Teen catches largest walleye in Illinois history
BY DALE BOWMAN Twitter: @BowmanOutside January 9, 2012 10:24AM
Nick Tassoni and his father, Dave, show off the Illinois record walleye Nick caught in the Pecatonica River on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Updated: January 9, 2012 2:48PM
Nick Tassoni caught a 14-pound, 12-ounce walleye Saturday to break the longest-standing gamefish record in Illinois.
The 15-year-old freshman at Rockford Auburn was fishing the Pecatonica River with his father when he latched into the walleye.
``I couldn’t believe it,’’ his mother Tammy said Monday as Tassoni raced to catch the school bus. ``He’s always kidding around. He texted me he had a record.’’
Conservation police officer Brian Alt went along to verify the weighing of the fish at a meat market and printed out the necessary paperwork to submit a state record.
The female walleye was 31 inches long with a girth of 20 1/4 inches. Regional fisheries biologist Dan Sallee, who verified the fish Sunday, said it was still green and, in a couple months nearer the spawn, would have easily topped 15 pounds.
``It is absolutely gorgeous,’’ Sallee said. A lot of times you get those big old fish and they get gnarly looking. This was a beautiful fish.’’
Fred Goselin caught the Illinois record walleye (14 pounds) from the Kankakee River in 1961.