Spring has sprung and powerline fishermen are back on Chicago's lakefront!

ByYukare Nakayama Localish logo
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Powerline fishermen are back on Chicago's lakefront!
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Powerline fishing is a tradition for many in the Chicagoland area. Once spring comes around, powerline fishermen can be found on the lakefront.

Chicago, IL -- Chicago powerline fishers can be seen ready to go with their fire extinguishers along Chicago's lakefront. These fishermen aren't putting out any fires: instead, they use the extinguishers to fish.

"Powerlining is basically a long-lived tradition that started here in Chicago," said Ralphie Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said he's been powerline fishing for over five years.

Powerline fishing involves shooting a weighted fishing line through the air and into the water with the help of the pressure of the carbon dioxide from the fire extinguisher. The weighted fishing line then travels between 200 to 300 yards into the water.

Fishermen often have several hooks with bait on their fishing lines to attract a lot of fish at once. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, a max of 50 hooks per fishermen is allowed.

The fisherman are angling for Coho and chinook salmon.

"It's just a Chicago tradition. You know, we come out here and hang out with the boys, catch fish and cook," said Gonzalez.