Catching a trophy-sized walleye is quite the accomplishment for any fisherman. It’s even more impressive when the fisherman is a 4-year-old boy with a toy fishing rod.
Tristan Evans was fishing with his dad, Colin, at Cherry Creek State Park in June when he landed a fat, 28-inch walleye. Tristan caught the monster fish using a Shakespeare Spider-Man fishing pole—a rod that was nearly the same length as the walleye.
Sporting a matching Spider-Man life jacket, Tristan’s “Spidey-senses” must have been tingling when he picked out just the right lure from his dad’s tackle box.
“He kept bugging me to tie on this swimbait so he could fish with it,” said Colin. “I think he really wanted to use this bait because it resembled a real fish. Finally, I gave in and tied the bait on with a giant hook and let him at it.”
Colin gave his son some simple casting instructions, primarily to ensure that he didn’t hook himself or anyone else in the boat. Once he got his son set up, Colin focused on getting his own line in the water until Tristan shouted, “Dad, I think I’ve got one!”
“At first, I sort of ignored him thinking he was hooked in the rocks,” said Colin. “I took my time to reel in my line and went over to give him a hand. When I put my hand under his rod I suddenly felt the rod go down hard. That’s when I realized he was not hooked in the rocks but had hooked a big fish.”
The bruiser walleye bullied the small rod and after some careful give and take, Tristan landed the fish with a little help from his dad.
“I helped him hold the rod and told him to just keep reeling,” said Colin. “As the fish got closer, I could tell it was one heck of a walleye. As soon as I had the chance, I netted it and the fish was in the boat.”
Beaming with excitement, Colin quickly measured the fish, took some father/son grip-and-grin photos and then safely released the walleye back into the water.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will issue Tristan a Master Angler Award for his amazing catch. The Master Angler Recognition Program is designed to recognize anglers for success in their sport, as well as to promote the conservation of Colorado’s fishery resources by encouraging the careful release of trophy-sized sport fish.
Young Tristan has certainly set the bar pretty high for himself as a Colorado-angling superhero. Let’s just hope he remembers that with great power comes great responsibility.
The cell-phone video below captures the thrilling catch—one Tristan and his dad will remember for many years to come.
Take a Kid Fishing
Fishing is one of the best activities to share with your children. For instructional videos and helpful information about fishing with your kids, visit these links:
- A 101 Places to Take a Kid Fishing
- Bait-Fishing Basics: ‘Quick Tip’ Video
- How to Use a Spincast Reel ‘Quick Tip’ Video
- Fishing Close to Home: Northern Front Range Rivers, Lakes and Ponds
- State Parks: The Fish Awaken (A Fun Star Wars-Inspired Fishing Parody)
Written by Jerry Neal. Neal is the editor for Colorado Outdoors Online.
What a happy boy!
Love this story! I am with a TV station in Houston, Texas. Can we use your photos if we credit you?
Catch and release so awesome. Teaching that boy young so his son can catch fish too!!!
So awesome! Bringing a smile to lots of people today!
I love this story. It will be a challenge from now on for him to chase the Big One’s everywhere.
Thanks for everyone’s comments. Congrats to young Tristan! I hope this story inspires other parents to take their kid’s fishing this summer. Check out some of the “how-to” videos and stories on this blog for fishing tips and tricks.