Barbs and Backlashes

The biggest walleye I ever handled by whitetips
March 19, 2010, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: ,

Someone asked me the other day what the biggest walleye was that I ever had my hands on.  You all know that I love big fish, big specimens of any species, so I always love to talk about them!  Anyway, I thought I would share my reply to that question with all of you.

I have handled thousands of Nebraska walleyes, most of those captured while “on the job” while helping with egg collections, tagging studies or annual population sampling.  But I have dried a few off while fishing too.  I have held one walleye that weighed 13 pounds.  That was a female, full of eggs, caught while we were collecting walleye eggs at Harlan.  She was caught in a net during a snowstorm and I had the privilege of “squeezing” a couple of quarts of eggs from her.  We weighed that fish before taking the eggs and she was 13+ pounds.

Yes, it was a few years ago, but here is that 13-pound Harlan County Reservoir beauty!

And here I am "squeezing" a couple quarts of quality eggs from her. It helps to whisper in their ear.

I have seen one other walleye that I believe might have been that big at Sherman Reservoir.  Again she was captured while we were collecting walleye eggs at Sherman.  We did not weigh that fish, but I believe she might have been near 13 pounds.

In all of those thousands of walleyes, I have seen hundreds of 8 and 9-pounders.  I have seen a few dozen that would weigh 10 pounds.  But, let me tell you, any walleye bigger than that in Nebraska waters is a rare fish.

The biggest walleye I have caught on hook & line was a 29.5-inch fish I caught at Branched Oak.  That fish was caught in the fall and I would guess her weight at 9.5-10 pounds.  I never weighed her and released her after snapping a couple of photos, so you will have to accept my estimate on the weight.

Again it was a few years ago, and I really wish I had a better picture because so far this is the biggest walleye I have caught.

OH YEAH, of course she went back in the water! I intend to catch her again!

Speaking of big walleyes, I just got my April 2010 issue of NEBRASKAland magazine, .  Eric Fowler has a story in there, Year of the Walleye, you will want to see it!

I love big fish, big specimens of any species, and that includes big walleyes!  I need to catch more of those big “whitetips” this year!

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