Imagine going out on the water and practicing for an upcoming fishing tournament, only to catch the rarest fish you’ve ever caught?
Well, according to the Miami Herald, that’s exactly what happened to arborist Jacob Moore who was fishing for largemouth bass on the James River while preparing for a fishing tournament in Virginia.
He weighed in on the wild day:
“I was out there practicing for a tournament, catching a bunch of fish. When I hooked into that one, I thought I had a saltwater fish on at first, but lo and behold, it was a largemouth!
A very different largemouth, though.”
And the type of largemouth he was referring to was an incredibly rare golden largemouth bass.
Alex McCrickard, VDWR aquatic education coordinator, added:
“Golden largemouth bass are extremely rare and most anglers have never seen them, let alone heard of them before.”
He said the golden color is caused by a genetic mutation called xanthism, which causes the skin to change color:
“Yellow pigmentation dominates xanthism, as you can see in Moore’s golden largemouth.”
Moore said that the bass was about 16.5 inches long, and after snapping a few pics, he threw the fish back in the water, because largemouths have to be longer than 22 inches to keep in the state of Virginia.
Although he couldn’t keep it, Moore will never forget this wild day on the water.