June 12, 2003
Catch of the week
When Morgan Smallwood, 12, accompanied her dad and brother on a guided fishing trip on Kanopolis Reservoir in Kansas recently, everyone figured she was about the least likely person in the boat to land a trophy fish.
So who catches the monster? You guessed it.
Morgan, who had only fished a few times before and caught nothing but several tiny fish, landed a 91/2-pound walleye.
"When I hooked that fish, it wanted to fight," said Morgan, who lives in Inman, Kan. "It tried to go under the boat.
"I thought, `Watch. My line will break.'
"But I got it in. When I first saw it, I screamed. I had never seen a fish that big."
The big walleye even surprised Morgan's guide, Rick Tomlinson.
"At first, I was sure she had a big carp or a channel cat," said Tomlinson, who runs the Hunt-N-Fish Guide Service out of Great Bend, Kan. "The walleye fishing had been good -- but I wasn't expecting a fish like that."
The outing was an early Father's Day present for Morgan's dad, Ray. Her 21-year-old brother, Micah, also was along.
But it was Morgan's day. The fishermen caught three keeper walleyes, and Morgan landed all of them.
Now Tomlinson is having a replica mount made of the fish. And the Smallwoods indicated they, too, may have a mount made.
After all, this was a fishing trip to remember.
Jeff "Jesse" James - Owner of Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors
You can always tell who's in 2nd place by who's whining and crying the most. - Old hockey coach.
Dum spiramus tuebimur
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