One-legged Quinn and the King: A tale of good karma coming around for Chinook fishing in Chicago
Maybe it was good karma that brought this tale of the search for shoreline Chinook in Chicago from Quinn Wunar.
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.