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FLXTrolling

Hemlock 36" Walleye - Hemlock 7/31

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Hemlock is absolutely gorgeous and I've been fortunate to have a pretty good Rainbow program dialed in over there this summer.  The scenery, combined with my luck out there made it the perfect spot to bring my buddy who was in visiting from NYC.

 

We were running Big Tuff "Jet Style" Divers in the 40 size behind planer boards, back 85 & 95 - Slide Divers on 50# braid, setting 2, back 100 & 125, and 2 downrigger rods parked at 27' & 37' respectively...  We ran a wide array of Finger Lakes Tackle Spoons in both Standard & Magnum sizes.  We caught 2 smaller size Rainbows, both on the 95' Diver behind the board - on a standard size FLT spoon in the "Dirty Goose Pounding" pattern.

 

Around 9:30 am - over 80' of water - the board pulling the 85' diver goes under.  The rod starts bending like crazy, but the fish wasn't taking any drag and there was no splash of silver behind the board.  After I managed to get the board off, we could see the fish was really bull dogging us downward.  I immediately thought we had a decent to large sized Laker on the line.  As the fish got closer to the boat I looked down in the water and saw a flash of yellow.  What the H#!!?  Carp?  The biggest Bass in history?  Walleye was not even on my radar - the next time I saw the fish it dawned on me that there is a mythical population of Walleyes in Hemlock, stocked by some Rod & Club many years ago, and that was what we had on the line!

 

When I netted the fish, I was shaking - I pulled it in and was in disbelief.  I was terribly unprepared for measuring and weighing such a fish.  I do keep a small measuring tape on board, and we zapped him at approx. 36", give or take a .25"  I released the fish promptly, and he swam away pretty strong -  I was somewhat conflicted on this, because I know the 'eyes in Hemlock are not part of any DEC program, and I definitely could have put him on my wall, but in the end my gut told me to release him.

 

My buddy doesn't fish often, so I told him that what we had just caught is pretty uncommon.  I told him to do a google image search on "Walleye" to see for himself.  While surfing the web on his phone, he notifies me that NYS record is 34" and 16.9 pounds...  I possibly had it in my hands and released it...  Oh well, somebody with a scale will have to catch him another day!

 

The Walleye hit a Magnum size, Finger Lakes Tackle spoon in the NBK Bright Green UV pattern -

 

In the first photo, you can really get a feel for the girth and size of it's head, and in the second photo you get feel for it's length - I also to took a few screen shots of some impressive bait out there!

 

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PS - For what's it worth, I caught this fish on Saturday, which was actually 8/1 - guess I was trying to slow down the summer!

Edited by FLXTrolling

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Beauty fish, if she was carrying eggs she would have been a contender for the state record. It's a shame the DEC pulled the clubs permit to stock eyes

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Beauty fish, if she was carrying eggs she would have been a contender for the state record. It's a shame the DEC pulled the clubs permit to stock eyes

 

Right, she  was girthy, but didn't have that sagging gut you usually see in record fish...  I wish I had a scale, I have no idea the weight.  How long ago was the last stocking of 'eyes in Hemlock?  I assume this fish was that old..

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Right, she was girthy, but didn't have that sagging gut you usually see in record fish... I wish I had a scale, I have no idea the weight. How long ago was the last stocking of 'eyes in Hemlock? I assume this fish was that old..

I want to say the late nineties to early 2000's was the last time they put eyes in there. If you ever see the gentleman with the white c-dory he can tell you all about it. I believe his name is Charlie, he has detailed journals and has boated several hundred hemlock eyes. He said he paid for most of the eyes that were stocked.

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Great report and great fish and despite the fact that it may have been a record fish I think you did the right thing releasing it to keep the gene pool going :yes: That is what true sportsmanship is all about :)

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Great report and great fish and despite the fact that it may have been a record fish I think you did the right thing releasing it to keep the gene pool going :yes: That is what true sportsmanship is all about :)

 

Thanks for the kind words!  I was kind of in such awe of the fish, the only thing I felt I could do was watch him swim off...

 

Zack - unfortunetely work is temporarily in the way of me reading the report, haha...  but I'll try to take a few "breaks" throughout the day!

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Thanks for the kind words! I was kind of in such awe of the fish, the only thing I felt I could do was watch him swim off...

