Carpe Weekend: The allure of a lure
By Jason Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org August 1, 2012 2:48PM
Anglers cast off from the shoreline at the Monee Reservoir. | Photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of Will County
Updated: September 3, 2012 6:12AM
One of the fondest memories I have of childhood involves a canoe, a few fishing poles, my Uncle John and the serenity of the open water.
We only went fishing a few times, and to my knowledge we never actually caught anything.
But that’s the great thing: It didn’t matter. We didn’t care if we came back empty-handed or hauling a truck bed packed with pike. Our only concern was spending time together.
Ask almost any angler, and they’ll agree that the amount of fish you catch takes a back seat to hanging out with whomever is sitting in the boat or standing along shoreline with you.
“Fishing isn’t necessarily about the fish,” lifelong fisherman Mark Loekle said. “It’s more about being out in nature, enjoying the weather, enjoying time with friends.”
If you’re similarly looking to create a few lasting memories with someone you love, pack up the tackle box and head to the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Midnight Madness nighttime fishing event from 6 p.m. to midnight Aug. 4 at Monee Reservoir, 27341 S. Ridgeland Ave.
Loekle, who also is the concession manager at the reservoir, said the free, all-ages event takes place three times a year to coincide with a full-moon phase.
“There’s always improved fishing around a full moon,” he said.
“Another thing is, since we do have it at nighttime and it runs until midnight, barring any clouds, it does help light up the area a little bit because it can get pretty dark out here. So it’s kind of a double bonus for us.”
As to why anglers may catch more fish at night than during the day, Loekle said it boils down to one thing: Fish are smarter than most of us give them credit for.
“Throughout their life cycle, fish have realized that if they eat at night they’re less likely to be threatened like they would during the daytime,” he said.
“If over the years you catch a fish numerous times, it’ll start to realize that every time it feeds in the middle of the night it never seems to get hooked, but when it feeds during the day there’s a chance it might get hooked.”
That means some fish get braver at nighttime and come out in droves to feed, increasing the chances you’ll be having catfish or bass for dinner.
During the event you’ll be able keep rented fishing boats out later than usual, but they’ll have to be returned an hour before sunset.
Only shoreline fishing will be allowed after dusk.
You also should bring a flashlight just in case the full moon decides to take cover behind a few clouds.
Perhaps I’ll call my Uncle John and see what he’s doing Saturday. It would be nice to take to the water with him once again, even if we don’t catch a single fish.
Information: (708) 534-8499 or reconnectwithnature.org.