Johnston boats whopper walleye

Canadian pro Chris Johnston not only jumped to an early lead on Day 1 of the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River with a bag of 20-plus pounds by 8 a.m. But his biggest bite of the morning never made it to the livewell.

And this is no tragic tale of boat side heartbreak — a common hardship, compliments of leaping smallmouth.

Rather, Johnston reeled in a massive walleye that marked 9.5 pounds on his digital scale.

“That’s the biggest walleye I’ve ever caught,” Johnston said.

Noting the walleye’s renowned table fare, B.A.S.S. Live host Mark Zona exclaimed: “I’d knock the sides off of that fish!”

Johnston released the whopper walleye, no doubt to the collective groans of salivating viewers.