I'm the bird expert at WQED but when it comes to fish, talk to Sam Hall. Sam works in the Finance Department but his real love is fishing. He and I trade stories about great outdoor places. He knows rivers, lakes and streams; I know forests and fields. Often our favorite places overlap but this week I learned a new one.
On Monday morning Sam sent me this picture from his cell phone. Here he is on the wild shores of Coraopolis holding the Monster of the Ohio. Who knew a walleye this big lurked near Neville Island?
It was nearly dusk last Saturday when Sam felt a nibble on his line - not a fish this big. He thinks a smaller fish was going for the bait when this big guy came in to eat it. Zap!
The Monster was hard to land. Sam says river walleye are muscular because they swim against the current all the time. Sam's line was strong enough to pull the fish through the water, but when he got it to shore the line was too weak to land him so Sam had to push him out by hand. The fish bit him. Undaunted, Sam got the walleye out of the water, detached the hook and asked some people nearby to take his picture. Then he let him go.
By Sam's estimate this walleye is about 30 inches long. Who knows what he weighs!
As Sam wrote: "Saturday evening at the mouth of Montour Run as it goes into the Ohio, at least 5 pounds bigger than any walleye I have ever caught in the rivers. Thought you guys would get a kick out of these pix. Just a photo opportunity for he and I together and now he is swimming around there again. Might go back and see if he wants to chat again this coming weekend. He took a nice chunk of my left index finger and thumb with him, might have a taste for human flesh now."
The Monster's back in the Ohio, folks. Watch out!
(photo from Sam Hall)