Bruce Caruso came out Perch America booth Saturday and was talking about the walleye stocking program on the Indiana side of Wolf and thanking me for writing about it many times over the years.
I made the Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show about 3 p.m. Saturday, where I bumped into Caruso. The show runs through 5 this evening.
While I appreciated the compliment, the reality is that the 17-year run of the stocking program is newsworthy simply for the length of it. Let alone that the stocking program has been easy to verify for its success, one reason the Indiana DNR is so helpful with Perch America's citizens' stocking program.
Caruo, shown helping unload the stocking truck a couple years ago, is not the only one who has helped with the stocking, but he is the driving force that keeps it together.
The thought of how long that ran made me think I never truly appreciated what the late Duke O'Malley did with his fishing derby for kids, which ran for more than a quarter century.
(The photo is at an appreciation thrown for him on the South Side some years ago.)
Thinking back and knowing how many good ideas in the outdoors spring to life, then quickly fade away, I never really gave O'Malley his proper due until the end.
I regret that. Should have done it better while he was alive.
Stray Casts is in booth A-54 in the gym. We have a motley crew there. If I make it today it will be right toward the end. Bobby Bergren and his boys came up with the idea for selfies and forced me to do one.
Right across from us is Capt. John Mannerino with his guide service and Rocky's Tackle. He bestowed some of his latest tackle projects on me to try. It is the kind of stuff that should work well on the cooling lakes, at least for me.
We also talked about various doings in the walleye world locally, and there is a lot of stuff going on.
I have a weakness for places that Rich Komar stuffs booths. I also have to laugh when I go to the shop where the boats are shown and there is always a car that the kids are working on.
Maybe the sight of that car up on a hoist just inspires me with hope for American ingenuity. I am a romantic at heart.
The archery stage, including the Ping-Pong challenge at the archery area and the free archery instruction, by Strictly Fishing & Archery in Shorewood is something of note. As of Saturday evening, only two people were successful in pinning a ping-pong ball.