The day, March 30th, the weather was nice, and the sun was shining. Brandon Conner, from Ionia, Mi decided to head on down to the 6th St. dam on the Grand River. Joining him was his fiancé and a good buddy Jesse Livingston. The game plan was to get a few hours of center pinning in and catch some steelhead. Brandon caught a nice full chrome steelhead right away. After a quick release it was back to fishing. He started making drifts through the same hole when the bobber just sank, it was right in the same spot he hooked into the chromer, only three drifts before. ” The rod doubled over and the fish stayed right on the bottom just thrashing” Brandon said. The fish did finally come up to the surface and that is when Jesse saw the huge walleye, he yelled out to Brandon “Man that is a HUGE eye!”
Brandon, now knowing he has a huge walleye on ,took it easy on the fish and was careful not to lose it. He got it to shore and that is when his buddy Jesse landed the fish for him “we were in shock we couldn’t believe what we were holding..i knew the fish was in the high teens.” Another angler close by had a Rapala digital scale with him. They placed the fish on the scale and it went 17.80lb., it taped out at 34 3/8th inches. Brandon was fishing a Custom Centerpin reel made by Danny Hale on a 14ft Raven im8 rod. The fish was caught on a spawn bag.
The walleye was released unharmed back into the water. He went back fishing and ended up getting another steelhead. He took a couple of pics of her and sent her on her way “she gave me nice a splash in the face as she swam away.”
Brandon is a tournament bass fisherman. He qualified to fish in the NBAA classic championship, which is being held on Kentucky Lake. He grew up on Lake Guntersville, bass fishing. He has sent in all the pics of the fish into the Michigan DNR and has not heard anything back from them as of yet. He is hoping that the fish will be the new state record walleye. The current state record is 17.3lbs caught by Ray Fadely, on the Pine River on January 1, 1951.
I will update this has soon has I hear something back, if this fish will be a new state record.
Update: due the walleye being caught in closed waters it will not be a new state record. It does qualify for a catch and release master angler award.