The new North Dakota walleye record caught early Friday morning and within hours it was certified, eclipsing a record that stood since 1959.
In North Dakota, where walleye is king, Neal Leier has reached fishing royalty.
The Bismarck angler not only broke the state's longest-standing fishing record, but also it's most sought-after.
The walleye caught Friday morning from the Missouri River near Fox Island weighed 15 pounds, 13 ounces and measured 32 1/2 inches.
"I expect it will create a buzz statewide," said North Dakota Game & Fish fisheries biologist Scott Gangl, who certified the catch before lunchtime Friday. "Think about it. This is the biggest walleye ever caught in the history of North Dakota. In a state where walleye is king."
Leier caught the walleye while jigging, and within an hour he had it weighed at a local bait shop and took it to the Game & Fish office in Bismarck. Gangl and Leier went back to the bait shop to certify the scale and re-weigh the fish.
The new record beat the previous record — caught in 1959 by Blair Chapman of Minnewaukan — by one ounce.
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