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The joy of fishing: A blue is true to building the basics of joy


That’s the thing that caught me when Eddie Rodriguez tagged me on his ‘‘biggest fish to date,’’ a 27.5-pound blue catfish caught Saturday on the cool side of Braidwood Lake.


In recent years, I feel as though fishing and hunting have slipped into facts and figures, forgoing the human element and focusing more on how-to than why-do.

The human element really showed in the face of Eddie’s son, Mark. The photo of him shows a heart bursting with the joy of a big fish. There was a bonus reason for that expression.

Blues are relatively recent stockings at Braidwood, the cooling lake in southwestern Will County.

As for the facts and figures, Rodriguez caught it in a 30-foot hole with 82-degree water with a bluegill tail on a Gamakatsu circle hook. He was using a 25-pound fluorocarbon leader and 40-pound PowerPro braided line on a Quantum reel on a St Croix rod.

Those are the facts and figures that fix joy in memory.

‘‘I let the fish go, so someone else can catch it, as well,’’ Rodriguez messaged.


Early Canada goose season ends Friday. It has been a most memorable one for me, enough to promise goose parmesan and Italian goose (beef) to come. . . . A heads up for those antsy to scout deer. Corn harvest has started (2 percent through Sunday), according to the Illinois Crop Progress Report. . . . I have not heard much about teal. The season runs through Sept. 24.

Wild things

Wisconsin started its Fall Color Report (, and a few counties are already at 20 percent. The seasons march on.

Stray cast

Tarik Cohen and the football were to Soldier Field what Jackie Nishi and her 5.5-pound walleye were to Montrose Harbor. The Cubs are to baseball what three ounces of lead are to 70 feet of water.

Follow me on Twitter @BowmanOutside.