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Strolling to the future: Brothers Anthony & Phillip Sokolov bring boat technique to Chicago lakefront

Brothers Anthony and Phillip Sokolov cast out planer boards to fish the Chicago lakefront in the spring.

Still life of coho and planer board with a fishing rod. Provided by Anthony Sokolov
Still life of coho and planer board with a fishing rod.
Provided by Anthony Sokolov

Chris Ranney saw a surprise earlier this month on the Chicago lakefront. Two guys were shore fishing with planer boards.

“They out fished every one else there,” he messaged. “That’s a lot of walking. They had multiple boards and set ups.”

Typically, planer boards are used on boats to separate lines out and away.

“Just toss out the flasher-fly combo, clip on the planer board, and start walking,” messaged Anthony Sokolov, who was fishing with his brother Phillip.

Brothers Anthony and Phillip Sokolov “strolling” for spring coho on the lakefront. Provided by Chris Ranney
Brothers Anthony and Phillip Sokolov “strolling” for spring coho on the lakefront.
Provided by Chris Ranney

It reminded me of the old-time Montrose technique of walking/trolling with Shad Raps for perch.

“Started doing it five or six years ago in Kenosha, I think I saw a YouTube video,” Sokolov messaged. “We call it `strolling.’ I’ve been doing it every year since.

“Yes, we have repeatedly out fished traditional styles of fishing doing this in the spring, especially once the water clears up. We typically send the board 200-300 feet out to really get our setups out there.”

All this had Ranney thinking big, “Stuff like this makes me think that our sport and love of the lakefront has a chance. . . . two very cool young men.”

File photo of a limit of coho caught “strolling” on the Chicago lakefront. Provided by Anthony Sokolov
File photo of a limit of coho caught “strolling” on the Chicago lakefront.
Provided by Anthony Sokolov