Update from "Chatsworth Illinois Memories"
By Scott Richardson | Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 7:00 am
It’s funny how events we expect to be routine can turn out to change our lives.
That was true about a fishing trip I took in March 1992. I was looking for stories for Hook, Line & Sinker, the fishing column that appears on Thursdays in the sports section.
I phoned Bob “Kaz” Kaczkowski and his wife, Bev, who ran the Masters Walleye Circuit, which begins its season every year with a March event at Spring Valley on the Illinois River. I asked them to hook me up with a MWC angler, preferably one from Illinois, who could take me fishing on the river for a story.
I remember Kaz said, “I know just the guy.”
The guy turned out to be Ted Takasaki, a native of Chatsworth in Livingston County. He became one of my best friends. We’ve written articles together for some of the largest fishing magazines in North America for the past 18 years. That’s why I was ecstatic when he phoned recently to say he’d been voted as a “legendary angler” into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wis. Just 121 anglers have reached that pinnacle since the Hall was founded in the early 1980s.
When we met, Ted was just 34, a computer systems salesman with Hewlett Packard based in Chicago. His fishing partner was John Campbell, who also worked for Hewlett Packard. They’d fished together since they met at the University of Illinois. They’d decided to enter the MWC event on a lark a few years earlier when they saw a booth about it at a sports show.
The Takasaki/Campbell team reigned as the 1991 MWC Team of the Year when we first shook hands at the dock at Barto’s Landing in Spring Valley.
One year Ted won Top Gun honors for being the most consistent angler in the Professional Walleye Tour. Another year, he won the PWT championship. He set a one-day record for the PWT on Lake Erie with five fish over 50 pounds. More recently, he’s among the top competitors on the FLW Walleye Tour.
He’s a familiar face on many top fishing shows on television. He left the computer business and was president of Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle until this year after the company was sold.
You might not expect someone born in downstate Illinois to become one of the most famous walleye fishermen in America, a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame with people like Al and Ron Lindner, Spence Petros and a small hand-picked group of others, including Bill Binkleman, Babe Winkelman and Bill Dance. Ted’s dad taught him to fish for bluegills and bass in farm ponds near Chatsworth.
Today, Ted is possibly the most versatile walleye fisherman in America.
His expert fishing knowledge, coupled with his ready smile and upbeat personality, make him an exemplary ambassador for the sport.
Legendary anglers are people who’ve made a lasting contribution to fishing.
I know he’s made a lasting contribution to my life. I’m proud to call him friend.
Learn more about the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame at www.freshwater-fishing.org.
Scott Richardson is Pantagraph outdoor editor. Contact him at (309) 820-3227 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Share stories and read past outdoor and fishing columns at www.pantagraph.com/blogs.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Pantagraph Article on Ted Takasaki: "