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Watch: How Illinois Fishermen Turned the Invasive Asian Carp Into a Business Model

How to Make It spends the day on the Illinois river

Spending a day fishing Asian carp in the Illinois river has proven to be one of those experiences that resonates with me long after. A career in kitchens may have given me a “I can handle anything” mentality that generally prepares me to walk in to any work environment, but I found myself at the bottom of the totem pole during my time on the river with captain Orion Briney.

The day started at 5:00 a.m. on a rainy, cold morning before Briney drove us out to his secret fishing spot. As soon as the boat started moving, fish started actually flying — agitated by the warmer than usual water temperature. We cast nets and completed two hauls, the second time going out farther and casting deeper. I quickly learned we weren’t going back to shore unless we had our baseline of 10,000 pounds of carp.

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