Big walleye, a boat story & Heidecke Lake: Fish of the Week

SHARE Big walleye, a boat story & Heidecke Lake: Fish of the Week
SHARE Big walleye, a boat story & Heidecke Lake: Fish of the Week

Sometimes, Fish of the Week is not just the fish, but the story of it. Say the fish story, or in John Carlson’s case, the boat story.

His story is good enough that I am posting it as emailed (with paragraph breaks added by me):

My son recently acquired a 1971 Thompson Sea Gull and we got it running and my brother Tom and I decided to take it to Heidecke for a test run. Of course we brought fishing gear along in case everything went well. We were backing the boat in when a young couple came running up to us and asked for a jump. They thought their battery was dead. We completed the launch and I pulled my truck over to their vehicle and proceeded to jump their car. Success! As I left they said Thanks hope you get a big one . They must have been psychic. We started the boat, the electric choke worked great and I was thinking to myself, this boat might be OK. We pulled out of the small harbor and gave the motor some gas and up on plane we went. I told my brother geez this thing is running good. Let’s go under the bridge and fish the north side where my wife and I had done well Saturday evening and my son and I had done REAL well Sunday morning. The boat does not have a trolling motor but light winds out of the northeast allowed us to do what we needed to do. We started fishing at 4:30. 2 nd cast yielded a nice smallmouth. Then after about 15 more minutes I lost something substantial. We completed our drift and I told Tom,let’s go back through there. We did and very close to the same spot I hooked up again. I could tell this fish was no striper, after a couple minutes or so I raised the fish high enough to see it. My brother put down his rod realizing this was a serious fish. We boated an absolutely beautiful 27 1/2 inch walleye. We did not weigh it but I am quite sure it was over 7 pounds. Quit fishing at 7 to allow time to get the boat out for the first time. We ended up with 4 Walleyes 19 3/4, 20, 22, and of course the 27 1/2. 4 large catfish between 5 and 8 pounds, 1 striper about 5 pounds and numerous Smallies. Pretty simple fishing, light line, split shot, hook and either fatheads or crawlers.

Simple fishing is the best, I sometimes think.

FOTW, the celebration of big fish and good stories, runs Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page. The story part matters as much as the big fish part, as Carlson’s story shows.

Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (

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