get the video camera, but then, if I did not net it and it got off, he would throw me in.’’
The fish was safely landed, all 28 inches of it.
It was mission complete for Jacob, who had focused on getting a big one all year in rivers, streams and lakes.
“He has not stopped smiling (me too),’’ Steve Fiorio messaged. “He has really put his time in. He would fish in the rain, and the wind and did not give up.’’
Jacob’s fish was so odd, I forwarded the photo to Indiana’s Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert.
He emailed back, “Brown trout with an ADLP fin clip based on the picture. Looking at information, it appears to have been stocked by Wisconsin in 1999. So that said, it is a 12-year-old fish.’’
He added that they should submit it for Fish of the Year. For information on doing that, go to in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3577.htm.
Hunting notes: Property manager Ken Bisacchi said LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area had a good duck day on Tuesday with 61 ducks killed; otherwise duck hunting has been slow. Staff at Willow Slough also reported slow waterfowling, a blind in the rookery (normally a top spot) even zeroed this week. Kingsbury, Willow Slough and LaSalle all reported fair to average deer hunting so far. Firearms deer season ends Sunday.
Fishing notes: The next six days should be prime for perch fishermen.
“They have until Tuesday to do it,’’ said Capt. Rich Sleziak from Slez’s Bait in Lake Station. “It will be south winds.’’
Best for action, now that the winds have laid down, has been out of “The Ditch’’ around No. 4. Best presentation is large fatheads or baby roaches on perch flies (color changes daily). Some are also trying around Gary Light. Shore fishermen are catching them at the Hole-in-the-Wall, including some limits.
Most spots take sorting for keepers, but there have been some monsters. Sleziak said a customer brought in one that topped 2 pounds. More on that, if details come.
Crappie fishing, for those getting out, has been good below the Lake George Dam, in “The Ditch’’ and Deep River.
Breidert said whitefish are beginning to show off the piers. That should spike in the next week or so.
Breidert said some winter steelhead are showing in the harbors and a few being taken in the tributaries the last few days.
“Might be a really good weekend,’’ he added.
Ducks unlimited: The “Big Duck’’ Gun Raffle & Banquet is next Friday night at Avalon Manor in Merrillville. Contact Jason Kleine (219) 712-6048, Pete Beischer (219) 765-3070 or Randy Armstrong (219) 741-1130.
Wild things: After Thanksgiving, sandhill cranes have poured through the area. On Tuesday, the count of sandhills at Jasper-Pulaski FWA was nearing peak at 28,126. A report on the Indiana birding network noted a few whooping cranes are mixed in.