Angler catches a rare ‘24-carat’ golden crappie; ‘definitely a shock’

A woman fishing with family in a pond on her new property in Missouri hooked into a bizarre-looking crappie that appears to be made of 24-carat gold.

Holly Hadden, who recently moved to Springfield, made the unusual catch Monday using a bobber and worm.

“I really didn’t know much about this pond. We were just fishing it to kind of see what was in it,” Haddan told The Kansas City Star.

“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.”

Crappie are usually black or white, as seen in accompanying photos of white crappie and black crappie.

Black crappie

White crappie

This one’s unique color was explained by the Missouri Department of Conservation on its Facebook page. It said, “This occurrence is known as xanthochromism – 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.”

Commenters on the MDC Facebook page had plenty to say about the unique crappie. Among the comments:

“Is this like the Golden Ticket in Willie Wonka?”

“I’d take that straight to the pawn shop!”

“24 carat? Really, is this a thing?”

“That’s probably worth some money!”

Even Haddan commented, saying, “It was definitely a shock to reel it in.”

Haddan put the golden crappie in a koi pond with plans to return it to the fishing pond.

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“I like to eat fish,” she told the Star, “but I also don’t see the need to kill something when there’s no need for it.”

Especially when it appears to be made of gold.

Photos of black crappie and white crappie courtesy of Wikipedia Commons; photo of the golden crappie courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Story originally appeared on For The Win