My wife, Linda, and I were fishing a mid-lake reef in Big Bay on July 19, 2011.
We had been fishing for ~1.5 hours and had caught and released a 22" and a 19"
and we had 3 nice "eaters" in the box. Our bait was a 1/2 crawler with a float
and a bead. Linda casually said " I have a tap". The fish eventually ran with
the bait and she set the hook. At first, we thought that it was just another
really nice slot walleye. Five minutes later, having actually lost line during
the battle, I began to wonder who was going to win this fight. Linda has
bursitis of the shoulders and wrists and this fish was really working her over.
Everytime the fish even got close to the boat, it would rip off several yards of
line. Linda's drag worked perfectly. There was a considerable amount of time
where she neither gained or lost anything in somewhat of a stalemate. Eventually,
the fish came up under the front of the boat. At first, I saw her sinker, then
her float, and when that monster of a walleye came out from underneath that boat,
I nearly fell overboard! If we would have lost that fish, I would swear to this
day that she had hooked and lost the new state record. I quickly changed to our
big net and we managed to net the big fish. Immediately, our greatest concern
was the survival of that fish. We left the net in the water and only removed
the fish twice: once to snap a couple of pictures and then to quickly measure
the monster. I measure our walleyes in a "hog trough", a plastic board that is
concave and has inch measurements out to 30". This fish covered the entire board
and the tail extended well beyond the 30" end mark! We quickly measured to the
middle of her tail and came up with 31.5"+! I'm sure the accurate length measurement
would be well over 32" but that brings up another part of our story. I caught a
32" walleye on May 31, 2011. Jokingly, I told my wife that her fish was just a
tad smaller than mine. We released both fish unharmed. Attached are pictures of
both of our walleyes. I'm guessing her's weighed over 13#'s. You decide which
is biggest.
Respectfully Submitted,
Mark and Linda Baumeister
Lake Vermilion/Tower, MN