One of these things does not look like the others.
Longnose gar are typically known to have an olive color with a pale looking belly, and typically range from 2.5 to four feet in size.
That’s what Greg Ursin from Lafitte, Louisiana was expecting, when he went on a fishing trip with Captain Derek from Smoky Mountain Fishing Co.
However, little did he know that the day on the French Broad River would lead to one of his wildest catches of all time.
That day, he reeled in what appeared to be a Longnose gar, but there was something unusual about this one…
It was all black.
According to a Facebook post from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Ursin quickly shared the photo of the black longnose gar to TWRA Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds, in an effort to figure out what the hell it was.
Hammonds said it appears to be a melanistic Longnose gar, meaning the exact opposite of albino.
They explained in the post:
“Occasionally fish of about any species will have this deformity, but melanism is more rare than other odd color fish traits like leucism. Leucism is the lack of certain pigments so the fish appears a very light color like off white, yellow, or maybe orange.
Either deformity is not known to be harmful to the fish, but a lot of times it makes the individual stand out and they become prey when they are very young so they are rarely seen.”
I’d say the trip up to Tennessee was well worth it for ol’ Greg Ursin, and now he has one helluva story to share to his buddies, and the pictures to prove it.