North Dakota's Long-Standing Walleye Record Broken

North Dakota's Long-Standing Walleye Record Broken
Neal Leier's walleye caught on May 18 broke the longest-standing state record fish in North Dakota, one that stood for nearly 60 years. (Photo courtesy of North Dakota Game & Fish Department)

walleye record
Neal Leier's walleye caught on May 18 broke the longest-standing state record fish in North Dakota, one that stood for nearly 60 years. (Photo courtesy of North Dakota Game & Fish Department)

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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