Possible New State Record Walleye

by Justin Clark on April 15, 2011

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The day, March 30th, the weather was nice, and the sun was shining. Brandon Conner, from Ionia, Mi decided to head on down to the 6th St. dam on the Grand River. Joining him was his fiancé and a good buddy Jesse Livingston. The game plan was to get a few hours of center pinning in and catch some steelhead. Brandon caught a nice full chrome steelhead right away. After a quick release it was back to fishing. He started making drifts through the same hole when the bobber just sank, it was right in the same spot he hooked into the chromer, only three drifts before. ” The rod doubled over and the fish stayed right on the bottom just thrashing” Brandon said. The fish did finally come up to the surface and that is when Jesse saw the huge walleye, he yelled out to Brandon “Man that is a HUGE eye!”

Brandon, now knowing he has a huge walleye on ,took it easy on the fish and was careful not to lose it. He got it to shore and that is when his buddy Jesse landed the fish for him “we were in shock we couldn’t believe what we were holding..i knew the fish was in the high teens.” Another angler close by had a Rapala digital scale with him. They placed the fish on the scale and it went 17.80lb., it taped out at 34 3/8th inches.  Brandon was fishing a Custom Centerpin reel made by Danny Hale on a 14ft Raven im8 rod. The fish was caught on a spawn bag.

The walleye was released unharmed back into the water. He went back fishing and ended up getting another steelhead. He took a couple of pics of her and sent her on her way “she gave me nice a splash in the face as she swam away.”

Brandon is a tournament bass fisherman. He qualified to fish in the NBAA classic championship, which is being held on Kentucky Lake. He grew up on Lake Guntersville, bass fishing.  He has sent in all the pics of the fish into the Michigan DNR and has not heard anything back from them as of yet. He is hoping that the fish will be the new state record walleye. The current state record is 17.3lbs caught by Ray Fadely, on the Pine River on January 1, 1951.


I will update this has soon has I hear something back, if this fish will be a new state record.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel April 15, 2011 at 1:57 PM

What this article fails to mention is that wallye season was closed at the time this fish was caught and the fish should have been immediately returned to the water. But essentially Mr. Conner has admitted breaking the law by acknowledging he took the time to find someone with a scale, weight the fish, and take pictures of the fish before releasing it. All the while holding the fish vertically, which is not exactly good for a fish of this size. A state record fish has to be examined by a biologist and weighed on a certified scale, not some digital rapala scale. This whole story stinks and I’m honestly surprised he didn’t get a ticket for mishandling an out of season fish.


cody lieffers April 15, 2011 at 4:21 PM

daniel, you really need to get a life. first off, theres no against the law time frame saying as too how long the fish if kept out of the water, 2nd, brandon has caught more fish then you will ever catch in 2 of your lifetimes, and 3rdly, if the dnr was down there they would have possed with the fish for a picture anyways.. there were 0 laws broke in catching this fish. grow the hell up


Mandy April 15, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Daniel, Sounds to me that you may be a little jealous of Brandons beautiful catch. He stated in his interview that the fish was released. Way to go Brandon!


Matt April 15, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Man!! Thats a nice …… Photo ……. Shop.

And the rules do state that an out of season fish must be immediately released.


Grant lentner April 16, 2011 at 9:06 AM

That’s is one big fish


rnb beats May 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM

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Stan Flower February 12, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Sorry, but that fish should never have been taken out of the water. Slip the hook out or cut the line and let it go. That fish looks DEAD to me.


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