Chicago Sun-Times
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Portincaso dies

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Modern fishing teacher and innovator Tony Portincaso died while taking a walk in the woods along the Rock River near his home in Oregon, Ill., on Tuesday.

Mr. Portincaso apparently had a heart attack.

Along with such fishing innovators as the Lindner brothers, Al and Ron, and Spence Petros, Mr. Portincaso honed and taught modern fishing methods.

``He was one of the early pioneers for structure fishing for bass and muskie,'' said Petros, the Hall of Famer. ``He was a good all-around fisherman.

``He was the first good structure fishermen, jig fishing weedlines. When I went fishing at the [early] BASS Master Classics, I thought I had fished with people like Tony who were better than some of the guys fishing the Classic, who only threw spinner baits on the shore.''

In the early 1970s, Mr. Portincaso and Petros teamed on fishing classes. The first ones were held at York Community High School in Elmhurst, where Portincaso taught math. They taught fishing classes for 10 years, before splitting. Petros continues his fishing classes to this day.

``[They] taught me and countless others how to read water, weedlines and structure,'' fisherman Joseph McElligott e-mailed. ``I and fishermen all over have lost a great friend too soon.''

``He got me started in muskie fishing--Sept. 19, 1973 on Bone Lake in Polk County, Wisconsin,'' Petros said.

Services will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church, 10307 Dundee Road, Huntley, at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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6 Comments

I HAD THE PLEASURE OF FISHING WITH TONY AND FRIENDS IN CANADA A FEW YEARS BACK,HE TAUGHT US A GREAT DEAL AND WILL BE MISSED. HE WAS ONE OF THE NICEST PEOPLE I EVER MET.

I own a small engine repair shop in Oregon, and Mr Portincaso was a customer of mine. He was an extremely nice gentleman, and I am sorry that I was unaware of his fishing prowess as I would have loved to converse with him on the topic. I will miss Tony, and I extend my sincerest condolences to his family.

Tony was a family friend, a work colleague, and was a strong influence on me as I was growing up. He'll be missed.

Tony was a great educator. It didn't matter whether the subject was math or fishing; I was student of his in both. Not surprisingly, most of our many conversations in the computer lab in York High School in the early 80's centered around the latter.

He was my earliest and strongest influence in the outdoor industry - a true industry pioneer - and will be missed by many.

Tony took me under his wing in 1986 when he and I teamed up to do what was my first article. Four hundred articles later, I owe it all to Tony. He was a great fisherman, writer, educator, and one of the nicest guys you would ever meet. He is a legend.

I only heard about Tony's death yesterday, thus the date of this posting. Tony was a great teacher in many ways: I was a lucky math student of his in 1970 and discovered he was a fisherman. He was kind enough to take me out and teach me some of the techniques and knowledge that not many people knew at that time. In the classroom he had a subtle power, intelligence and love of math (and teaching) and this carried over to his time on the water. I hope everyone has had a teacher like Tony in their lives. My condolences to the family on their loss.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 29, 2008 2:30 PM.

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