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Thick muskie: Real life, real fishing, real times

Erik Porter caught a muskie “thicker than a snicker” and deals with being a firefighter/paramedic with his known first exposure to COVID-19.

Erik Porter caught a muskie “thicker than a snicker” last month from the Chain O’Lakes. Provided photo
Erik Porter caught a muskie “thicker than a snicker” last month from the Chain O’Lakes.

When I caught up with Erik Porter last week, he said, “I’m fishing now, just looking for another.”

In late March on the Chain O’Lakes, Porter caught a 43¼-inch muskie — “thicker than a snicker,” as he noted on Facebook.

It has been quite a stretch for Porter. He’s a fireman/paramedic in the suburbs. In late March, he had his first known exposure to COVID-19. He has to wear a mask throughout the firehouse. If any symptoms arise, he will be sent home.

“I have to be a lot more cautious, do more cleaning,” he said. “There is nothing to be scared of until you get there. Still got to do the job.”

Porter is no stranger to thick muskie or fishing. He’s one of the sons of Chip Porter, who is well-known in Chicago fishing.

When I asked Porter if he had known that muskie might be there, he said he saw her last fall.

“She is super-white and super-black, so I am super-positive that is same fish,” he said.

Last month, Porter was fishing with his buddy Danny Minogue when he boated the muskie late one morning.

“There was only one hook in her upper lip,” he said. “The fight was only about 15 or 20 seconds.”

Porter didn’t take a girth measurement before release, but he compared it to his personal best, a 50¼-inch muskie caught on a different body of water last year. That one had a girth of 19 inches. He said his Chain muskie was thicker than that.

“She hit on a pause of the bait,” he said. “I won’t be sharing the bait.”

Some secrets stay.


Violet Talley, whose artistic fishing efforts I’ve written about, is using her 3D laser-cutting/engraving machines to make personal protective equipment for health care workers. She established a GoFundMe page to help purchase the medically approved plastic needed. Click here for the GoFundMe page.

Wild things

I know staying-at-home people are watching migrating birds and the antics of neighborhood Cooper’s hawks, squirrels, red foxes and coyotes. May it last.

Stray cast

Dick Allen reminds me of a guy who could drop an incoming mallard with one hand while eating a homemade bacon-and-egg sandwich with the other.