On Wednesday, January 25, an angler from Northhampton, Pennsylvania named Ed Green hooked into a giant walleye while ice fishing in Lake Ontario’s Chaumont Bay. After an intense fight, Green hauled in a walleye that weighed a whopping 16.3 pounds—just two pounds shy of the New York state record. According to his guide, Louis Pagnotti, it’s likely the biggest walleye that’s ever been pulled through the ice on Chaumont Bay.
“Louis at Chaumont Masters called me that week and said he could almost guarantee good fishing if I came up,” Green told Field & Stream. “He’s really got those fish dialed in so I said, ‘I’ll be there.'” Green and his wife, Charlene, joined Pagnotti on the ice and immediately got into fish. On their first day out, they caught full limits of healthy walleye and perch. But the fishing got even better on day two.
“There were marks everywhere on the fish finder screen,” Green said. “We were running Panoptix with that new jigging Rapala—the Shadow Rap. We had the jigs tipped with minnow heads. They could not resist those things.” Around 4 p.m. in the afternoon, something massive took the bait.
“I didn’t know what the hell I had on,” he said. “I fought it for 15 minutes. The best part was getting it up to the surface. It was the coolest thing ever. My wife and I were sitting in the shack next to each other, and we see this giant thing moving around beneath us. We could see it really clearly because the ice was so thin.”
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Green’s fish measured 31 1/4 inches and sported a 20-inch girth. The New York state record walleye was caught in the St. Lawrence River, not far from Chaumont Bay. That fish weighed 18 pounds, 2 ounces. According to Green, it was caught during the spring spawning season, when walleye tend to be at their heaviest. “I think the next state record is probably going to come out of that same area,” Green said. “I ended up letting this fish go. But who knows, come early May, it could put on another pound or two.”