MAYOR DALEY FISHING DERBY along the Chicago River. Interviews with fisherpeople competing in the derby to catch a tagged fish, which would win them a Harley-Davidson and other prizes.
00:00Copy video clip URL On the banks of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, videographer Doug Sawyer interviews two young kids, Nicole and Matthew, about fishing in the river. One boy shows a bag of crabs he caught. One girls says she caught a fish (arms extended), “about that big.”
01:00Copy video clip URL Videographer talks with the kids father, Rich, who says he’s caught a carp, rock bass and three crabs. He says he wants to catch a tagged fish so he can win a boat or motorcycle, prizes that the fishing derby is offering.
01:59Copy video clip URL B-roll of Rich fishing. He says for a while he was catching a lot of fish. He shows his secret weapon, a container of tan liquid with secret ingredients. Rich gets a bite, but the fish is gone by the time he reels it in.
04:12Copy video clip URL Videographer talks with Dave, another fisherman who has caught one rock bass. He says he’s trying to catch some catfish and large mouth bass that the river has been stocked with for the derby. He says fishing in the river is pretty good, though he’s only caught the one rock bass so far. He likes the struggle between man and fish when reeling the fish in. He says he works at UPS as a truck loader. He says he also fishes in the Kankakee River. He says action is a little slower at Chicago River and that there were no rules posted as to what kind of line you could use in the derby. He says his goal is to catch a tagged bass to win the motorcycle. He notes that he is 32-years-old.
06:16Copy video clip URL Interview with a fisherman who notes that the city is hosting a fishing derby and that the secret to good fishing is to relax and enjoy the process, and tolerate being out all day. He says he also fishes at Moline, Illinois and at some lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin. He says fishing in the Chicago River is a lot different from doing so in a natural habitat. The Chicago River is not a fishing location, it’s just something to experience: the boating, the color of the water, the environment around it. He says he hopes to catch a bass. The city has stocked the river with a thousand pounds of fish, each tagged. If you catch a tagged fish you report it and receive a prize. He comments that his name is Jerry Lewis. He says he gets kidded about his name. Then he notes that his middle name is Lee. The videographer asks if he plays the piano. No. He says he works at the Illinois Armored Car company.
09:36Copy video clip URL Interview with a fisherman, John Balentine, who notes that the city is having a fishing tournament and that first prize is a truck, second prize is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He notes he hasn’t caught anything yet, but hopes to catch a bass or catfish. He shows the lure that he is using, one he saw advertised on TV called the Flying Lure. He introduces his fishing partner, Tony. The videographer interviews Balentine’s daughter, Jennifer, who says she never thought she’d be fishing in the Chicago River.
11:35Copy video clip URL The videographer asks if anyone ever had an accident fishing. No. Tony says he’s from Chicago. Balentine says he’s from Glenwood. Tony notes that the best thing about fishing is the chance to relax, take your mind off of things. He says he was recently on the lake and caught some nice sized fish. They say they fish in Michigan, Kankakee, Joliet, neighborhood ponds. They can’t say yet how fishing in the Chicago River compares. It’s too soon. Tony says the biggest fish he’s ever caught was about 11 inches. Balentine says the biggest fish he’s ever caught was about 4 pounds. The aspect Balentine likes most about fishing is reeling in the fish.
15:12Copy video clip URL B-roll of people fishing, various shots.
15:55Copy video clip URL Interview with a woman, Helen McCoy, who says she’s been fishing since age seven. She notes it is relaxing and says this is the first time she’s fished in the Chicago River. She’s hoping to catch one bass and one catfish. She says the biggest fish she’s ever caught was twenty-eight pounds. It took twenty or thirty minutes to reel it in.
18:10Copy video clip URL Another woman, Evelyn Jones, notes that it’s good to be out in the air. Downtown Chicago is beautiful to walk. She has been fishing for about twenty years. She says she just arrived here today. The biggest fish she’s ever caught was a fifteen pound catfish which she gave to someone. She notes that fishing is relaxing. “I’m retired. I need to get out of the house.” She comments that she’s fished in the Mississippi River and up in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Up there she has caught bass and trout. She notes that she’s using a fifteen pound line. She lays her rod down on the concrete next to her. When asked if she’s afraid the fish with run with it and pull the rod into the water, Jones says No, they can’t jerk it faster than I can catch it.
