In a surprising turn of events, Holly Haddan from Springfield, Missouri, stumbled upon a truly extraordinary catch while casually fishing in the private pond on her recently acquired property. This impromptu fishing session, prompted by her brother’s visit from the Marines, led to the discovery of a large and exceptionally rare golden crappie.
The distinctive golden hue of the crappie is a result of a genetic anomaly known as xanthochromism. This condition imparts a vivid orange or yellow pigment to the fish, deviating significantly from the usual white hue adorned with black bars or spots that define crappie. While golden crappies have made occasional appearances, they remain an exceptionally rare find in the realm of recreational fishing.
Holly Haddan’s catch, measuring an impressive 13 inches, stands out as one of the largest documented instances of a golden crappie. Recreational fishing enthusiasts have reported only a handful of such occurrences over the last decade, making Haddan’s discovery a notable event in the angling community.
Expressing her astonishment, Haddan remarked, “I wasn’t expecting to catch this fish. We were just fishing to see what was in the pond. I was very surprised to pull this one in. It’s very vibrant. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It shines like gold when the sun hits it just right.”
Despite the rarity and allure of her find, Haddan opted for a compassionate approach. She temporarily placed the golden crappie in a koi pond and intends to release it back into its original habitat soon. Her decision reflects a blend of appreciation for the beauty of the catch and a commitment to the ethical treatment of aquatic life.
“I like to eat fish, but I also don’t see the need to kill something if there is not [a] point to it,” she stated.
Accompanied by captivating images showcasing the stunning golden crappie, this unexpected discovery adds a unique chapter to the narratives of rare fish encounters. Holly Haddan’s encounter with this vibrant creature underscores the surprises that nature has in store for those who cast their lines into the unknown.