Modern fishing teacher and innovator Tony Portincaso died while taking a walk in the woods along the Rock River near his home in Oregon, Ill., on Tuesday.
Mr. Portincaso apparently had a heart attack.
Along with such fishing innovators as the Lindner brothers, Al and Ron, and Spence Petros, Mr. Portincaso honed and taught modern fishing methods.
“He was one of the early pioneers for structure fishing for bass and muskie,” said Petros, the Hall of Famer. “He was a good all-around fisherman.
“He was the first good structure fishermen, jig fishing weedlines. When I went fishing at the [early] BASS Master Classics, I thought I had fished with people like Tony who were better than some of the guys fishing the Classic, who only threw spinner baits on the shore.”
In the early 1970s, Mr. Portincaso and Petros teamed on fishing classes. The first ones were held at York Community High School in Elmhurst, where Portincaso taught math. They taught fishing classes for 10 years, before splitting. Petros continues his fishing classes to this day.
“[They] taught me and countless others how to read water, weedlines and structure,” fisherman Joseph McElligott e-mailed. “I and fishermen all over have lost a great friend too soon.”
“He got me started in muskie fishing–Sept. 19, 1973 on Bone Lake in Polk County, Wisconsin,” Petros said.
Services will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church, 10307 Dundee Road, Huntley, at 10 a.m. Saturday.