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Northwestern Ontario angler nets monster walleye — and lets it go

A northwestern Ontario angler says he doesn't think he'll ever net another walleye as impressive as the one he caught this March, but he also doesn't regret letting the monster fish go free.

It's possible that the fish might have rivaled the current Ontario record, angler says — but he'll never know

Travis Tourond, of Dryden, Ont. says he was 'in shock' after hooking this massive walleye in March. (Mike Cote)

A northwestern Ontario angler says he doesn't think he'll ever net another walleye as impressive as the one he caught this March, but he also doesn't regret letting the monster fish go free. 

Travis Tourond was ice-fishing at a lake near his hometown of Dryden, Ont., last month when he hooked onto something big. 

"My buddy came over," said Tourond. "He looked down the hole ... and he said 'holy man, that's a big walleye!'"

I'd feel really bad if I kept it and killed it- Travis Tourond

He and his friend were barely able to squeeze the fish through the hole they'd drilled in the ice, said Tourond.  

"We got it up on the ice and we just kind of looked at each other," he said. "We were both in shock. I've never seen a fish like that and I've been fishing since I've been two years old."

The fish measured 87.6 cm in length, and had a girth of almost 56 cm, he said.

"It blows normal walleyes away." 

It's possible that the fish might have rivaled the current Ontario record, said Tourond, but instead of taking it home to weigh, he opted to snap a photo, and set it free.

Some people have doubts about his story, said Tourond. But he said he's happy to know that the big fish is "still out there, swimming around."

"Everybody I show the pictures to is just in complete amazement of it," he said.

"It's a beautiful fish, and I'd feel really bad if I kept it and killed it."

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