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Giant 7-Pound South Dakota Smallmouth Breaks State Record

Mitchell Republic

The South Dakota smallmouth bite seems to be going well. 

Three years of studying lake maps mixed mixed with three years of countless hours of fishing on Horseshoe Lake, South Dakota, has finally resulted in a new state record for Lyal Held. The previous South Dakota smallmouth record came from that very lake and Held knew the next one would as well. As luck would have it, he is the man that caught it.

“It feels like a dream,” Held said in an interview. “It just feels weird because we knew it was possible and then it happened.”

Held had been fishing with his longtime buddy Casey Ehlert, when the football shaped smallie was boated. Held had been using jerkbaits earlier in the day but had switched to an Alabama rig. With his second cast, he made history.

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Mitchell Republic

Held’s record fish weighed in at seven pounds, three ounces. It officially broke the previous record by three ounces. Surprisingly, this new South Dakota smallmouth record was only 19 inches long.

“I’ve never seen anything so fat. It was so fat its eyes were bulging. It was a freak,” Held said.

Perhaps the best part of this story is the fact that both anglers went through great lengths to make sure that this very fat smallie was released. Held contacted a biologist by phone who gave tips on how to handle the fish to get it certified.

After it was officially weighed on certified scales and notarized, the fish was released back into Horseshoe lake to hopefully be caught again.

Awesome fish and even better effort to support catch and release of a state record fish.

Congrats, Lyal! You deserve it!

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NEXT: Why Won’t This 120-Pound Louisiana Record Blue Catfish Count as a Record?

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Giant 7-Pound South Dakota Smallmouth Breaks State Record