Pond Hopping – record catch attempt

Pond Hopping – record catch attempt

Jul 15, 2013

2,011 Fish in a Day Not Enough to Break World Record

By Mike Pehanich

Illinois angler John Wilkins set what is most probably a state record with his catch of 2,011 fish in a 24-hour period straddling July 5-6, 2013. But the marathon effort fell short of the world record he sought.

“After this, I have all the more admiration Kolo’s record,” said Wilkins, who had dedicated his effort to the Wounded Warriors project.

John WIlkins caught 2,011 fish in a 24-hour period, but it was not enough to break top the total in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Wilkins, founder of Chicago Fishing School and the Chicago Suburban Fishing Club, had targeted the Guinness World Record total of 2,649 fish in a 24-hour period held by Jeff (Kolo) Kolodzinski. Although his attempt fell short of the mark, it exceeded at least one of the world record marks set by Kolodzinski, his 1,680 total in 2008.

Kolodzinski has made 10 world record attempts and set all of his world records on Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka.

“Any way you look at it, 2,011 is a lot of fish,” commented Kolodzinski. “I congratulate John’s effort.”

Bluegill comprised the largest count in Wilkins’ catch with golden shiners, fathead minnows, hybrid sunfish, bullhead, carp and one largemouth bass accounting for the rest. Estimated weights ran from a fathead minnow under 0.01 pounds to a common carp of roughly six pounds.

The record attempt took place at a small Parkview Plaza lake in Oak Brook Terrace with around-the-clock family and friend support.  Revolving teams of judges and the eye of a video camera witnessed every catch. Recorded data included the species and time of each catch along with Wilkins’ estimate of the fish’s weight.

Wilkins followed tight rules and had round-the-clock judges on hand to record his catch.

Wilkins’ record quest captured the attention of local television news and Midwest Outdoors magazine and television. Among his primary sponsors was Marukyu, manufacturer of the ground bait that Wilkins used to attract and keep fish in the area, and Lee’s Global Tackle. Lee’s Bait & Tackle, which provided bait for the venture.

In assessing the shortfall, Wilkins pointed to several lulls in the action, principally on the first afternoon and shortly after dark, and to intrusions from and lengthy tussles with big carp as costly setbacks.

“When you are using two-pound test fishing line, you have to tire a big fish,” noted Wilkins. “You can’t just swing it to the bank.”

Wilkins hoped his effort would draw more attention to Wounded Warriors efforts.

“Wounded Warriors wants to make sure this generation of service men and women who have injuries, prosthetic limbs or life-changing injuries is the most adjusted group of veterans of all time,” explained Wilkins. “(Wounded Warriors) gives a lot of time and resources, and the charity is run magnificently.”

Despite a frantic evening bite, the catch rate dipped as night fell at the lake in Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois, where John Wilkins attempted to break Jeff Kolodzinski's all-time record for fish caught in a 24-hour period.

Wilkins used ground bait and "spikes" to keep fish in the area he was fishing.

SWF soon will report on John Wilkins tackle and the tactics he employed to take

2,011 fish in a 24-hour period.


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