A fairly rare condition that changes the pigments in fish to bright orange and gold colors called Xanthochromism (Xanthism) makes a smallmouth or largemouth bass really stand out. You will hear of one or see one every few years. But this year, not one, but two anglers have caught “Golden Smallmouth” and both were caught in Michigan. David Holston of Dearborn, Mich. caught the second one just this week in a small creek in southeast Michigan as he posted on his Facebook page.
Earlier this year, Josh Chrenko caught another golden smallmouth bass in the Muskegon River.
Holston posted this about his catch:
“The fish of a million casts. 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. After some pictures, the fish was returned to the water unharmed and is still swimming in the river as I type this. Caught in S.E. Michigan.”
In years past we’ve seen maybe 3 or 4 of these. And this year alone we know of three cases of fish with the xanthism pigmentation issue.