Virginia Fisherman Reels In ‘Extremely Rare’ Largemouth Bass

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Kevin Harness Contributor
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A Virginia fisherman was fishing on the James River when he reeled in an “extremely rare” golden largemouth bass in early February.

Jacob Moore, an arborist who participates in local tournaments, was out on the river practicing for a fishing tournament when he reeled in a rare catch, according to an early-February press release from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR). (RELATED: Local Fishermen Pull In Record-Breaking Shark In Irish Waters)

“I was out there practicing for a tournament, catching a bunch of fish,” Moore said, according to the release. “I was on the lower James near Chippokes [State Park]. When I hooked into that one, I thought I had a saltwater fish on at first, but lo and behold, it was a largemouth! A very different largemouth, though. I haven’t seen anything like that before. I’ve seen bass with black spots, but I’d never seen an albino one.”

“Golden largemouth bass are extremely rare and most anglers have never seen them, let alone heard of them before,” said Alex McCrickard, DWR Aquatic Education Coordinator, the agency reported.

McCrickard added by saying that the fish possesses a genetic mutation known as xanthism, a deformity that alters the pigment of an animal’s skin like yellow scales on Moore’s largemouth.