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.
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.
``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 email@example.com.
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.