Jeff Kolodzinski (aka "Marathon Man") began fishing for 24 hours straight near Peoria at 9am Wednesday, and hooked over 2,645 fish by 9am on Thursday.

Although I'm not a fisherman, I've gotta say that is very impressive. Having been fishing maybe three times in my life and catching a grand total of 1 fish, I've thought someone hauling in 5 fish was pretty cool.

What I find to be even cooler is the reason Jeff did what he did.

Kolodzinski set out with a 10-foot pole and live bait to fund-raise for the nonprofit Fishing For Life’s NextGen program, which provides outdoor programs and mentorship for children of military families.

As of last Friday morning, over $15,000 had been raised toward his $20,000 goal.

Jeff is not a newbie to the sport of fishing, as last year he set the Guinness World Record for most fish caught in a day when he hooked 2,172 fish in 24 hours at Giant Goose Ranch, which also happens to be here in Illinois.

So, one guy is responsible for catching nearly 5,000 fish. In 48 hours. You could turn me loose at the Shedd Aquarium for a month with a drift-net and I wouldn't even come close to that number.

Maybe it's just the fish in Illinois. With all the people looking to leave the state, maybe the fish are following suit, and Jeff was their ticket across state lines.

Here's Jeff's take on things:

My true passion has always been to introduce people – especially families – to the sport of fishing. Partnering with Fishing For Life and Sankoty Lakes Resort and Retreat is my way of giving back to the sport that’s given me so much, while bringing awareness to a program that supports our military heroes and their families. Along the way, I think we can show people how great the sport of fishing really is — how it promotes nature, healthy relationships, mental health, camaraderie, and fun.

 

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