Jeff Ma of Oklahoma City tied a 45-year-old fishing record while fishing at Lake Hefner Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old Ma landed an 11.3-pound walleye which ties the old Hefner lake record set in 1967.
Fishing in the Hefner spillway with a lipless crankbait, Ma caught the big walleye at 8:40 p.m.. The fish was spawning and full of eggs so he decided to release it. But before doing so took a couple of photos on his cell phone and weighed it on two digital scales, one belonging to him and one belonging to another angler fishing at the spillway.
The walleye measured 30 inches in length and 20 inches in girth, he said.
Ma said water was being released into the spillway at the time and the current was strong. He was jigging a KVD Red Eye Shad crankbait up and down in the current. He had caught a few buffalo and white bass before the walleye hit.
“It felt like I had snagged on a piece of wood or rock,” Ma said. “When I tried to pop it loose, I felt that thump. It started taking off and I thought it was another buffalo because that’s all I was catching.”
However, when Ma was able to get the fish closer to shore he could see the glow in the eye of a walleye.
The previous 11.3-pound walleye caught in 1967 from Oklahoma City’s Lake Hefner also served as the state record for 28 years. That state record finally was tied in 1993 by a walleye from Broken Bow Lake and then broken two years later by a 12-pound, 10-ounce walleye pulled from Altus-Lugert.
The current state walleye record is 12 pound, 13 ounces caught on Robert S. Kerr between Webbers Falls and Gore in 2004.