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World spearfishing record set for Lake DeSmet walleye

July 31, 2018
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Sheridan - Colorado Springs resident Matthew Deichsel recently set the new world walleye spearfishing record for a 17-plus pound walleye he took from Lake DeSmet on July 14. The record is recognized through the International Underwater Spearfishing Association. The previous record was a 13.3-pound walleye from Canada.

The trip to DeSmet was Deichsel’s first, though he has gone diving in more than 20 Wyoming lakes and in water bodies in Fiji, Indonesia, Tonga, Australia, Mexico and more.

Deichsel was free-driving that day, without scuba equipment, and had made at least 120 dives over 8 hours, averaging one minute, 20 seconds per dive. His friend, Brandon Miller of Gillette had directed him to several underwater sites where Deichsel was likely to see fish.

“It turned out that I dove in these sweet spots and I only spotted one walleye and nothing else,” he said. “I had spotted few rainbow trout, plenty of schools of yellow perch and countless carp.  I decided to check different spots away from the sweet spots and I finally spotted a second walleye. It turned out to be the world record for the spearfishing community. It is a once in a lifetime experience.” 

Fish acquired by spearfishing are ineligible for Wyoming state record status, as rules require that the fish be caught on a line. Wyoming’s state record walleye was caught from Boysen Reservoir in 1991 and weighed 17.42 pounds.

- WGFD -



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