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Monster smallie reported


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While I was landing my 19 inch smallie on the Kankakee Tuesday my phone rang.After a

photo shoot with my big smallie I checked my voice mail to find out my good friend Jason N.

had just landed a 6lb.2 ounce smallie from Lake Michigan.I am sure the pictures

will be out soon.I have the pictures and it is an absolute pig with beautiful colors.Released as

it should be to grow to record proportions.Way to go Jason!

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Holy cow....or should I say PIG!! That is one monster fish. I have hit the waterways in the past with Jason and he definetly hooks into the larger fish more often than not. His main thing is size not quantity. Just think if that in fact was a record breaker. The itch as started up again...I can't stop this outbreak :blink::blink:

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that dude holds his fish "out" to make em look bigger. till i see a picture of its gut im not nearly convinced. i hate to be such a pesimist, but good golly. i caught 2 that were 21 in. and fattened up to the max (footballs). weighed smaller one and it was 5 lbs. bigger one i had no scale, prolly close to 5.5 lbs.

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Guest Don R
that dude holds his fish "out" to make em look bigger. till i see a picture of its gut im not nearly convinced. i hate to be such a pesimist, but good golly. i caught 2 that were 21 in. and fattened up to the max (footballs). weighed smaller one and it was 5 lbs. bigger one i had no scale, prolly close to 5.5 lbs.


That "dude" is a fellow ISA member and I have no reason to doubt him. Different camera angles, zoom or no zoom, girth and forage base all can play a part in the weight of a fish.


Most of us just simply measure larger fish if we're fortunate enough to catch them. But I could easily see myself weighing a smallie that seems to be near the state record.

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Congratulations again on the big fish Jason.

We all know pictures can be decieving,but if someone tells me he caught

a big fish I won't publicly call him out on it.

Here's a picture of a few fish I put together,can anyone guess which one

weighs the most? You don't have to reply-but I'll bet most of you will pick

the wrong one.


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Dana Lee,

Yeah, you may have come out of the gate a little quick on that.

In our line of business we deal with this every day. A guy says it's a 50" muskie and we figure out (thru a trade secret method) that's it's 48". Photos are funny, but there is a way to tell no matter how far you hold the fish out. For my company it's always a pain when we get the hold-it-out-as-far-as-you-can-InFisherman-shot. But that's how some guys like their pics. For us, we hold them up against us or if kneeling, no farther than your knee. It's just more of an honest shot. But that's just our opinion.

Case in point:


Now, you may be saying "Average size smallie". You'd be wrong. It's an "honest" size photo. The fish is held next to my face on the same plane as me. Here's a hint on how big it is- the lure in it's mouth is an HJ08 Husky Jerk which is exactly 3 1/8" long. Ahhh..now it seems like a big fish. As in north of 20" kind of big.

Although I still maintain that I got cheated by God because I'm 6'2" 200# so all my fish look smaller. I have vowed to hire a midget to hold all my fish!



So..ya see, that's why it's not always easy to tell. Another easy trick to fiiguring out the size is this: Look at the holding party's fingers. If they look wildly dispropotionate to the face, then the fish is not on the same plane and being held "out. And even holding the fish a few inches away from your body can make the illusion of a HUGE difference.

Case in point #2:


"Good lord!". Looks like a monster bass, right? At 22" inches it aint bad. But consider this. It's exactly ONE inch longer than that smallie in the other photo. ONE inch...that's it.

Then there's something like the one my business partner Mike is holding in this example:


"Not bad. I think Largemouth #1 is bigger." If you're thinking that you'd be WAY wrong. That's a bass he got in Florida 2 weeks ago. It's about 5 or 6" LONGER and about 3 lbs heavier. But due to the distance the camera-person was away from Mike it doesn't look as grand as it was. (and yes, that's a broken rod in his hand. Still landed it though. GO MIKE!)

Basically, unless you're in the business we're in, you have to go by the word of the angler. If Jason says it's 21, 22, whatever...you have to trust in the honesty of a smallie fisherman that it's a solid truth. Now...as far as muskie guys go, that's another story... :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: The Louie Spray photo was disproved as the world record muskie by experts examining the photo vs distance. It's actually about 6" shorter than reported and a TOTAL lie. We found the same thing when we were asked our opinion on it. I'm sure there's a smallie and a walleye record out there that can and might someday be taken off the boards as well by the same methods. But unless it's a record or a paying job ya just go by the anglers word. :P

Hope this helped shed some light on the subject.


Great fish Jason.

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Maybe ten years ago, having only seen river and "small water" smallmouth, I might've had my doubts as well having caught a few 21's in the 4lb range. Lake Mich smallies are almost like a different species, there is no comparison in girths with river fish, none.


Something else you can call me a liar and fool and "oh the kid doesn't know what he's talking about", I bet the only way someone holds the new state record for more than a few years is if the fish is 8-9lbs or larger or they change the laws so you can't fish Lake Mich anymore, how long do you think that fish will measure. My guess is no longer than 23-24 inches.

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Jason we have never meet but let me say! Glad to meet you boy!


I am one of the guys that targets big smallies as well. When everybodyelse has a smaller lure tied on,im throwing wood. Big wood!


I truly believe big lure= big fish. The guys up here often give me crap for the lures i throw.(such as the Chug Bug! Which at first some people gave me crud about!,Now everybody has one!) But since i have racked up some very impressive days on the water when everybody else was shut down,i laugh back.


I do have many days when i get shut out and their all catching fish but hey thats fishing and my stubborn brain!

As far as believing your story, i really do. Especially a Lake Michigan smallie,the forage base is awesome on Lake Michigan how could they NOT grow that big!


This sounds like a good challenge though, because i still believe and many do that the State record may come from our tiny river, the Kishwaukee. Don't know why but this river shows us many smaller fish and every once in awhile a huge smallie. I beleive the hog from the Kish has yet to be caught!


Either way. Congrads to you!

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As a fishing photo fooler, I have held out fish to give the appearance of larger but not to the extent of writing it bigger than it was.


Case in point, my brother catches a fish easily of 4 pounds from a local subdivision pond in Burr Ridge,IL some years back.

We did not have a scale or a measuring tape although I always carry the tape now, so we marked it on the rod handle by scratching

w/ a hook. The L-M bass was easily between 19-20 inches w/ the mouth closed. The fish was not conducive to being held still either.

Although we did not have the girth, estimates on the Northland Jigs fish card "averages" for gamefish put that fish over 4 pounds. Ok, I can live with that and we had a blown up picture mounted on the wall and the fish was released. I had a fella debate w/ me at great length that the fish was maybe 3 pounds or slightly more. I finally left it at "I guess if we'd have brought a tape measure and a scale, we wouldn't need a discussion".


Hats off to your smallie. That fish is a hawg I'd be honored to reel in, especially in Illinois waters!!! My best is still only around 4 pounds from the

KKK river.

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