World Record Walleye Caught in Saskatchewan

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World Record Walleye Caught in Saskatchewan!

On January 5, 2011, Tim Geni of Wilcox Saskatchewan caught and released a 33-3/4-inch (86-cm) walleye with a robust 19-3/8-inch girth at Last Mountain Lake. Up to that point, the current catch and release record ice walleye was a 32 inch walleye that was previously caught and released at Tobin Lake in 1998. On February 23, 2011, Geni got word that his whopper walleye was officially recognized as the World Record Live Release Winter Walleye in Division #4 Line/Pole-Ice Fishing category.

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The day Geni caught the record fish he was fishing with a bunch of friends, including Pat O’Grady the designer of PK Lures and the camera crew of No Excuses Outdoors T.V. It was one of the few mild days in January and the temperature was just below the freezing mark making it pleasant to be on the ice. Early in the morning, the group of anglers had drilled a series of holes over a rock shelf 6.4 metre below their feet. The action was fairly steady and the anglers had caught a few fish including a couple over 65 centimetres.

At 9:30, that morning, history was made. In Geni’s own words, he says “I was aggressively working a 3/8 oz Pearl Chartreuse PK Lure jigging spoon tied to four pound test fluorocarbon line. I was using a sharp snap and pause drop presentation to allow the spoon to flutter horizontally as it settles, because I’ve found this is a really effective way to draw walleye to the fishing area under my hole.  Suddenly, a wide bright red blip appeared on the screen of my flasher unit, indicating a big fish right on the bottom.  Immediately I stopped ripping the spoon and just started giving it little twitches. Even though this fish was belly to bottom, I was still able to separate its signal from the structure and guided my lure closer to it. Almost immediately I felt a tap and set the hook. After three strong runs, I guided the fish to just beneath my hole and saw her large head swim by the bottom of the hole. At that point, I knew it was an enormous walleye and my knees started shaking. Thanks to nearby friends Ron Ross and Ben Scherg, the monster fish was soon landed in my hands.”

While they weren’t anticipating a world record catch, Geni was optimistic about catching some Last Mountain Lake lunkers and was prepared in the event they did so. As an accomplished tournament angler Geni has caught and released in excess of twenty 5.4 – 6.8 kilograms (12 – 15 pound) walleye and is experienced at handling big walleye in both open water and ice fishing conditions. When icefishing, he uses a big cooler full of lake water to temporarily hold the fish and help them recuperate prior to release. After a couple of quick photos and a measurement, the fish is placed in the cooler of water to ensure it is healthy, stable and full revived prior to being released. Once they are ready to go, he simply lifts them out and releases them down hole.

Geni and his partners were ecstatic when they saw the fish he had just caught exceeded the world record measurement held by his late friend Doug Gane of Nipawin.  When the fish was ready to go back, Tim lifted it from the cooler and placed it head first in the hole it had come out of. The fish gave two strong tail flaps and swam aggressively out of Tim’s hand to be caught another day.

Saskatchewan has long been known for big walleye, especially lakes like Last Mountain, Diefenbaker and Tobin and it seems winter is the time to catch such lunkers. In January 2005, Reverend Mariusz Zajac iced an enormous 18.3-pound walleye from Tobin Lake and that fish is the current World Record in the Ice Fishing Rod and Reel, Kept Category.  For information on world record fish categories and measurements, go to www.freshwater-fishing.org.

Find Out Where To Catch World Record Walleye HERE

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