U-High Midway

Gone fishing

Chicagoans fish in local lakes and ponds as a way to relax, spend time with family and revive childhood memories

Max Garfinkel, Business Manager

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Tosya Khodarkovsky
CASTING OFF. Marcelo Gutierrez-Miranda casts off into the Jackson Fishing Area, behind the Museum of Science and Industry in Hyde Park. Despite Chicago’s heavily urban environment, Lake Michigan and the city’s countless lagoons, ponds, and reservoirs offer one of the world’s largest freshwater fisheries.

The water is still in Burnham Harbor, the sailboats float past McCormick Place as they exit. The Sears Tower and the Centennial Wheel on Navy Pier protrude from the skyline. People jog alongside the water.

Then a lone fisherman casts line between the docks. As he reels in, quickly twitching the rod to entice the fish with his lure, the tip of his rod jerks toward the water as he yanks it. The line screams out of the reel for a second while the fish flees, but then he starts pulling it in. He reels the fish to the sea wall and lifts it onto the cement. He compares the smallmouth bass to his foot, and the tail extends slightly past his toe.

The fisherman smiles as he takes the hook out of the fish’s lip. Then he takes a picture with it and releases it back into the water. He continues to grin as he watches it swim away.

Even in Chicago, where many people don’t even know that fishing is possible, anglers still find ways to fish and enjoy one of the largest freshwater fisheries in the world. While many at Lab know very little about fishing, some use it as a way to relax from their stressful lives.

Chemistry teacher Zachary Hund enjoys fishing in and around Chicago.

He said he started fishing when with his dad when he was young and now gets out to fish when he gets the chance. He explained what he enjoys about fishing is the peacefulness.

“It’s a chance to get away from everything that’s going on, and to go somewhere that’s peaceful, thats quiet, and to do something that doesn’t require a lot of thought,” he said. “It’s just a relaxing activity.”

Dr. Hund remembers fishing with his dad when he was younger in a small reservoir pond behind the company where his dad works. He said his dad bought him a little “Mickey Mouse” fishing rod which he used to catch small catfish while he watched the ducks. He said that his son is now old enough that he is excited to start teaching him how to fish.

“Fishing is one of my favorite pastimes with my dad, so hopefully I can do the same with my son,” He said, “It’s not just about fishing, but it’s also a time to connect on a personal level when it’s just the two of you there.”

For many people fishing brings a sense of nostalgia with it as they remember good times fishing with their family and friends.

For sophomore Quari Ewing, fishing creates a way for her to spend quality time with her grandfather. She started fishing with him when she was 8.

“It’s something that he always did, and for a while I was grossed out by the idea,” she said, adding that when she got older she became more comfortable with it and came to enjoy it.

Quari said, “I don’t get to see him as much, but we still go fishing and that’s something that brings us together.”

Many fishers the hobby becomes something that they look forward to all winter. They look forward to spending time outdoors with their family and the excitement of hooking a fish.

Senior John Grissom enjoys fishing for the thrill of reeling in big fish.

“It’s all about the reward at the end of the day.” He explained that for him, “It’s all about catching the fish, and once you get a fish on you want to get it again and again and again.”

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Gone fishing