LOOK: Michigan Angler Hooks Highly Rare Golden Smallmouth Bass

by Amy Myers
Photo by John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

A Michigan man and his girlfriend set out for another casual fishing trip and came home with a wild catch to share with the world. Turns out, David Holston and Ellyn Lamerato pulled in an ultra-rare golden smallmouth bass in the southeastern portion of the state.

On Monday, Holston and Lamerato set out onto Huron River, an incredibly popular spot for anglers of all kinds. And while smallmouth bass are a fairly common catch, the two Mitten State natives never expected to find such a colorful creature at the end of their line.

Holston, originally from Dearborn, recalled that another local fisherman had caught a golden smallmouth bass in Michigan, but never would he have expected to be clutching one himself.

“The fish of a million casts,” Holston wrote on Facebook. “I’m speechless. Here is my once in 100 lifetimes Golden Smallmouth I landed yesterday with the help of Ellyn Lamerato on net duty. I only know of one other fish like this that was caught and documented this year in the NATION! I feel incredibly lucky.”

Michigan Angler Safely Releases Golden Smallmouth Bass Back into the Water

According to Holston, the catch from start to finish was a rush of excitement. He recalled to Wide Open Spaces how the colorful smallmouth bass took off like a torpedo the moment it had the hook in its mouth.

“I threw my bait at the bank right next to a downed tree, felt a good yank on my line and saw my line shoot sideways parallel to the bank,” Holston explained. “The speed was shocking. When I managed to get the fish within probably four or five feet from the boat, [my girlfriend] and I were flabbergasted as a large flash of orange/gold shot by us leaving a rooster tail of silt behind it from the tail flailing.”

When they first saw its golden scales gliding through the water, Lamerato thought it was a koi or “some kind of carp.” But once they lifted the fish out of the water, they realized they held a rare, golden smallmouth bass in their net.

After snapping some photos of the gorgeous creature, Holston released the bass back into its native waters, “Kicking, screaming, and full of life.”

“Gave me a little splash in the face actually on take off,” he said. “I personally only practice catch and release.”

Following the catch, the Michigan angler admitted he wish he spent more time examining the once-in-a-lifetime catch.

“Part of me wishes I could go back and handle the fish more and take more pictures and videos, but the other part of me is happy I was able to snap a couple pictures and release this special fish back into its home,” Holston said.