Andrew ``Drew'' Rasmussen earns Fish of the Week as much for his appreciation of night coming down Northerly Island as for his big chinook salmon.
``I couldn't believe how almost surreal, how beautiful, the night was: Soldier Field, the sun going down behind McCormick, pinks, purples and yellow, and guys fishing beside me,'' the Pilsen 24-year-old said.
Sunday night got even more beautiful when he latched into a big king just before the final horn at 9 for the seventh annual Fall Salmon Classic held by Henry's.
The drummer for the indy band, Yourself and The Air, just started fishing salmon on the lakefront. Before Sunday, he only caught one. On Sunday, he was waiting tables and barely biked to Northerly Island in time.
Some 85 fishers already lined Northerly Island for the big annual event put on by Henry's. So he walked to the southern tip.
For two hours, he cast and slow retrieved without a hit.
``I am a firm believer in positive thinking,'' he said. ``So the last hour, I started reeling in faster.''
On the second cast with the fast retrieve, he hooked a salmon.
He was where only rocks lined the shore, so, with only 10-pound line, he followed the fish by jumping from big rock to rock.
He had no net, so he yelled for one. Then he tangled in another line and thought all was lost. The other guy untangled the lines and said the fish was still on.
Here Jeff Nolan picks up the story.
He said James Suleyman took his net to help. But Suleyman's leg got stuck in the rocks, so Nolan grabbed the net and they finally fit the big salmon in the small net.
With only 10 minutes to go, Rasmussen hustled back to much acclaim.
``People kept saying, `When did you get that?' Everybody wanted to know, `What did you catch it on?' '' Rasmussen said. ``The thing was still squirming in my hands.''
The 32.5-inch fish, caught on a glow spoon, weighed 10 pounds, 3 ounces.
In retrospect, he remembered the night of wind and crashing waves and said, ``It sounded like I was on the ocean. I was really fortunate somebody had a net, I could not have lifted it.''
There was one other fish caught in the Clasic: a 3-15 coho by Frederico Saavedra.
BTW, here is YATA at the Empty Bottle on North Western in Chicago.