12-Pound Lake Michigan Walleye Explained

On May 25, 2020 we posted a photo of Al Huhra holding up his 12-pound trophy walleye that he had caught in the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan. Al was fishing with his buddy Jeff Miller when he caught the fish. We were able to meet up with the pair to get the full story. 


Al Huhra and Jeff Miller

Al Huhra and Jeff Miller are true die-hard anglers. The two Illinois fishermen each began angling on Lake Michigan, fishing with their fathers. Combined, they have more than 90 years’ experience on the lake.

They met through bass fishing and decided to team up to fish tournaments in 2000. With 20 years of fishing as a team on Lake Michigan, they have earned the title of being the most feared competitors and can catch fish on even the toughest of days. 


The 12-pound walleye

12-Pound Lake Michigan Walleye Explained

On May 25, they were fishing a local bass tournament on the south end of Lake Michigan.  They started their day 

by heading north to Chicago waters, where many areas were restricted due to COVID-19, but they were able to catch their limit in legal waters.

They then returned to Indiana waters to try to upgrade their 5-fish limit. While fishing in Indiana waters they had 5 smallies in the box and were trying to replace a 2-pounder. Al was drop-shotting in the current and felt a bite. As he set the hook, he felt a tremendous weight and thought he had his biggest smallmouth bass ever. Al turned to Jeff and said, “It’s a big one.” Jeff replied, “Are you sure it’s a bass?” 

As Jeff readied the net and waited in anticipation, he got a glimpse of the tail and confirmed that the mystery fish was in fact a giant walleye.

The fish had fought like a champion. Al was ecstatic and immediately went for his scale to weigh the bad boy. He knew instantly this was the biggest walleye he had ever caught. The two weighed it on a hand scale––the fish was more than 12 pounds! They believe the walleye was a female full of eggs. Even though this was a trophy ‘eye worthy of mounting, the two anglers wish to see Lake Michigan’s south-end walleye population grow, and they released the fish.

Over the course of their careers fishing on Lake Michigan, Al and Jeff have been named Anglers of the Year five times. 

What is the key to their fishing success? Al and Jeff believe the reason they have been so successful is that they tend to think differently from each other when they fish, which broadens the possible approaches they take.

Their go-to baits? Jeff claims that a tube rigged on a jig head is thebest smallmouth bait, while Al swears by the Jackall Crosstail Shad, the lure he was using when he caught the 12-pound walleye. 


Besides Lake Michigan their favorite bodies of water are Lake St. Clair in Michigan, where they have over $10,000 in tournament winnings, and Sturgeon Bay in Wisconsin. In all their days of fishing they have never come across a walleye this big.


Learn to catch giant walleye on our YouTube Channel!

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