Chicago Man Catches Illinois State Record Bighead Carp In Public Park Lagoon

A person pushing a shopping cart on a street
Daisy Schultz

Talk about a lake monster… or  rather, a lagoon monster.

With his girlfriend out of town, Chicago resident Jarrett Knize strolled on down to the local public park to wet a line in the Humboldt Park Lagoon this past Saturday.

Little did he know, that casual afternoon of fishing would lead to record breaking catch.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, Knize caught an Illinois state record, 72-pound, nine oz. bighead carp, a notorious invasive species in Illinois.

He responded to the catch:

“I just hope they don’t drain the lagoon or anything drastic.”

Why would he say that after such a catch, you may ask?

Because the Illinois Department of Natural Resources always investigates when huge carp, like bigheads, are caught in unusual places like a public city lagoon.

He continued:

“The (largemouth bass) I caught in 45 minutes earlier was deeper than I normally catch them. If I hadn’t caught that one, I would not have made the cast that caught the fish.

I told my neighbor, ‘I’ve got to put the screws to her a little bit because we’re toast if she goes that way.’ It was a major relief when she turned back north.”

After a half-hour, they had almost landed the huge carp, but Knize didn’t have a net so he told his neighbor to run to his place and grab a big salmon net.

“At some point on shore, I determined that we had to weigh it. It was an invasive; I couldn’t put it back.”

Head then grabbed a shopping cart Knize had in his possession, and they wheeled the carp in the cart across North Avenue, back to his house (I bet that would’ve been a sight).

Knize then called Fish Tech in Morton Grove, but they didn’t have a certified scale. He then took the fish to Montrose Harbor, and then later Bridgeport, to Henry’s Sports and Bait. They officially weighed it there at 72 pounds, 9 oz., breaking the previous record of 69 pounds back in 2010.

Biologist Frank Jakubicek certified the weight this past Monday at Henry’s.

You don’t see that every day…

A person holding a fish

A beer bottle on a dock

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A beer bottle on a dock