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Michigan City resident sets new whitefish record

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Updated: February 5, 2013 6:37AM



D.J. Hans fishes whitefish for a reason.

“We target whitefish,’’ the Michigan City man said. “They are very tasty on the smoker.’’

Now he can savor being Indiana’s newest record holder for a whitefish (4 pounds, 6 ounces). He landed it Thanksgiving while fishing salmon roe near the lighthouse at Michigan City.

Make that an accidental record.

His friend Bernie Siegmund was baiting another rod when his first rod began making its way off the pier.

“I jumped down and grabbed the rod, saving it from going in the water,’’ Hans said. “After about a 10-minute fight, it surfaced. I believed it was a brown trout.’’

Then he realized it was a whitefish and worried about the 4-pound leader.

“As it was netted (by Siegmund), the leader broke; but, (it) was saved by skillful netting,’’ he said.

Hans had to wait until Nov. 26, the Monday after Thanksgiving, to verify the whitefish at the DNR offices in Michigan City.

“My only regret is it sat on ice for four days before I could weigh it,’’ he said.

Even with the wait, it surpassed Indiana’s initial record for whitefish (3-5), caught by Scott Nieman of Michigan City on March 11.

Hans and Siegmund discussed who should hold the latest record, since it was Siegmund’s rod.

“He said, “it is yours, you reeled it in,’ ” Hans said.

Hunting notes: Archery deer season ends Sunday. With the cold and holidays, effort has slowed. ... The second Canada goose season in the north zone also ends Sunday. The third Canada goose season is Jan. 19-23.

Fishing notes: Ice fishing is just beginning. Conditions at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area, the area’s premier spot for panfish, are pretty typical. Site staff said there is 0-2 inches of ice and no one was out yet as of Thursday morning. There was still some open water on Wednesday. The Mormon Hill area will open Monday, after archery deer season ends Sunday.

As of this morning, LaSalle FWA property manager Ken Bisacchi said he expects to pull the no-fishing signs. However, he warned that there had still been some open water on Black Oak Bayou as of Monday.

The Kankakee River and the Lake Michigan tributaries are still largely open, though with ice floes in spots and icy banks. There’s some winter steelhead in the streams for the hardier fishermen.

Showtime: Outdoors show season gets underway this weekend. Gotchaoutdoors Outdoors Adventure Sport Show (gotchaoutdoors.com/Outdoor_Show.html) is Saturday and Sunday at a most unique setting, the First Church of the Nazarene in Kankakee, Ill. The show enters its fifth year. ... Farther afield is the Indiana on the Fly: Fly Fishing/Wing Shooting Show (freewebs.com/reelwomen/indianaflyfishingshow.htm) on Saturday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Clubbing: Mike Starcevich of Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond will speak on perch fishing in southern Lake Michigan at the monthly meeting on Wednesday of the Hoosier Coho Club (hoosiercohoclub.org). Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Skwiat American Legion in Michigan City.



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