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Nearly 14-pound walleye wins Lake Erie Fall Brawl

December 3, 2018

Nearly 14-pound walleye wins Lake Erie Fall Brawl

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It came down to the penultimate day of the Lake Erie Walleye Fall Brawl, when Clarence Mitchell Jr. caught a 13.7-pound walleye of the coast of Cleveland.

The 30.5-inch fish won the ninth annual Brawl, pending a law detector test, said director Frank Murphy. That means Mitchell wins a tricked-out, sparkly green, $100,000 Warrior boat.

The brawl began 2010, with 50 guys who threw a couple bucks in a pot. Now the massive endeavor, which ran Oct. 19 through Sunday, has dozens of sponsors, events and a food drive. Tickets for the awards banquet sold out in three minutes.

About 6,400 anglers signed up, from states as far as North Dakota and Colorado.

The premise is simple. Pay $30 to register in the Brawl and fish any time in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie -- off the shore or a boat -- during the contest. Bring any walleye you catch to Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake to weigh. The biggest fish wins.

The top angler 16 years and younger also wins a 16-foot Hewescraft boat, also with a trailer, rod holders and motor. That is Santiago Navarro, with an 11.3-pound walleye.

Overall, the second place walleye was 12.09 pounds.

The winners of the 2018 Fall Brawl, pending polygraph tests.

See what it was like fishing on Lake Erie on Friday.

Lake Erie is known as the Walleye Capital of the World. The fish -- which anglers like for the thrill of catching and the taste for eating -- in Lake Erie is healthy and will be for decades, thanks to bumper hatches in 2003, 2015 and this year (though those are still too small to keep).

But the weather was rainier, windier and colder than last fall, when Matthew Branigan caught a 14.97-pound walleye.

“This weather hasn’t been cooperating,” organizer Frank Murphy said early last week. “But I think the end of the week is going to have some pretty decent weather. I’m looking for everything to get shook up.”

He was right.

Want more Lake Erie news? Follow RocktheLake on Facebook or on Twitter and Instagram @rockthelakecle.

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