Armed with a jig and fierce determination, this Montana man has shattered his state’s walleye record with a 3-foot-long behemoth.
In the months since August 2020, Montana anglers have broken six state records. Now, local Helena fisherman Trevor Johnson is adding a 7th to the list.
Johnson managed to bring in a whopper of a walleye on May 10 armed with a jig. Not just any whopper, either, but a record-shattering, nearly 3-foot-long monster from the depths of Holter Lake outside Helena.
The angler’s walleye weighs in at 18.02 pounds on a certified scale, details Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Region 4 on Thursday. And at 32.25 inches in length – with an incredible 22 inch girth – Johnson’s walleye is absolutely worthy of the record books.
According to Montana FWP’s official Facebook, the previous state walleye record was set in 2007. Johnson beat out this previous record-holder by under a pound. His 18.02 walleye skirts over the 17.75 big’un from over a decade ago, placing a new high for the species in Montana. The previous record-holder was caught in the Tiber Reservoir.
In their post celebrating Johnson’s walleye whopper, Region 4 cites “other recent state record fish” as:
- Chinook salmon record broken in August 2020
- Smallmouth bass record broken in October 2020
- Yellow bullhead record broken in December 2020
- Brown trout record broken in February 2021
- Longnose sucker record broken in March 2021
- Largemouth bass record broken in April 2021
- And now Trevor Johnson’s walleye record broken in May 2021
What a lineup, Montana!
Looking to Break an Angling Record in Montana? Here’s What You Need to Know
Speaking to this remarkable string of record breakers, Region 4 cites that “With a total of 91 native and introduced fish species found in Montana, interest in fish records has increased in recent years. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks maintains the list of record fish, and it is available on FWP’s website,” they add below Johnson’s record walleye, which you can see above.
If you’re looking to break a Montana state (fish) record for yourself, you’re in luck. FWP also includes these tips & tricks on how fellow MT anglers can correctly approach state records:
“Anglers who think they caught a state record fish should keep the following things in mind:
· To prevent loss of weight, do not clean or freeze the fish. Keep the fish cool — preferably on ice.
· Take a picture of the fish.”
Most importantly, however, FWP notes that “The fish must be weighed on a certified scale (found in grocery stores or hardware stores, etc.) and witnessed by a store employee or other observer.”
So don’t forget! Also be sure to “obtain a weight receipt and an affidavit from the store personnel if no FWP official is present. Measure the length and girth. · Contact the nearest FWP office to have the fish positively identified by a fisheries biologist.”
Keep on anglin‘, Montana!