A fisherman snagged a rare catch while out with family at a Missouri pond.
Holly Haddan moved to Springfield recently and her new property had a couple-acre fishing pond, she told McClatchy News. “I decided to go down there with my family” on the evening of Monday, Oct. 3, “and we were all just bobber fishing with worms.”
“I really didn’t know much about this pond. We were just fishing it to kind of see what was in it,” Haddan said.
“I wasn’t even paying attention,” she said. “I was talking to my brother who’s just recently home from the Marines, and he said, ‘Hey sis, your bob’s gone.’” Haddan set down the hook and began to reel in her catch.
At first, she saw the yellow-colored fish and thought she’d caught a perch. When she looked closer, she realized “it had the mouth and fins of a crappy.”
She’d snagged a rare golden crappie, the Missouri Department of Conservation said in an Oct. 5 Facebook post . The most common species of crappies are black and white, the department reported. This fish has a genetic condition – known as xanthochromism – that caused it to have a higher amount of yellow pigment.
“I was very surprised to pull this one in,” Haddan said. “It’s very vibrant. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It shines like gold when the sun hits it just right.”
“I’ve seen them online. I’ve seen other people that say they’ve caught them, but I’ve never caught one myself or seen one with my own eyes,” she said.
The crappie was 13 inches long and weighed about two pounds. “He’s dinner plate-sized,” Haddan said.
“I wasn’t aiming for it; it just happened to choose my worm,” she said.
She put the unique fish in a koi pond and plans to return it to the fishing pond soon. “I like to eat fish, but I also don’t see the need to kill something when there’s no need for it,” Haddan said.
Golden crappies are the “rarest of the crappie species,” Crappie Fisher reported. “Consider yourself one of the lucky ones on the planet if you ever catch this rare breed!”
Springfield is about 170 miles southeast of Kansas City.