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Fishing with a fire extinguisher?  Powerline fishermen are back on Chicago’s lakefront


Chicago, IL – Chicago power line fishermen can be seen ready to go with their fire extinguishers along Lake Chicago. These fishermen do not extinguish any fires: rather, they use the extinguishers to fish.

“Powerlining is basically a long tradition that started here in Chicago,” said Ralphie Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said he had been power line fishing for more than five years.

Power line fishing involves pulling a weighted fishing line through air and water using the pressure of carbon dioxide from the extinguisher. The weighted fishing line then moves between 200 and 300 meters in the water.

Anglers often have multiple hooks with bait on their fishing lines to attract a lot of fish at once. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, a maximum of 50 hooks per angler is allowed.

Fishermen fish for coho and chinook salmon.

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

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