Chicago Tribune

Microfishing targets smallest fish around with pocket-sized rods and minuscule hooks

Gerry Hansell has too many worms.

Otherwise, he's well equipped for a lucky weekday afternoon spent fishing - microfishing, to be specific: the art of chasing not trophy bass or trout, but tiny species most fishermen regard as bait, if they regard them at all. Hansell's rod is so small it collapses to fit in a pocket. His hook? So minuscule as to be nearly invisible. But those worms ....

He's brought an almost embarrassing surplus, a whole cup of wigglers he retrieved from the back of his fridge, where they've been cooling their heels since a bigger fishing trip in late August. He cracks the lid of the cardboard cup and shrugs. Today he will need only a tiny chunk of flesh to bait his hook. His entire expedition won't require even one whole worm.

Luckily, worms are resilient, and these will go back to the fridge. Meanwhile, Hansell puts on his fishing hat and crosses the parking lot of a well-tamed north suburban forest preserve, headed for his fishing grounds.

Microfishing, which involves line fishing for species that rarely grow above a few inches in length, some warier and rarer than others, has been

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune2 min readPolitics
Editorial: The US Can Protect Tankers From Iran, With Help From Allies
It was known as the "tanker war." In 1987, Iran wreaked havoc on global energy supplies moving through the Strait of Hormuz, using mines to attack Kuwaiti oil tankers and eventually triggering direct conflict between U.S. naval forces and Iranian ves
Chicago Tribune3 min read
A Man Spread The Ashes Of His Wife Of 64 Years Into Their Favorite Indiana Lake. Then He 'Dropped Dead'
Just minutes after fulfilling his wife's final wish – scattering her ashes in Stone Lake in Indiana – Ralph Seichi Miyata collapsed in the water and later died, joining her first into the lake and then into the afterlife. Married for 64 years, the co
Chicago Tribune5 min read
As Tony Bennett Approaches 93, Let's Hear It For The Elders
CHICAGO - It's a question I've been hearing for decades, applied to any number of seasoned performers I've covered: Why are they still working? I heard it plenty when Frank Sinatra was deep into his 70s, still selling out arenas around the world. Als