Updated: April 10, 2012 10:59AM
Salvatore Cimino (above) capped his first season of ice fishing with a monster northern pike from Lake Delavan.
Cimino was fishing with his friend Brian Wienski, who introduced him to ice fishing in January, when the 47-year-old electrician became unemployed.
‘‘We had been averaging three to four fish an outing,’’ emailed Cimino, a 47-year-old from Des Plaines. ‘‘The fish were all hefty, 28- to 32-inch pike. Not bad, I thought.
‘‘But on Thursday, that all changed. Brian got a
29-inch fat pike before we had the last tip set. Right after, I got my biggest fish so far at 32 [inches] and fat. Two fat pike in a hour. Not a bad start.
‘‘Then at noon, my
farthest tip-up goes off. By the time we got to it, my spool was just about empty. After three to four runs [by the fish], Brian gaffed the pike in the jaw and pulled it out of the hole, which wasn’t easy. We had an 8-inch hole. We were both in shock.’’
Even after measuring the pike at 40 inches with a girth of 18 inches, they were in shock.
‘‘I realized I just landed the fish of a lifetime my first year ice fishing,’’
emailed Cimino, who released it.