Tim Stillings recently caught a walleye fish by using a trotline for the first time, but his catch in Missouri’s Sac River was monumental for other reasons.
At 7 pounds, 8 ounces, that walleye broke the state record in Missouri by more than a half pound. The Missouri Department of Conservation said the record was in the alternative method, which the department says includes “trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or atlatl.”
The Morrisville man was running trotlines for catfish with his friend, Jake Myers, on May 16 when he caught the record walleye.
“It’s somewhat of a dying art,” Stillings said in a May 25 news release. “A lot of people don’t do it anymore. But this was the first walleye we’ve caught on a trotline, and it happened to be a state record.”
He called it “a lot of work” running the trotlines, which consist of fastening a line to a stationary object with the other end anchored in the water or tied on the opposite side, according to the Springfield News Leader. The hooks on the line are heavy enough to keep the line in the water and are used to catch fish.
Stillings said he caught the fish “right in the mouth” and froze it for eating — but he has plans to have a replica made of the state-record fish.