I arrived in North Central Iowa in December of 2008 and waited out the winter with high expectations of the fishing I would be able to do come spring.
Once spring arrived I began traveling around the countryside finding as many places to fish as I could and trying them out. I was told, by many of the folks I worked with, that I needed to catch a Walleye. I have had little experience, other than trout and bass fishing, seeking out the varieties of pike and looked forward to this.
I was fishing one of the state ponds one day, using a red skirted spinner, and as it crossed the boundary from the bottom grass to the clearer border of the pond, I got the strike. It wasn't tremendous or anything and initially I thought I had another bass. When I brought it toward shore I realized this was a walleye. I had the fish on the edge, it really hadn't fought that hard, and it started to roll. This rolling caused the spinner to come loose and I was afraid that if he flopped once I would lose him. He was laying right by the shore in about 2 - 3 inches of water so I reached down and scooped him between my legs up onto the shore. I brought him up to the top of the bank and realized I had quite a big fish. I ran to get my 5 gallon bucket to put him in and also brought back my scale and tape. The fish measured 26 in. and weighed just under 10 lb. I thought, 'great, my first Walleye'. I really didn't think that much of it, I have caught much bigger fish in the past, although those were mostly saltwater. In any event, I brought him home and my neighbor came over and became quite excited when he saw the fish. He said it was one of the biggest he had seen and larger than any he had ever caught. He had his wife come over to take some pictures, which I will post if I can. One of my co-workers was a bit upset with the picture when I showed it to him. He said, "I have been fishing Walleye for 20 yrs and have never caught one that big."
Had I realized that what I had caught was really that significant I probably would have had it mounted but as it was he ended up on my grill. Fortunately, I have the pictures as evidence of the catch. Unfortunately, size and wieght were never officially recorded. I understand, from others, I probably had caught a Walleye that could have been recorded as a significant catch.
I had to resize the picture a number of times to get it to upload. Hope it is viewable.