Chicago Sun-Times
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``Borrowed hooks & other looks:'' Reality shows better than fantasy (photos updated)

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It started with an email from Joe Karczewski asking for more explanation of the story on Tim Potoczny and FLW Fantasy Fishing (well, more suggesting I didn't explain it well enough).

``If it is a fantasy then it doesn't belong here on a outdoors page but on a gamers page for XBOX or something'' was the gist of Karczewski's point.

That started an email exchange with the southwest suburban man, an exchange I transformed into the fourth ``Borrowed hooks and other looks,'' other views of Chicago-area outdoors.

stblog-3-20 inches 5.5 lbs

By the pictures and the sounds of it, Karczewski is a dedicated fisherman, but not a great fan of fantasy fishing.

Here's the second email, the setup:

``I realize they pick a team of pro anglers but if its a game you play online it really has nothing to do with being good at fishing or a pro angler. My friends at work see the article as confusing also. I tried the link and it failed so I will try it again.

``I fish a lot and do really well and he read the article and said I should try this for some $$$$$ but it doesn't make a difference if your good at fishing because your not really fishing is my point. I would surprise people if I showed them what I caught at some of the pond in the south burbs that they travel hundreds of miles for and catch squat. I just see it as a game not a sport actually played in a boat.''

Personally, I agree with that point in general for all fantasy sports. I am not a big fan of fantasy sports. Yet, I am utterly fascinated by the money (the winner took home $1 million) poured into fantasy fishing.

Here's the followup email with Karczewski going from the fantasy of fantasy fishing to the realities of suburban fishing.

stblog23 inch 7.0 lbs

``I am a sports fisherman and love the out doors. People here actually don't realize what goldmines are here in their backyards. I would make your eyes pop out if you seen what I catch.

``What really bothers me is when people keep everything they can get away with and strip lakes of everything. I like to as they say C.P.R.: Catch, Picture & Release.

``I love it when I can teach young kids and adults to get some monsters to see the expression on their face. Then I show them how to release them. But some people spoil it. That piss's me off.''

And a final key point that I fear too: Drawing too much attention to hidden nuggets of fishing in the suburbs (or anywhere near population) ``because I would hate to have a big influx of people attacking all the local ponds and stripping them out or in the other case people calling the police and villages posting no fishing/trespassing signs.''

``Borrowed hooks & other looks'' are other looks at Chicago-area outdoors, usually running on Fridays. This is the fourth. ``Borrowed hooks'' should be sent to

The first (click here) was Bill Fuhry's look at ``The Amazon'' on Chicago's Bubbly Creek.

The second (click here) was Norm Minas' insightful, biting and funny recounting of a channelizing meeting in Indiana.

The third (click here) was Skip Lubinski's account of the pageantry of fishing the Chicago lakefront.

BTW, Potoczny, a Gurnee man, took sixth (and $20,000) Thursday in the first finals of FLW Fantasy Fishing.


The story on Potoczny is here. Information on FLW Fantasy Fishing is at

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This, the fifth ``Borrowed hooks & other looks,'' is one I wish I didn't have to put together. But with the Labor Day weekend coming, I think it matters to post some more stuff on the small-boat launch at Western... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 22, 2008 8:13 AM.

Potoczny catches sixth in first Fantasy Fishing finals was the previous entry in this blog.

Picture this: Wild Sunday 8-24-08 is the next entry in this blog.

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