SPIRIT LAKE – A new state record white bass was caught from a dock Saturday evening on Big Sprit Lake. Josh Zylstra, 23, of Laurens, landed the 18.7-inch, 4.16 pound fish while he was waiting to go back out for an evening of walleye fishing.
Zylstra said he had finished eating supper when he thought he would fish a little from the dock in Anglers Bay before going back out in the boat. His shiner under a bobber was intended for walleyes he said, but instead, it hooked a new state record white bass.
“I looked over and my bobber was gone,” Zylstra said. He reeled in the slack, felt the tension and set the hook. The battle ensued and Zylstra thought he was going to lose the fish by getting tangled with the boat hoist.
He didn’t know what he had until it was out of the water. “I knew it was a good fish,” he said. “I never thought twice about a state record.”
Zylstra has caught a lot of large white bass from the area lakes, but this one was special and his uncle said that fish would probably push for the record.
The new record was verified by fisheries biologist Mike Hawkins who weighed the fish on a certified scale at Pioneer Beach Resort.
The previous record white bass came from West Okoboji Lake and was 17 inches and 3.9 pounds.