Walleye statue, 2018.
Walleye statue, 2018.

Willie Walleye

Field review by the editors.

Baudette, Minnesota

Other towns have thrown up Walleye statues and trumpeted their Walleye Capital claims, but Baudette's Walleye is the largest.

Willie Walleye is over 40 feet long. The original, built in the Spring of 1959 out of steel and plaster, weighed about two tons. It was the vision of local resident Arnold Lund, who modeled Willie on a dead Walleye that hung in a Baudette hardware store.

Sixty years of Minnesota weather took its toll on Willie, and in July 2018 Baudette tore down the big fish and replaced Willie with a nearly identical replica made of fiberglass, occupying the same spot on Main St.

The old Walleye.
The old Walleye.

The town's annual festival, Willie the Walleye Day, is unquestionably the place to be during the first week in June with a Willie Walleye 5k run, food, crafts and entertainment. Baudette continues to quietly lay claim to the title "Walleye Capital of the World," though signs on approaches to town state, simply, "Home of Willie Walleye."

Also see: Walleyed War of the Walleye Capitals

Willie Walleye

International Drive NE, Baudette, MN
Downtown, on the west shore of the river, on the corner of International Drive NE and Main St./Hwy 11.
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September 18, 2020

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