Bittersweet moment as angler breaks 41-year-old walleye record

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A Pennsylvania angler has been notified that his recent catch of an 18-pound, 1-ounce walleye replaces a state record that had stood since 1980.

“I’m tickled about the fish. I’m glad it beat the record, but it’s a shame to beat an old record like that,” Richard Nicholson, 62, told Go Erie.

Nicholson hooked the 34-inch walleye Oct. 28 on the Youghiogheny River in Fayette County, while fishing with live creek chubs.

His first inclination was to fillet the fish, but his son, Richard Nicholson Jr., convinced him to have the fish weighed for record consideration.

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The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, after a period of review, on Sunday presented a record certificate to Nicholson, who lives in Connellsville, describing his catch as an “outstanding angling achievement.”

The previous Pennsylvania record, held by Mike Holly of Bradford, was the 1980 catch of a 17-pound, 9-ounce walleye on the Allegheny River.

For the sake of comparison, the world record stands at 25 pounds. That fish was reeled from Tennessee’s Old Hickory Lake in 1960.

–Image showing Richard Nicholson with his record walleye is courtesy of Nicholson, via the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission