Angler Breaks Illinois State Record Walleye

The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Jim Zimmerman of Wisconsin is having his 15.08-pound walleye certified as we write this as the new Illinois state record. Zimmerman was fishing in the Pecatonica River with a 1/8-ounce Northland Fireball jighead and 3-inch Berkley PowerBait curl tail grub when the fish hit. You might remember the Pecatonica River. That’s because the record that had stood for 50 years was broken by a 15-year-old angler, Nick Tassoni there in January. That place can produce some giant walleyes apparently and will probably get a lot more crowded as a result.

Tassoni wasn’t too terribly bummed and seemed to be taking the news in stride. We saw a post on a Facebook story from Tassoni that said nothing more than, “It happens.” Yes it does and apparently more often in certain places.

Two amazing fish this year in Illinois already. Both anglers should be proud of their catches, records or not. The catch and pending certification will mark this fish as the first 15-pound and state record walleye for Illinois. The allure of fishing is has always been that any person of any skill level could get that “one bite” that changes the history of fishing. We love that about fishing.

If Mr. Zimmerman had signed up for the Mustad Hook-a-Million promotion, he would be $100,000 richer when the fish was certified.