Social media might skew the perception that more people are catching their first Chinook from the Illinois shoreline than in recent years, but there’s definitely a buzz for shoreline kings this year.
In mid-September, a guy posted on Facebook about his first king: ‘‘Shout-out to a stranger named Quinn who helped net him.’’
There’s one top-notch angler with that first name roaming the Chicago lakefront, so I tweeted Quinn Wunar.
‘‘Indeed it was,’’ he tweeted back.
Must have brought good karma.
Wunar hadn’t yet caught a king for the fall. Then on Sept. 30, he tweeted: ‘‘Wait ’til you hear the story of the One-Legged Quinn and the King.’’
‘‘I sprained my knee pretty good [the previous] Friday night, and I’ve been bedridden since while it seems like everyone’s hooking up everywhere,’’ he tweeted. ‘‘So I started to get a touch of range of motion, enough at least to ditch one crutch and carry my net and pole.’’
I asked what he had done.
He sprained it on a high curb while getting out to go to Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus with his girlfriend.
‘‘Won’t blame the two-month city construction or the October fest beer, just old age,’’ he tweeted.
If he’s old, I’m not sure what I am.
‘‘So I snuck out of my house while my girlfriend (who, BTW, has been waiting on me hand and foot while I’ve been injured) sleeps,’’ Wunar continued. ‘‘Ubered up to Diversey. I knew I had one spot in me that I could crutch to. Set up on the north pier at the mouth with two regulars who are always there and started working a crankbait.
‘‘All three of us had bumps close in at the wall, so I flipped lakeside. First cast, boom. After a good hearty fight that worked me all the way around the finger, with the help of a solid netman named Jorge, I landed this beautiful silver female king. As you know I don’t weigh fish, but I did measure it up to my crutch. Hahaha. What a great morning!’’
I highly recommend the public tour of the Urban Stream Research Center the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County holds Saturday at Blackwell Forest Preserve. The all-ages tours ($5) leave every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Register at apm.activecommunities.com/fpddc/Activity_Search/15302 or (630) 933-7248.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources started its weekly count of sandhill cranes — 3,737 — at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area on Oct. 5. Click here for updates on the crane count.
May the pectoral fins of a young channel catfish pierce both hands of the next old thinker who says or types ‘‘Hall of Fame manager’’ approvingly.