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Expert advice leads angler to 18.4-pound walleye

FISHING -- Wayne Heinz wrote a story for Northwest Sportsman magazine recently about the anglers who've caught whopper pre-spawn walleyes -- including the state record -- out of the Columbia River and its sloughs in McNary Pool.

Then he went out, practiced what he'd professed -- and caught a near-record walleye, according to Andy Walgamott's NWS Editor's Blog

Heinz points out he was fishing just a mile from where Mike Hepper of the Tri-Cities caught his state record 19.3-pounder in February 2007.

Barely able to land the egg-stuffed female -- cold water has postponed the spawn, perhaps -- Heinz's Berkley scale showed the fish at 19.6 pounds — a potential state record if the scale was close.

Turns out the scale wasn't too accurate.  A certified Albertson's scale pegged it at 18.4 pounds after it had lost a lot of eggs and blood in the boat.

“Looking back, I regret killing it,” Heinz told Walgamott. “There’s no glory in runner-up.”

But he pointed out that it's at least another indicator of the the quality of the Columbia's fishery.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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