After a photo opportunity gone awry, one North Dakota angler was determined to get his walleye back—even if it meant casting into a storm drain and catching it a second time. Using a spinning rod and a crankbait, he was able to pull the fish out of the same gutter it fell into. And thanks to traffic cameras maintained by the Valley City Police Department, the whole series of events was caught on camera.
The mishap began when Shawn Grim stopped in Valley City on his way home from a productive day at the lake, according to WDAY News. He parked along Main Street and pulled out one of his biggest walleyes for a picture. As he held the roughly 22-inch fish up to the camera, it slipped right out of his hands and flopped into the nearby storm drain.
“So, I’m holding this fish, getting ready and stuff like that, and all of a sudden it flip flops onto the street. OK. Not a big deal,” Grim told WDAY. “I go down to grab it. Boom, boom, boom, right into the drain sewer. It’s like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.’”
As the traffic camera footage shows, Grim then knelt down and looked through the grate, where he could see the walleye below. He tried removing the grate at first, but it was too heavy for him to budge. So, he went over to his car and grabbed his fishing gear.
“I go to my tackle box and I pull out a Rapala, right? Three treble hooks. This thing catches fish,” he continued. “Is it going to catch fish in a storm sewer? We’re going to find out, right?”
Using a spinning rod, Grim casted his crankbait down into the gutter and tried snagging the walleye. He eventually got a hook in the fish, but it popped out when he reeled up. He patiently cast down again and kept working the lure toward the fish until he hooked it solidly. Then he reeled the walleye in for the second time that day.
“[I] pull it up, slowly. Grab the fish by the back of the head and slowly pull it out of the deal,” Grim said. “So then we stand up, we take the picture away from the gutter, right?”