Brian Hartman started off the 2018 walleye fishing in a memorable way. He caught a fish on the St. Lawrence River that’s since been declared a state record.Hartman, of Alexandria Bay, NY, shared his story with NYup.com .
Hartman and his fishing buddy, Mike Savoia, of Connecticut, headed off from a rented house on the river in Morristown at 4:30 a.m. opening day. They started off drifting and jigging. Hartman was using a 4-inch, pearl-colored swimbait. They picked up a few small walleyes early on. Then, at 6 a.m., Hartman hooked the big one. The bite was slight at first, he said, but there was no doubt he had a lunker on after he set the hook.
His initial thought was to let the fish go as he said he has done countless times before with big ones he’s caught. His buddy even urged him to do it. But this time, he felt things were different. “This one goes on the wall,” he said.
He had the 32-inch fish weighed three times before a certified scale at the Thousand Island Bait Shop in Alexandria Bay, NY registered the fish’s official weight at 18-pounds, two ounces.
The weight eclipsed the previous state record set in 2009 by more than 1.5 pounds.
The old record was actually set during the ice fishing season and caught with a tip up. Thomas Reed of Kill Buck, N.Y. pulled a 16-pound 9-ounce walleye through the ice on Mystic Lake in Cattaraugus County, NY in late January.
(article by David Figura)