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Giant walleye on Lake Ida

Three-year-old Jamy Slack of Alexandria smiles with John Mueller of Appleton as they pose with a 13-pound walleye they caught on Lake Ida last week. (Contributed)

Appleton’s John Mueller took advantage of an opportunity to get out on the ice last week with 3-1/2-year-old Jamy Slack of Alexandria for a fishing trip that neither of them will forget for quite some time.

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Mueller and Slack got set up on the ice on Lake Ida at about 3 p.m. and caught a few crappies and bass before they hit a lull. It took about 20 minutes with no action before all that changed.

“Jamy was looking at her ultra-light pole with 4-pound-test line on it and the tip was moving,” Mueller said. “The bobber was down on the set line with a crappie minnow and a tiny hook. I told her to set the hook and start reeling. As soon as she did, it started taking line and running.”

It didn’t take long to notice that they weren’t latched into a crappie.

“By the look of the pole in Jamyson’s hands and the line that was peeling off the spool, I knew [she] latched into something big. I moved things out of the way and found a gaff. Jamy was laughing and reeling and laughing some more. She was able to retrieve some line back from the monster and I could tell it was getting close because the bobber stop was in the spool.”

The fish finally made its way up to the bottom of the 8-inch hole. Now the hard part was getting the walleye through it. The fish hit its nose on the bottom of the ice a few times before taking some more line.

“Undeterred, Jamyson guided it back to the hole,” Mueller said. “She maneuvered the nose into the hole and I bear hugged a monster walleye. The shear excitement in Jamy’s eyes was priceless.”

The fish weighed in at 13 pounds and measured 30 and 3/4 inches.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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