While you were dreaming of catching fish last night, a crew was pulling some pretty hefty walleye out of the Columbia, including two new boat records for a local guide.
Four fish with a combined weight of nearly 60 pounds came over the gunnel for Tri-Cities angler Jerry Han, a local dentist, and two friends.
“We were hoping to get a quality fish or two, but never expected what was about to happen!” Han emailed just after 2:00 this morning as he thawed out from his late evening on the water.
With the moon coming off full, they were out with Isaac Case, who has been posting a string of pics of nice-sized ‘eyes caught in the overnight hours in recent days and weeks.
“We trolled plugs for a little while and had nothing for an hour or so and then my buddy Chad Dawson hooked up and landed a huge walleye that went 15 pounds, 11 ounces,” Han reports.
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“We thought that was great and would have been happy, but I got the next one at 11 pounds, 11 ounces. Then my buddy Ken Howard got one at 13 pounds, 3 ounces,” he says.
“The star of show, however, was the next fish that Ken caught that shoved the scale to 18 pounds, 13 ounces! The 15-pounder was the new boat record that lasted four hours until the almost 19-pounder came along,” Han notes.
If this was still the first years of the millennium, it would have been a new Washington record fish too. The current high mark is John Grubenhoff’s 20.32-pound walleye, caught in late February 2014.
WDFW doesn’t do creel checks for the species, but local fisheries biologist Paul Hoffarth tries to keep up on the scene.
“Heard they were doing well this winter. Decent numbers and mostly nice fish, size wise,” Hoffarth notes.
So, uhhh, Jerry, what sort of setup did you say the skipper was running, again?
“I can say that color didn’t seem to matter, as all the fish bit a different plug each time,” he cagely reveals.
“I can say for sure that it was pretty rough getting up this morning — thank goodness for coffee!”
You can say that again!