A walleye fishing outing on Oliver Reservoir in late June ended with a surprising result for Potter angler Jeremy Gasseling.
Gasseling, who was out on a boat in the body of water located west of Kimball, didn’t reel in the walleye he was aiming for. Instead, he caught a 46-inch tiger muskie
“I thought it was probably a catfish or a carp,” Gasseling said of his initial reaction. “I didn’t know for sure until it came up to the top. We didn’t know how we were going to get it in the boat because we didn’t have a net big enough.”
Gasseling, along with his fishing companion Kevin Frei, managed to land the whopper following a fight of about 15 minutes.
The species once was prevalent in the waters of Oliver Reservoir, but Gasseling said that hasn’t been the case recently.
“Oliver used to have a bunch of them until about 10 years ago when it dried up,” he said. “I thought they all died off, but I guess there’s still some in there.”
The catch netted Gasseling the grand prize in this year’s Star-Herald Biggest Fish Contest. He won a Cabela’s tailgate fillet table and a $100 gift card from Cabela’s.
Gasseling also won a $25 Cabela’s gift card for winning the tiger muskie species category.
A total of 49 entries were received during the contest, which began in May and ran through the end of August. Of the entries, 18 different species were represented. Each species winner receives a Cabela’s $25 gift card. The species winners can pick up their gift cards at the Star-Herald at 1405 Broadway in Scottsbluff.
Fish Species Category Winners
Bluegill — Matt Howlett of Scottsbluff
Brown trout — Scott Parker of Portales, New Mexico
Blue catfish — Rollie Parker of Dalton
Catfish — Brionna Schafer of Alliance
Crappie — Adyson Hoppes of Scottsbluff
European rudd — Brionna Schafer of Alliance
Largemouth bass — Devin Roach of Bridgeport
Muskie — Justin Powell of Alliance
Tiger muskie — Jeremy Gasseling of Potter
Northern pike — Troy Mach of Alliance
Perch — Matt Howlett of Scottsbluff
Rainbow trout — Doug Kozal of Alliance
Smallmouth bass — Kayla Carrizales of Gering
Sunfish — Tammy Standage of Alliance
Tiger trout — Raymond Lemoine of Mitchell
Walleye — Fred Hara of Scottsbluff; Robert Carrizales of Gering