Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.

This time, let the young ’uns guess

This week, it's the kids' turn to guess the weight of this catfish caught in the Rock River.
This week, it's the kids' turn to guess the weight of this catfish caught in the Rock River.

Merry (slightly early) Christmas, everyone! Man, things are getting good around here. We got winter weather moving in, we are giving lots of stuff away, and yes, I am planning a fishing trip with my buddies. Yes, I know it’s cold, but I’m planning on going south, y’all.

Now, if you remember last week’s photo, you know it was of a serious channel cat. In fact, it is the most serious channel cat I’ve ever pulled from the Rock River’s fertile waters.

Actually, the young lady pulled it out, I just assisted.

That big old dude tipped the scale at 20 pounds, 2 ounces. That fish is still the only 20-pound channel cat I have ever seen … but I hold out hope for another one sometime soon.

Anyway, more importantly, which one of you out there was the closest to guessing this monster’s weight?

This week, the guesses ran very heavy. However, some of you were really, really close. Like this week’s fourth-place winner, Samantha Helfrich. Her guess of 22 pounds, 5 ounces put her ahead of all but three of you.

In third place this week, we had Gazette reader Mr. Tim Ruppert, with a guess of 18 pounds, 5 ounces. Second place went to Zach Springman, who sent one of the very first guesses of the week at 21 pounds, 2 ounces.

Last but not least, this week’s winner, Bill Burrall, takes the top prize with a guess of 20 pounds, 3 ounces – just a single ounce from perfection. Congrats to him, as well as the whole lot of you, and thanks to all of you for participating.

Heck, let’s do it again, shall we?

Now, I’m all about kids, and especially trying to influence them into the outdoor way of life. So this week, I thought it would be neat if we let the kids have a crack at something pretty neat. This week, let the young ’uns guess and see how they do.

If they happen to be the closest, then what we will do is set something up with their class, and I will come to school and teach ‘em some great fishing stuff. Some knot tying, some tips and techniques, and maybe we can even watch a CatMatt television show while I’m there.

Then, to top it all off, that youngster is going to go fish a local tournament with me this spring.

So, if you want to expose your child to some fishing done right, get them in on this deal here. So, if your young one is in grade 3 through 12, let’s get ‘em excited about fishing here in one of the greatest rivers in the country.

Now, if a real young ’un is to win, then mom, dad or another family member is welcome to accompany us in the tournament.

So help the kids out this week and get some emails rolling in. Again, send guesses to

Though we have lots to talk about in the upcoming weeks – including what’s going on with the deer herd … or lack thereof, late winter channel cat fishing, ice fishing and more deer hunting – this week is all about Christmas.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a tremendous New Year. Please, everyone be safe this week in your travels … and next week, we will start to gear up for a great 2014 in the out of doors.

Until then, Merry Christmas everyone, and …

Go Catfish!

Loading more