Anna Clinton’s ordinary afternoon turned into an unforgettable experience when her 11-year-old son, Charlie, made a startling discovery while fishing in their backyard pond in Oklahoma. The young angler couldn’t contain his excitement as he pulled out a fish unlike anything they had ever seen before.
In an interview with NPR, Janna described the unusual encounter. “He was screaming, ‘Oh my God, mom! Oh my God!’” she recalled. Initially dismissing it as drama, she soon realized that Charlie’s catch was far from ordinary.
The fish in question was a pacu, a close relative of the notorious piranha, known for its large and human-like teeth that have often raised concerns among swimmers. The pacu is native to South America, making its appearance in an Oklahoma pond an astonishing event.
Charlie’s catch gained attention when the Clintons shared a photo of the fish on their neighborhood Facebook page. The sighting eventually caught the eye of game wardens, who later revealed that the pacu was an invasive species and should not have been released back into the water.
Undeterred by the mistake, Charlie has been on a mission to catch the elusive fish once again. Janna shared how her son has been diligently spending his time at the pond, eager for another chance to reel in the pacu.
And if he succeeds, it seems Charlie will be rewarded handsomely for his determination. A neighbor has offered to cook and eat the pacu, but the family has different plans in mind. “If he catches it again, we’re going to get it mounted for him,” Janna said with pride. “I think that’s an exceptional prize and he deserves it.”
Game wardens believe that the pacu was once a pet that outgrew its confines and was released into the wild. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation expressed their disapproval, reminding pet owners that such actions can have devastating effects on native wildlife.
Interestingly, this is not the first time a pacu has been caught in Oklahoma. The species has been encountered a few times over the years, but it remains a relatively rare occurrence.
Beyond its odd appearance, the pacu has earned a rather unsettling nickname – “the ball cutter” – which stems from claims of attacks on men’s testicles. However, experts assert that such incidents are rare and that the pacu primarily feeds on nuts and seeds from fruit trees and plants.
While the fish may not have an appetite for human anatomy, it does offer a unique culinary experience. Renowned for its mild, slightly sweet flavor, pacu has even been likened to hybrid striped bass, tilapia, and rainbow trout in taste.
As Charlie continues his pursuit of this elusive fish, the thrill of the catch remains the ultimate reward. Whether he successfully reels in the pacu once more or not, this extraordinary fishing adventure will undoubtedly be etched in the memory of the young angler and his family for years to come.