Anglers catch a rare gold crappie

Holly Hardan's Gold Crappie
A once-in-a-lifetime take on Holly Haddan.
Courtesy Holly Hardan

Holly Haddan just moved to Springfield, Missouri, with a two-acre pond. She didn’t fish at the site until the evening of October 3, when she cast a bait hook hanging below a float to see if there were any fish in her little hole.

“I really don’t know much about this pond,” Hardan tell the kansas city star“We were just fishing to see what was in there. I wasn’t even paying attention. I was talking to my brother and he said, ‘Hey sister, your float is gone.'”

Hardan sets the hook and begins reeling. Soon, a yellow fish indicated she thought it was a perch. But she noticed that the fish caught looked more like crappie.

The Missouri Department of Conservation reported on Facebook that while most crappie are black and white, Hardan’s unique fish is golden because of a genetic disease called yellow pigment that causes fish to contain high amounts of yellow pigment.

“I was very surprised,” Hardan said. “When the sun is just right, it shines like gold.”

Hardan said the fish was 13 inches long and weighed about 2 pounds, about the size of a dinner plate.

She put the one in a million crappie in the pond and intends to fish again at her new family fishing spot soon.

Unusually high numbers of goldfish caused by yellowing have been caught from freshwater across the U.S. in recent months

Angler Josh Rogers caught and photographed a 2-pound golden largemouth bass at Beaver Lake in May 2021. State biologists have confirmed that perch, a 1 in a million catch, have the rare but natural genetic condition yellow.

Ice fisherman Terry Nelson catches a golden yellow sunfish from Lindstrom Lake in Chisago County, Minnesota, on December 30, 2021.

Notably, ice angler Rick Konakowitz also caught a similarly colored golden crappie in February 2023 in Clear Lake, Minnesota. Clear Lake is located near St. Cloud in northwest Minneapolis.

Josh Chrenko of Indianapolis, a hardcore smallmouth bass angler, traveled to Michigan’s Muskegon River in July 2023, where he caught a 1.5-pound golden Mouthfish, whose yellow dye looks more like an oversized goldfish or koi (Amur carp).

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