Union Democrat staff

Steve Vallotton told his fishing partners in the boat that someone should record what was happening.

The “snappy” 58-year old from Groveland had just felt something hefty grab his line, bigger than anything he has ever hooked in his 40 or so years fishing at Cherry Lake.

Vallotton reeled in with purpose. His fishing pole arced hard, like it was at its breaking point.

When the fish became visible just under the surface, Vallotton, his son Tom, and friend Keith Glover, got real excited and let out yells. Somebody on the recording said, “We’re gonna need a bigger net.”

Vallotton, who considers himself a non-serious fisherman, did not let the big one get away. He hoisted the fish, a rainbow trout, and helped guide it into a net that was just big enough.

Once in the boat, the celebration, and admiration, began when they feasted their eyes on the lunker.

Vallotton later hauled the fish to Moccasin and took a picture of it on a scale weighing 12.75 pounds. He also said it measured 30 ¼ inches long and 19 ¼ inches around.

Vallotton has worked for Hetch Hetchy, the City and County of San Francisco, for nearly 40 years and is retiring at the end of the month.

“I’ve never caught anything like that,” he said. “It’s really a great going away present.”