Cold weather paid off with a big fish for Ed Walbel.
Fishing on Feb. 15, 1976 with ice still covering all but a small bay of the lake he was fishing, Walbel hooked into the largest largemouth ever caught in Illinois.
Walbel caught his fish in a Lake County gravel pit. Walbel said he had virtually sole fishing rights to the 100-acre quarry that yielded his record bass, which measured 28 inches and had a girth of 23 inches.
Walbel’s big bass hit a yellow Mr. Twister No. 2 Meany Spin at about 2:30 p.m.