man holds large walleye
The walleye is both a lake and state reecord. SCDNR

A pair of South Carolina anglers boated a state-record walleye over Memorial Day weekend. Chris Edlund, of Spartanburg, reeled in the 10-pound, 1.44-ounce walleye on May 29 at Lake Tugalo, and his fishing partner, Dave Starzek, of Greer, netted the fish. Edlund and Starzek said they hit the water by 6:30 a.m. and had been trolling for less than two hours when they hooked the walleye.

“When it surfaced, we got excited and knew if that wasn’t a record, it was going to be close,” Edlund said, according to a SCDNR news release provided to F&S. The fish edged out the standing South Carolina record walleye, a 10.0-pounder caught in Lake Russell in 1994 by Robert Huskins. Because South Carolina regulations state that any fish weighing less than 25 pounds must exceed a record by at least two ounces in order to replace it, Edlund’s fish will share the record with Huskins’s walleye.

man holds big walleye vertically
The walleye was caught while trolling. SCDNR

Walleye are not widely distributed in South Carolina, but the state does have a reproducing population in the Tugalo River arm of Lake Hartwell. Hartwell was one of four lakes targeted in a walleye stocking program from 1962 to 1972 and the only one to have a viable reproducing population today.

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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources also stocks walleye in Lake Tugalo, the 597-acre mountain reservoir on the Georgia-South Carolina border operated by Georgia Power Company where Edlund made his recent catch. Edlund and Starzek’s catch was not only a state record, but it also set a new lake record for Tugalo, topping an 8-pound, 15.02-ounce walleye caught in 2014 by Phyllis Henderson.