Zack - unfortunetely work is temporarily in the way of me reading the report, haha... but I'll try to take a few "breaks" throughout the day!

I hear ya on that, work gets in the way of everything.

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You have more strength than I do.  I would have packed up my gear, taken the fish straight to Avon.  Got it measured and recorded and called my taxi to get his knife ready.

 

Congratulations on the catch (and release) - I love Hemlock.  I wish the south launch was a little deeper pitch.  My cab is almost under water.

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You have more strength than I do.  I would have packed up my gear, taken the fish straight to Avon.  Got it measured and recorded and called my taxi to get his knife ready.

 

Congratulations on the catch (and release) - I love Hemlock.  I wish the south launch was a little deeper pitch.  My cab is almost under water.

 

I hear on the South end launch..  the water is about 2" below my driver side door when I open it...  not fun in April!

 

Ha, and thanks -  I'm not sure if it was strength that led me to release the fish, it was a couple of things.

 

-I didn't have a scale

-I was very unaware of the state record

-I hardly ever keep fish, and space is limited so I didn't bring a cooler

-Lastly, I was just kind of stunned - I pulled it out of the net, my buddy took a few photo's and my gut just said to put it back.  It's actually a super rewarding feeling watching fish like that swim away as you re-gather your thoughts on the whole experience.

 

If I had a scale, and was aware of the NYS record, it may have been a different story - but to Zack's point earlier, typically those fish of record weights are full off eggs, so who knows.

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They don't reproduce in there.

Not at a rate sufficient to support a self sustaining population, but there's no reason to believe that there haven't been a few that have successfully spawned.

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They don't reproduce in there.

 

I wasn't implying they did, I was simply saying that record fish, especially Walleye will benefit from carrying around a baby bump...  This fish was an absolute pig though, but without a scale its weight remains an unsolved mystery...  someone on here will have to catch it again for themselves!

 

Zack, did you call it a "she" for a specific reason?  is there a way to tell?  The pictures turned out a little disappointing in detail - the fish had a slightly "humped" back like you might see on a spawning male Brown...  you can kind of see it if you look close on the first picture.

Edited by FLXTrolling

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Congrats on what is probably a walleye of a life time.  I have been fishing more than 40 years and have barely come within 4 inches of that fish.

More power to you for letting it go. I certainly would not have been able to. You have the picture though and the satisfaction of knowing  that it is still out

there swimming!

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Thanks fbg!  I am as happy as can be with my decision to release the fish - pictures are good enough.  It may or may not have been a record, but even if it was I don't believe there is any kind of monetary reward that goes along with it! 

 

As long I have you guys here to toot my horn I'm all good, haha..

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Great fish! Congratulations! That is one special lake!!

Chuck

 

Thanks Chuck! To be completely honest, I might trade my Hemlock monster for the Hemlock monster in your profile pic...  Did you get measurements on that Brown?  Good Lord...

 

I've encountered quite a few Rainbows out there this year but have never caught a Brown.  I know the stocking program was given to Canadice, but there must still be some hog Browns roaming around down there.  What the latest on reproduction?  Is it almost non-existent?

 

I know there is a TON of bait out there, I wouldn't mind seeing a return of some sort of Brown stocking...  or Walleye.  There is probably some room for it...

 

Then again the size of the fish might start to decline, so for me its a toss up...

 

Hemlock is more or less my sanctuary, and the chance for one of its trophies is more what it's about for me than numbers...

Edited by FLXTrolling

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FLX, If I remember correctly that brown was 34" and 21lbs-4oz...she was all belly!

I know exactly what your talking about... I like how the DEC is focusing upon the rainbows ...my goal had always been a 12 lb bow from there. I bet very few walleye and browns of that size exist now in there....but hey you never know what going to hit next!

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FLX, If I remember correctly that brown was 34" and 21lbs-4oz...she was all belly!

I know exactly what your talking about... I like how the DEC is focusing upon the rainbows ...my goal had always been a 12 lb bow from there. I bet very few walleye and browns of that size exist now in there....but hey you never know what going to hit next!

 

Man, that is an awesome fish..  Hemlock is amazing in that I can run a Lake Ontario trolling program from a 14' Wooden drift boat (I know, I know not exactly), and butt heads with some Lake Ontario caliber fish to boot.

 

I know there are some giant Bows out there as I have seen some absolute brutes while hiking along the trib...  I just hope those fish are protected & respected...

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