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A Walleye Kinda Day

Al Agnew

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Hog Wally texted me last night and said he was thinking about going out today and did I want to go.  I told him Mary wanted me out of the house, so that would be perfect.  Of course, the weather didn't look very good when I got up at 7 AM.  Rain.  Cold.  Well, at least no wind.  These days I live less than 2 miles from Hog Wally, so it didn't take long to get there.  He said his wife was sure I'd cancel because of the weather, but he knows me better than she does.

The idea was to fish a certain area of the river where he had found a bunch of bass.  But we both talked about the fact that it was a walleye kind of day, dark, gloomy, rainy, cool...Not many people know how to catch walleye on the river better than Hog Wally, and he said the places we were going to be fishing had some big walleye.  But this wasn't Black River, or Current River, where the really big walleye are.  We figured we'd catch a couple nice ones if we were lucky.

I caught a 16 inch smallmouth on my first cast at the first place we stopped, but although I got a couple other bites, we caught nothing else there.  So we headed on to the place where we really wanted to fish.  The bass were there.  Again I caught a nice spotted bass on the first cast on a jerkbait, and we fished along the rocky bank, catching some smallish smallies.  Then we got to a nice dropoff coming out of the riffle, and HW hooked a big fish.  When he got it up within sight, he was all excited.  "It's a big walleye!  A real big walleye."  He netted it.  Laid it on his measuring board, which goes to 26 inches.  It was a couple inches past the end of the board.  I guessed it at a good 6 pounds.  He said that fish made the day for him, and I agreed.IMG_1263.jpgIt was far too pretty a fish to keep.  He released it.  A few casts later, he got another walleye, this one about 22 inches, and he decided to keep it to go with the spotted bass we were keeping.  Then he got a third fish, this time a nice sauger.  It went in the live well, too.

We drifted down the pool, picking up bass now and then.  Finally HW suggested we go back up and try that walleye spot one more time.  He hooked another big fish.  "This one's big...really big...OH MY GOD!"  

I've seen some big walleye on Black River, but this rivaled some of those fish.  The northern Ozark streams just don't produce the huge walleye that Black and Current do, but here was the exception.  I netted it eventually...IMG_1268.jpgHis scales, which are pretty accurate, settled at 11.95 pounds.  I believe this might be the biggest walleye I've ever heard of coming from the Meramec. It was certainly HW's personal best from there.

Yup...it was a walleye kinda day.

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Beautiful trophy walleye! What a fabulous trip for you both!


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