Anthony Hyvarinen is no stranger to the water of the Geneva jetty.
On Tuesday, he left 45 minutes to write history, although it didn’t sound like it when he and his wife, Mary, left the shores of Geneva in their 17-foot boat at 10 a.m.
They continued to drag through a mile of water, the same bearings they followed for about a month. Walleye were rare, but a pod of rainbow trout continued to ring at their posts and drag the lines.
Then, just before 1:30 p.m., something just dragged one of the less than half a dozen poles on Hyvarinen’s 35-year-old ship in the 74-foot waters eight miles from Lake Erie.
The Star Beacon District Manager, who has been fishing for 30 years, knew there was no walleye on the other end of that line. He had a bump on his back and looked different.
He realized that it was a pink salmon, which was then measured and weighed at 22 inches and 4.3 pounds by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. This broke the previous state record set by Andy Janoski on September 24, 2004 at Conneaut Creek.
Photos were taken of him and the fish, not realizing what he had been doing at the time – tossing it in the nearby cooler.
As the boat made its way back to shore, Hyvarinen thought about her unusual hold.
The fishing boat stopped and drifted as he thought, thinking it was the biggest salmon he had ever seen. His measurement chart read 23 inches, which indicated he might have a state record. He wondered if it could be a coho salmon or a chinook salmon, since they both weigh over 20 pounds.
“Stop the boat, put it on the measuring board,” Hyvarinen said. “All I saw was 23 inches. It was the longest 45 minute ride of my life.
After dropping the boat off, officials in Geneva said the fish could be officially waved at the port of Fairport, where officials were skeptical – believing the fish to be a coho or chinook.
They looked at the fish and realized that it was indeed a pink salmon. When the fish was caught, neither he nor his wife knew what they had right after the catch.
“It was exciting,” Hyvarinen said. “We caught it. It wasn’t like this would end my day of fishing. I wish I had known earlier and the fish would not have lost so much color. It is neither here nor there.
Now he’s waiting for the state committee’s final vote to see if he officially makes it into the record books.
A member of the committee told him that there was no way it would not be accepted.
“We should be informed at all times,” he said. “Then I’m allowed to bring it up. I don’t like it in my freezer. I want it on my wall.
The days following the capture were a whirlwind as people wondered about the record capture of the Geneva docks.
He has told everyone he sees about the feat, whether he knows them or not.
“Catching the fish was cool, but the past three days have been a roller coaster of emotions,” Hyvarinen said.