Jobet Palmaira is the fisherman who caught the surprise walleye at Belmont Harbor Saturday, and a lot of people will find him even more of hero when they hear his side of the story.
After they landed it, he said,
``I was more worried about removing the hooks and returning it. All three hooks were inside its mouth. The guy next to me said, `You might have to eat the meat on this one.' ''
But they persevered and Palmaira said it swam off vigorously from the net.
The Skokie man, a registered nurse by trade and a hardcore fisherman by love, was as surprised as anyone.
``I heard of walleye farther north in the lake,'' said Palmaira, who has caught walleye from the Skokie Lagoons and the Illinois River, but never on Lake Michigan.
So the catch Saturday was a complete surprise.
``The only difference [from salmon] was it didn't move a lot. It pulled me to the left side. I even walked that way. I have a light in my hat and said, `Why are the eyes are so bright?' We only knew it was a walleye when it was in the net.''
I have to give thanks to his friend Richie Gil, who sent this heads up:
I was browsing chicago suntimes today and saw the picture of my friend in your column. He's the one that caught the 28 inch walleye at belmont. His name is Jobet Palmaira . . . and, yes, he speaks fluent English.''
Also catches some pretty good fish.
And also a thanks to Art Gazda for the good photo.