Back when fish were big

Anglers are double-checking tackle boxes and making the final preparations before they head out on the open water for the fishing opener this weekend. But after a look at the DNR’s account of state record fish one is left to wonder if the fish have gotten smarter, or simply smaller.

Of the prize fish pulled out of area lakes, most of the records were set decades ago. The biggest walleye weighed in at 17 pounds 8 ounces was caught in the Seagull River in 1979. The largest smallmouth bass was an 8 pounder caught in 1948. A 45-pound northern pike was pulled out of Basswood Lake in 1929.

There certainly are some more recent records, but the accomplishments of modern anglers are dwarfed by our elders.

  • Ben Chorn

    This may be true, but I bet our elders didnt have $20,000 bass boats!

  • Solveig

    Basic evolution: smaller fish are more likely to be thrown back to make more small fish. Also, we’re usually over-fishing, so medium sized fish that might get big are kept instead of thrown back. At least I’d guess that these are among the reasons!