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Fish of the Year

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Updated: January 29, 2012 8:13AM

And the runners-up are .  .  .

If not for Ryan Stochl’s muskie, I would have split the Fish of the Year between fish that symbolized two
important threads in Chicago fishing in 2011.

One was the 41-inch chinook salmon Teddy ‘‘Papo’’ Ruiz landed in late September after a long battle near the mouth of Jackson Park Harbor. It weighed 26 pounds, 3 ounces and was one of several 20-pound-plus kings caught in a memorable fall of salmon fishing in southern Lake Michigan.

What made Ruiz’s fish truly memorable was the photo Steve Palmisano snapped when Ruiz came to weigh it at Henry’s Sports and Bait. The king was so big that the broad tail stuck out of the saddlebag on Ruiz’s motorcycle.

‘‘I knew you would like that picture,’’ Palmisano said.

That sort of art sets apart the best of Fish of the Week or FOTY.

The other important symbolic fish was the 38-inch northern pike Larry Narro of Lemont caught on the lower Des Plaines River. It was one of many good ones caught from the Des Plaines this year.

The revival of fishing in what was once essentially a flowing sewer led Dan Sims to organize the Des Plaines River Anglers Association ( this fall.

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