"I'm just so proud of him," says wife, Joyce Chupa, seen here with her husband the morning after the catch.
"I'm just so proud of him," says wife, Joyce Chupa, seen here with her husband the morning after the catch. Courtesy of John Harrison
As midnight neared on October 10, 2009, Twin Falls, Idaho, angler Mike Chupa landed what is now confirmed as his home state’s largest walleye ever taken on hook and line. The fish weighed 17 pounds 12 ounces. Click through the photos at left for more. Courtesy of John Harrison
The fish came from Oakley Reservoir, in south central Idaho, and hit a vintage Storm Suspending Thunderstick at 11:45 p.m. Chupa’s Rapala Digital Scale weighed the fish at 18 pounds 4 ounces right after the catch. Courtesy of John Harrison
Chupa’s buddy, John Harrison (left), was fishing with him and netted the fish. “Man, I don’t know what I would have done without his help,” says Chupa. “I could have easily lost the fish, and wouldn’t have nearly the documentation had he not been there. He really came through for me.” Courtesy of John Harrison
Here’s Chupa’s record-setting fish being measured by Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) fisheries biologist Doug Megargle. It was 33 inches long… Courtesy of John Harrison
…and had a girth of 21 inches.”She was a fat one,” says Chupa, a construction superintendent. Oakley Reservoir’s walleye grow quickly on a diet of perch and stocked rainbow trout. Courtesy of John Harrison
The fish, seen here being weighed again by Megargle, was originally confirmed on a certified scale at 1 a.m. at Helen’s Richardson Service, a TK KIND OF SHOP nearby one of the reservoir’s boat launches, in the town of Richardson. Courtesy of John Harrison
Chupa was trolling his Thunderstick (Naturalistic Perch-colored) in 3 to 4 feet of water, only 26 feet behind the boat. “The boat was in 9 foot of water, and we were trolling a along a steep bank of the reservoir,” he said. His line was 10-pound-test Crystal FireLine with a 3-foot leader of green 10-pound-test Stren monofilament. His reel was a Shimano Chronarch baitcaster and his rod a 7-foot medium-light G. Loomis GLX spinning rod.
“The fish hit three times, like nearly all the walleye do in Oakley,’ says Chupa. “It’s like they try and stun it with the first strike, kill it with the second strike, and eat it on the third.” Courtesy of John Harrison
Even before catching the record fish, Chupa was having his best night of walleye fishing ever.”About an hour before I caught her, I had landed one that was then my largest to date – a 13.4-pounder (fish on right).” Chupa landed 10 walleye that night, including two more over 10 pounds. Courtesy of John Harrison
The 17-pound 12-ounce walleye was officially made Idaho’s new state record in the early morning of October 13, 2009. Courtesy of John Harrison
“I’m just so proud of him,” says wife, Joyce Chupa, seen here with her husband the morning after the catch. Courtesy of John Harrison
Chupa’s catch replaces Idaho’s old state-record walleye, a 17-pound 6-ounce brute taken by Mark Abe in October, 2006, in Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir. Courtesy of John Harrison
The 53-year-old is an avid walleye angler. “In fact, that’s all I fish for nowadays,” he adds. He’s been fishing walleye tournam Courtesy of John Harrison