Aleida Jauregui really wanted to be among the first to catch the opening of trout fishing season Saturday.
She and her husband, Tirzo Perez, set their alarm for 4:30 a.m., but when it went off, it was still pitch black in their hometown of Marengo.
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"I thought, 'Better wait,' and I ended up going back to bed," she said.
The couple eventually made it to Lake Atwood at the Hollows Conservation Area in Cary about 9:30 a.m., and within a couple of hours, she had already caught four shiny silver trout.
"I feel lucky today," said Jauregui, an avid angler who says she could spend all day fishing.
About 75 cars were lined up outside the preserve gates at 6 a.m., when trout fishing officially kicked off for the season, said McHenry County Conservation District Police Sgt. Ty Culver. That was a little bit less than the 100 cars or so that usually line up for opening day.
"It's probably because it was cold, in the 30s," Culver said.
About 2,200 rainbow trout were stocked in Lake Atwood by the conservation district this year with a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Opening weekend is always the busiest, and then the crowd -- and the trout -- start to taper off throughout the week.
"Typically you stop seeing trout within two weeks," Culver said.
Among the not-so-lucky fishermen were brothers Ben Lamar, 13, and Daniel Lamar, 10, and their friends Connor Fox, 14, and Domaneck Franco, 13, all of Crystal Lake.
The foursome hand't caught anything in the two hours they spent at Lake Atwood after being dropped off by one of their mothers. Wearing only sweatshirts and light jackets, they shivered from the cold while waiting for their ride back.
"Fish like to bite early in the morning, in the afternoon, and really late at night," Domaneck said. "Nothing is happening now."
Some anglers purposefully avoid coming too early, like Chuck Novy, of Johnsburg, and his son-in-law Bill Schweinberg, of McHenry.
"We learned our lesson, it's too many people," Schweinberg said.
The pair try to make it to opening day every year, and fondly remember catching 15-inch trout two years ago.
"My wife this morning said, 'Are we going to have fish tonight?" Novy said. "I hope we will."