Frankfort Man Wins Grand Prize at District's 2017 'Hard Water Classic' with 37.5-Inch Northern Pike

(Jan. 18, 2017) — A Frankfort man won the grand prize at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s popular Hard Water Classic ice fishing tournament on Saturday, Jan. 14 after landing a 37.5-inch northern pike on Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville.

Matt Wolfe won an ice shelter and a $125 gift card to a local sporting goods store. Brian Smith of Geneva won second place with a 30.25-inch fish, earning him a $100 gift card to a local sporting-goods store, and Andrew Grimm won third place with a 28.75-inch northern pike, earning him a $75 gift card.

Matt Wolfe 2017 HWC grand prize winner BOTTOM 

Matt Wolfe, grand prize winner with a 37.5-inch northern pike. 

In the largemouth bass category, Rick Lesley won first place with a 13-inch fish, followed by Bill Humphries in second with a 12.75-inch fish, and John Barnes in third with a 12.5-inch largemouth bass. 

HWC  2017 bass winner Rick Lesley BOTTOM 

Rick Lesley won first place in the largemouth bass category with a 13-inch bass. 

In the crappie category, Charles Camp won first place with an 11-inch fish, John Palsir came in second with the first 10.375-inch fish, followed by Sean Morgan, who came in third place for catching a 10.375-inch fish later in the competition.  

For bluegill/sunfish, Luis Vazquez came in first place with an 8.375-inch fish, Roger Nelson came in second place for being the first angler to catch an 8-inch fish, followed by Lori Fichtel who also caught an 8-inch fish later in the tourney.

Luis Vazquez bluegill 2017 HWC BOTTOM 

Luis Vazquez of Bloomingdale won first place in the bluegill/sunfish category with an 8 3/8-inch fish. 

There were 322 participants in this year’s tournament, which is 102 more than the previous high in 2014. Proceeds from the tournament support ranger-led recreation programs that provide outdoor experiences for special-needs groups, youth groups, Scouts and community-resource centers in DuPage County. The Hard Water Classic is Chicagoland’s largest ice fishing tournament. 

Brian Smith of Geneva won second place in the northern pike category with his 30.25-inch catch.

Lori Fichtel won third place in the bluegill/sunfish category with an 8-inch fish.
Charles Aaron Camp of Wheaton caught the winning crappie with this 11-inch catch.
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