Cheering on the memory-making fishing on the Chicago River

Fishing the Chicago River includes everything from people cheering catches by Alex Moon and Ben Carbery downtown to the joy the Benesch family doubling up on fish many times during a morning outing last week.

SHARE Cheering on the memory-making fishing on the Chicago River
Riley Benesch, 5, and brother Jackson, 8, hold one of their doubles Friday morning on the Chicago River, where they caught more than 40 fish and four species.

Riley Benesch, 5, and brother Jackson, 8, hold one of their doubles Friday morning on the Chicago River, where they caught more than 40 fish and four species.

Provided by Marcus Benesch

There’s really nothing like fishing the Chicago River downtown with an interactive audience on shore or sharing the experience of fishing downtown for the first time.

  • ‘‘We had a crowd of people watching us the whole time, which erupted into a round of applause once we got the first bass of the day into the boat,’’ Alex Moon emailed about an outing in mid-July.

Moon, who manages Mystery Tackle Box, the innovative Chicago-based fishing company, was fishing with buddy Ben Carbery, an associate at Winston & Strawn and a ‘‘proud Northwestern Law School grad.’’

Moon had fished the Chicago River before, but this was his first time in a canoe. I hope the crowd enjoyed the Grumman aircraft canoe, built from World War II scrap metal in 1946.

Alex Moon holds a largemouth bass caught on the Chicago River downtown in mid-July with his friend Ben Carbery in a Grumman aircraft canoe, built in 1946. Provided photo

Alex Moon holds a largemouth bass caught on the Chicago River downtown in mid-July with his friend Ben Carbery in a Grumman aircraft canoe, built in 1946.

Provided

‘‘My grandfather [Tom Carbery, 93] bought it in the late 1940s or early 1950s,’’ Carbery texted Moon. ‘‘We take it out on St. Patrick’s Day for the river-dyeing and take it out on the Playpen, too.’’

Moon emailed that all their fish were caught on a Catch Co. Tight Rope Bite Getter Spinner Bait with a Biospawn Exoswim trailer.

  • On Saturday, Marcus Benesch emailed: ‘‘Just wanted to share my kids’ first exploration of the Chicago River early Friday morning.’’

Benesch and his kids — Riley, 5, and Jackson, 8 — had a successful and memory-making exploration.

They drove down from north suburban Gurnee and launched out of the Richard J. Daley Boat Launch off Western Avenue on the south side of the Sanitary and Ship Canal.

‘‘Four species were caught, the fourth being a small snapping turtle,’’ Benesch emailed. ‘‘Light crappie jigs were tossed around bridges and pilings for the mixture of bluegill, white bass and largemouth bass.’’

That’s the fishing side of the experience. But fishing the Chicago River is a different-level total experience.

‘‘As you know, by 11:00 a.m., it gets crazy out there with the tour boats,’’ Benesch emailed. ‘‘So much to the dismay of the kids, we packed it in then, but not before landing around 40 fish! I sent a picture of one of the many times the kids had doubled up out there.’’

That’s a picture the kids will hold in their heads for a lifetime.

Stray cast

Apparently, fishing and White Sox baseball share the need for the right hook.

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