CHEYENNE - A fishing trip for walleye on Aug. 12 to Keyhole Reservoir gave Pinehaven angler Harley Speed an unexpected surprise when the largest freshwater drum recorded in Wyoming took his jig and crawler and took off.
Speed, who fishes Keyhole often, usually for walleye and northern pike, knew he had a very large fish on his line. After a 10-15 minute battle which involved following the fish in the boat, Speed suspected he had something special when he had the fish in hand. He had caught numerous drum in the past, mostly in the 2-3 pound range, and as with the recent record gizzard shad, he accessed the Game and Fish website via smart phone to see how close the big drum was to the state record.
A tackle box scale put the fish at nearly 18 pounds, and the phone showed the current record at 11 pounds 12 ounces and that it was caught out of Glendo Reservoir in 1993. A short time later an official scale at Pinehaven Foods confirmed the new state record with a weight of 17 pounds 4 ounces. Speed’s fish was 33 inches long and had a girth of 23 inches.
Since 1986, when Wyoming’s first record for freshwater drum was established, the record has been broken eight times with most of the records coming from Keyhole Reservoir. Other waters that have produced record drum include Glendo and Grayrocks reservoirs.
Freshwater drum, sometimes called sheepshead, can grow very large as is evidenced by the current 54-pound world record fish caught in a Tennessee Lake in 1972.
To qualify for a new fish record, anglers need to get the fish weighed on a certified scale and have it verified by the Game and Fish Department. A listing of state record fish is on the Game and Fish website wgfd.wyo.gov.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)
(photo available on request)