Interview with the New South Dakota Smallmouth Record Holder
Lyal Held and fishing partner Casey Ehlert have made it a goal of theirs to explore and hone their knowledge of Horseshoe Lake in South Dakota ever since a 7 lb smallmouth was caught there in 2013 and became the state’s record.
“We’ve caught some pretty impressive fish out of this lake the last few years and we knew that it had the potential to kick out the next state record smallmouth,” said Lyal, a 30 year old who hails from Barnesville, MN.
On Saturday, April 23rd, Lyal and Casey were had been fishing the Webster area lake for around two hours and had been catching some nice smallmouth on Rapala Shadow Raps, including Casey’s new personal best 6.45 lb! This is when Lyal picked up a Yumbrella Alabama Rig and hooked in to a giant smallie.
“When the fished jumped and I saw it’s girth, I knew right then that this fish had the potential to be a state record,” exclaimed Lyal. “After a short fight, the fish was in the boat and on our scale, it weight 7 lb 3.5 oz.”
While Lyal was regaining his composure and calling the local game warden to determine the best process to transport the fish legally into town to get it weighed, Casey continued to fish and the duo assembled a five fish limit that weighted 30.74 lb’s and an eight fish limit that weighed 45.59 lb’s…quite the day for the two Minnesota anglers!
The Alabama Rig that Lyal was using consisted of three hooks with Kalin’s 3.5” Swimbaits and two hook less dummies and he fished it on 20 lb 100% Berkely Fluorocarbon line on an Abu Garcia Veritas Flipping Stick.
Besides being excited about catching the new state record, Lyal was very adamant and proud that they went to great lengths to keep this amazing specimen alive. “I went into town and got a big tub, aerator and water from the local bait store, we then took the fish to get weighed on a certified scale at Mike’s Grocery Store,” explained Held. This is when it became official that the new smallmouth bass record for South Dakota had been set, with a 7 lb 3 oz fish.
Since Lyal did release the fish, he said he is going to be getting a replica made and told us that the fish was 19.5” long and was 19” around, a true giant smallmouth!
From all of us at Classic Bass Lyal we congratulate you on your accomplishment!!