A Very Large Walleye, Or Two?

Late last Friday afternoon, just after I left the office, I got emails from two guys in the walleye world wondering if I’d heard of a very large, potential Washington state-record walleye landed the day before.

I have to admit that I didn’t read those emails until coming back to the office yesterday, but it immediately set off red-alert alarm bells at HQ.

Ms. Piggy, you’re on next!

(And what timing too, especially with where and how to catch whopper walleye articles in the Columbia system in our February issue!!)

With the standing state record at 19.3 pounds, I began dialing frantically. Biologists, enforcement officers, the state capitol — surely someone official must have weighed something somewhere sometime!!!

Twenty-four hours later and, well, I don’t have any definitive proof that a 20-plus was landed … because the person who says he caught it, Kurt Sonderman, turned it loose instead of having it officially weighed in.


Or is it?

Goes with this guy’s character. He’s said to be “real adamant about releasing big fish.” Thems the breeding stock, after all. Even has told folks on his boat they were only photographing the big girls, then letting them go.

I didn’t speak to Sonderman directly (have only managed to get in touch with him a couple times in my years in this biz), but Leroy Ledeboer did reach him somewhere way down in the Blue Mountains, where he goes to get the hell away from it all.

The catch, he told Leroy, was witnessed by friends fishing nearby.

“He said if he’d been alone, (news of the catch) wouldn’t have gotten out there,” Leroy tells me.

Rumors grew.

Indeed, a lot of things are unclear about this whole escapade, starting with whether photos were taken, the accuracy of whatever scale the fish was weighed on, whether length and girth measurements were taken (which we could then plug into standard fish-size calculators), etc.

I don’t think Sonderman would bullshit Leroy. I’m tempted to believe he let her go because of how he feels about large fish.

But at the end of the day, we’re left with someone’s word that the very large walleye they hooked was over 20 pounds.

Or two were.

As his story goes, his wife had an even bigger one, but it got loose at the boat.

So he’s not really too willing to attract attention to his Tri-Cities-area honey hole.

Till he catches the she-piggy.

And bonks it.

One Response to “A Very Large Walleye, Or Two?”

  1. Mark Wells Says:

    I commend this man for simply releasing a possible record walleye. I beleive he did catch a 20+ lb walleye and thanx to folks like him, the future is bright for many more trophy size walleyes in that system.
    Congrats and thanx for putting her back. You have my respect.
    Mark Wells
    Cascade Musky Association

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