PHOTO: Missouri Woman Shocked After Reeling in Extremely-Rare Golden Crappie

by Lauren Boisvert
(Image Credit: Getty Images)

On Monday, Oct. 3, Holly Haddan caught the crappie of a lifetime while fishing. She had recently moved to Springfield, Missouri, and her new property had a fishing pond behind it. “I decided to go down there with my family,” she told McClatchy News, “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 explained that she wasn’t really paying attention to her bobber, when all of a sudden it was gone. When she reeled in her line, she was in for a surprise. There was a bright golden-yellow fish on the end of her line. When she looked closer she noticed that “it had the mouth and fins of a crappie.”

She’d reeled in a rare golden crappie. The Missouri Department of Conservation posted about the catch on Facebook on Oct. 5, sharing the cause of the unique color. “This occurrence is known as xanthochromism,” the department wrote, “a genetic condition that causes unusually yellow or orange pigmentation in animals, similar to how albinism causes a lack of pigment. These phenomena are not restricted to fish, but can occur in a variety of animals.”

“I was very surprised to pull this one in,” said Haddan. “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.”

Haddan put her catch in a koi pond and planned to release it back into 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.

Woman Catches Rare Golden Crappie In Missouri; Plus, a Florida Woman Reeled in Record Breaker While 8 Months Pregnant

On a beautiful Florida day, Oct. 1, resident Julie Augustine got a call from her friend Joe D’Agostino, inviting her out fishing in the gorgeous weather. She said yes to a boat ride and a little angling with her friend. Joe spotted a school of enormous fish while they were on their way to the marina, and asked Julie, “Do you want to go find a world record?”

At eight months pregnant, Julie was spearing a potentially record-breaking 37.8-pound black drum with a 9-foot polespear while free-diving. “It was crazy, that’s not how I anticipated my day starting,” she told The Destin Log. “But what an adventure.”

Lucie Cardet currently holds the black drum record in the Sling/Polespear Division for a female diver. She speared a 36.3-pounder in 2018, but Julie’s surpasses that record by about one pound.