Rylan Woinarowicz, 8, of Stephen, Minn., and Jaeger Lee, 8, of Holt, Minn., had quite a day of fishing Saturday, Aug. 17, on Big Traverse Bay of Lake of the Woods when Jaeger’s aunt and uncle, Jason and Heather Lee of Newfolden, Minn., took them fishing.

According to Rylan’s mom, Melissa, who also was on the fishing excursion, both boys had goals of catching walleyes big enough to make the Grand Forks Herald’s Outdoors section.

They definitely succeeded.

Rylan Woinarowicz, 8, of Stephen, Minn., released this walleye that was just under 28 inches Saturday, Aug. 17, on Lake of the Woods. Helping him hold the fish is Jason Lee of Newfolden, Minn.
Rylan Woinarowicz, 8, of Stephen, Minn., released this walleye that was just under 28 inches Saturday, Aug. 17, on Lake of the Woods. Helping him hold the fish is Jason Lee of Newfolden, Minn.

“We hit the mud flats and the boys had one heck of a day,” Melissa Woinarowicz said in an email. “Both boys caught multiple slot fish -- a couple 24½-inchers, a 25-inch and a 26-incher -- and at the end of the day, they finished out with my son catching a walleye just shy of 28 inches, and about 5 minutes afterwards, Jaeger caught a 29¾-inch walleye.”

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Regulations on Lake of the Woods require anglers to release all walleyes from 19½ inches to 28 inches in length -- known as “slot fish” in the fishing vernacular -- so Rylan’s walleye was released, but Jaeger’s was big enough for him to mount so it will be going on the wall.

Jaeger’s previous biggest walleye before Saturday was 15 inches.

Jaeger Lee, 8, of Holt, Minn., caught this 29¾-inch walleye just minutes later. Helping him hold the fish is his uncle, Jason Lee. Jaeger kept the walleye and is having it mounted.
Jaeger Lee, 8, of Holt, Minn., caught this 29¾-inch walleye just minutes later. Helping him hold the fish is his uncle, Jason Lee. Jaeger kept the walleye and is having it mounted.

“It was so cute when Rylan brought his in,” Melissa Woinarowicz said. “The first thing he said was that one is definitely big enough to make the Herald. Then Jaeger got his and he said the same.

“Talk about an awesome fishing day for these boys,” she added. “It’s one they won’t soon forget!”