WATCH: Wisconsin Anglers Discover Live Fish Inside Northern Pike’s Belly

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Oleksandr Rupeta/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It turns out cats aren’t the only ones with more than one life. A bluegill got a second chance at life when a couple of anglers removed the live fish from inside the belly of a Northern pike that they caught on their boat.

On New Year’s Day in 2020, Lacrosse, Wisconsin natives Andy, Jeremiah and Roger took their boat out onto the Mississippi River to catch a few Northern pikes. Typically around three feet in size, pikes are one heck of a catch. With a predatory drive, they put up a good fight on the other end of the line that will make you work for your meal. They tend to prey on other fish, small mammals and frogs, using a sneak-attack method to ambush their food.

Once the three anglers reeled in a sizeable pike, they began the process of filleting the fish. That’s when they realized something was protruding from its belly. So, they flipped on their camera to unveil what was hiding underneath the pike’s scales. Take a look.

The more times you watch the video, the more incredible it gets. This pike ate the bluegill whole, and the anglers caught the full-bellied fish just in time before the bluegill died. It’s so unbelievable that it’s actually laughable.

Anglers Mistake Live Fish Inside Pike to Be an Amphibian

Strange as the catch may be, it’s not uncommon for pikes to swallow fish whole. Known to be cannibalistic at times, pikes can be quite vicious hunters, even snatching rodents from the shoreline and don’t often think about their food before it reaches their stomachs. Anglers often find all sorts of treasures in the bellies of Northern pikes, including silverware, electronics and other shiny, colorful items. That’s why, initially, one of the anglers believed the fish swallowed a small frisbee.

Another one of the men in the video believed the pike had swallowed a different kind of aquatic traveler. “I think it’s something that swims, and it’s round and likes to sit on logs,” he hinted.

His buddy guessed that he was referring to a crab, but that’s not the kind of shell he was picturing in the belly of the fish. Once they revealed the flopping bluegill underneath, the fisherman realized just how wrong he was.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that. I thought it was a turtle,” he said.

If you’re wondering how a pike could possibly swallow a fish whole and leave the body of its prey intact, check out this video here of a hungry one taking down a live fish without breaking the skin. Sure, some scales flew off in the effort, but this kind of one-bite attitude is exactly why the bluegill survived to see another day, even if it was to end up in some angler’s icebox.

It’s unclear whether the group decided to release the bluegill back in the water to evade another pike’s stomach, but at least they can say they caught two fish with one hook.