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Fishing Buddies Share Walleye State Record

Troll-caught South Carolina walleye is a virtual tie with the existing record.

Fishing Buddies Share Walleye State Record

Chris Edlund (left) and Dave Starzek pose with the walleye caught on Lake Tugalo on May 29. The 10-pound, 1.44-ounce fish will share a state record from 1994. (Photos courtesy of South Carolina DNR)

Fishing buddies in South Carolina teamed up to catch a record-sized walleye in the Upstate during the Memorial Day weekend.

Chris Edlund, of Spartanburg, and Dave Starzek, of Greer, caught a 10-pound, 1.44-ounce walleye that is a virtual tie with the existing mark, a 10-pound walleye caught in 1994 at Like Russell. Edlund’s catch may be slightly heavier than the 1994 record, but fish weighing less than 25 pounds has to exceed the previous record by at least two ounces to be the new state record.

The latest record was caught on May 29 from Lake Tugalo, a 597-acre mountain reservoir on the Georgia border owned and operated by Georgia Power Company. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources said Edlund pulled the fish in and is the angler on record, while Starzek netted the fish.

"When it surfaced, we got excited and knew if that wasn’t a record, it was going to be close," Edlund said in a DNR news release.

On the water by 6:30 a.m., the pair hooked up with the record after trolling for less than two hours before hooking up with the fish. The men searched for an open store with a state-certified scale for hours before officially weighing the fish at a grocery store in Greer, the DNR said.

Cool-water loving walleye are not found in many places in South Carolina, though the state has a small reproducing population in the Tugalo River arm of Lake Hartwell. The Georgia DNR also has stocked walleye in Tugalo, as well as nearby Lake Yona.

Michigan native Starzek has targeted record walleye in the Tallulah basin over the past seven years, and has devised a worm rig with a hand-painted lure he designed for big fish. "It’s a passion for me, and it’s been a long time coming," Starzek said in the news release.

More info on fishing in South Carolina

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