Since my career choice dictated I work in a large city for thirty years there are times when I think I have seen it all.
Chicago has more negatives than positives for me because I'm a country mouse, not a city mouse. When I worked there full time I would get in, get out and get on with my life. If I liked the urban experience I would not be out here in the small town turning to guns or religion or antipathy. Doing the country squire thing suits me well. To each his own. Live and let live.
Been working a contract job in Chicago this week. I do not eat lunch out at fast food or casual dining restaurants if I am working downtown because…I can’t bill for it. Being on hourly my lunch is micro waved homemade chicken noodle soup or leftover weekend food. Works for me because I get more work done. But when it’s nice outside I will take a stroll for a few minutes with my camera just in case I encounter a, you know, unique urban experience or something.
Walking across the Dearborn St. Bridge I saw this.
Here were two guys in a Ranger bass boat doing some bass fishing on the once polluted Chicago River. One guy was the obvious boat owner. I could tell by his NASCAR style Ranger Boats logo shirt. So I took that shot of them from upper Wacker Drive. Again, this is Chicago not some southern rural reservoir so I sure got a kick out of it.
Being curious and wanting to get some cityscape shots from lower Wacker I walked down the stairs. They were friendly. The guy in the Ranger shirt told me he was supposed to be working. I told him I was supposed to be fishing. We laughed.
So I hung around hoping to get a shot of them catching a fish. They used their bow mount trolling motor to go to the west side of the bridge. I followed. They were pitching jig n’ pigs, a typical bass bottom bait.
Note that they had over one dozen rods in the boat (click photo to enlarge). Each had a specific color and type of lure. This is common for bass anglers and each rod & reel is designed to work that type of lure. When I go out to fish I take three rods. More than that is inviting a flesh-hooking mishap or a broken $100 rig or both. I prefer a lot of safe deck space.
So here are some shots from the west side of the bridge.
Within ten minutes they caught a fish. Nothing big, it looked like it was about 12”, which I believe is a legal bass in Illinois. He let it go. These guys probably don’t keep anything less than a trophy bass anyway.
I don’t keep bass either. Bass are not my favorite table fare as far as fish go. But I love catching bass for fun.
Many years ago Mayor Richard J. Daley (the first) predicted at a press conference one day that downtown workers would be able to catch fish on the Chicago River (which was extremely polluted and fish-free at that time) and grill them on the shore for lunch. The press laughed out loud. He swore he was not joking.
The old man was half right.