Reservoir walleye no longer a state record
An Allegheny Reservoir walleye has seen its reign as a state record fish come to an end.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission recently announced a new state record for a fish caught in the Youghiogheny River in October.
“We were fishing the bottom along the edge of a sandbar, just having a nice time being on the river,” Richard Nicholson, 62, Connellsville, Fayette County, explained. “Conditions were good, and we were catching fish right away. Before we knew it, we landed a big sauger and then a 27-inch walleye that weighed about nine pounds. It turned out to be only the start of the best day ever.”
Nicholson continued to fish the same hole, when at around 6:45 p.m., he recalled his son yelling to alert him that something was tugging hard on his fishing line.
“I looked over and the rod had really taken a bend, so I grabbed it and just started reeling,” said Nicholson. “I knew right away it was something big, and I thought maybe it was a musky. It fought me for about 25 minutes before I got it up on the bank and my son got it in the net, and we could see it was a walleye. It was so big that it actually broke the net.”
The final measurements came in at 34 inches and 18 pounds, 1 ounce.
That trumps a record held by Mike Holly of Bradford who caught a 17-pound, 9-ounce walleye on the reservoir back in 1980.
“I like to eat fish, so I wasn’t after the record, but if this inspires somebody else to get out there and fish, then it’s all worth it to me,” Nicholson said. “We need more people out there fishing. That’s what it’s all about.”
Two other state records remain on the Allegheny — one each on the reservoir and river.
A 35-pound northern pike was caught by a Bradford man on the reservoir while a 12-pound, 14-ounce sucker was caught by a Titusville man on the river in Forest County. Both of those records were set in 2003.