21:52Copy video clip URL B-roll of people fishing.
22:00Copy video clip URL Balentine catches a small fish.
23:24Copy video clip URL B-roll of boaters, people fishing with Chicago skyline in background.
24:07Copy video clip URL Interview with a kid, Dan Shrigley, who uses night crawlers for bait. He thinks he can cast a line maybe twenty feet. He says he goes to school in Schaumburg and has been fishing for three years. He says it’s fun to catch fish and eat them. He likes bass. He tells story of catching a large fish once that jerked him into the water before he could pull it up to the shoreline.
26:01Copy video clip URL Interview with an adult fisherman who says the strategy today is to catch a fish with a tag on it to win a prize. He says the favorite part of the experience for him is relaxing and not having to work. He says he works as a graphic artist. Today he is using crankbait.
27:44Copy video clip URL Interviews with a group of older men. One loses a fish on his line. They say fish are smarter than people: they get the bait away from the people fishing. They note that they are officials of the derby and that the objective of the event is to promote fishing in honor of the city’s late mayor Richard J. Daley, who was also a fisherman. They also note that the fish will help clean the river. They suggest that people working downtown can come out at lunchtime and fish. One man, Rich, notes that the biggest fish he’s ever caught was a forty-four pound salmon in Alaska. He says the biggest he caught in Illinois was a twenty-seven pound fish in Lake Michigan. Rich notes that he mainly fishes on the lake front at Montrose, Belmont, Diversey, North Avenue, 31st Street.
31:17Copy video clip URL B-roll of a man in a black hat fishing. He talks about the line and weight he uses and how it helps him. He says his name, but it is not captured on tape. He tells the story of catching a 23-pound fish. The first thing that happened was he got nervous, and an adrenaline rush kicked in. Your focus turns to not losing the fish. He says two or three years ago he fished in the river and never saw anyone, and comments on how popular the sport seems to have become since that time. He notes harbors are good places to fish because they are protected. Fish can live there.
36:45Copy video clip URL B-roll people fishing.
36:54Copy video clip URL A fisherman comments that his wife says fishing for men is like girls playing with dolls, “we keep changing their clothes.” He shows all the different lures in his tackle box. The videographer asks why it’s called a tackle box. The man is stumped. Another man offers: It’s where you put your tackle.
38:01Copy video clip URL B-roll of a fishing rod laying at the edge of the river unattended. Various b-roll of people fishing.
38:29Copy video clip URL B-roll of a kid, Adam, who pulls up a small crab on his line.
38:50Copy video clip URL B-roll of an older man fishing. Says he’s using a spinner on his line. Shows off his hat: a ball cap with mock bird feces on the bill and text that reads: Damn Seagulls. He says his grandson got him involved.
39:58Copy video clip URL B-roll of people fishing.
40:30Copy video clip URL A kid named Dustin says in two-years of fishing he hasn’t caught anything.
41:02Copy video clip URL B-roll of guy named Burt under a bridge fishing. He says it’s too crowded in other spots along the river. He says he’s using a plastic worm for a lure and hasn’t caught anything yet. He notes the secret to fishing is luck and patience.
42:28Copy video clip URL Interview with a girl, Dia. She says she doesn’t fish much.
42:58Copy video clip URL B-roll of a boat passing by.
43:05Copy video clip URL Interview with a kid fishing along the river hoping to catch catfish. A guy demonstrates his electronic fish finder for the videographer: an electronic device connected to a wired detector placed in the water that recognized schools of fish using sonar. Various shots of the digital display showing where the fish are. He says he uses night crawlers for bait. He says he’s never fished in the Chicago River. He usually fishes at Shabbona Lake stocked with bass.
47:01Copy video clip URL B-roll of the fish finder and of the guys fishing along the river. B-roll of a tour boat passing by.
48:38Copy video clip URL B-roll of river activity, skyline, and a woman fishing.
48:48Copy video clip URL B-roll of a man in a business suit coming to fish. He notes that he works at the Wrigley Building and is here on a break.
49:21Copy video clip URL B-roll, videographer walking along a wooden footpath marked with painted footprints.
49:33Copy video clip URL B-roll of people fishing and b-roll of a sign promoting the Richard J. Daley Memorial Fishing Derby August 6, 7, 8 (1993).
50:16Copy video clip URL END