Avid fisherman Hunter Anderson thought he might catch a fish or two when he stopped by a pond on his way home — but he never pictured a catch like this. He found himself reeling a 20-pounder that looked like an overgrown goldfish.
"Theres no faking that kind of fish," Anderson told CBS affiliate WKYT. "It was crazy."
Anderson says he and his girlfriend were driving home to Danville, Kentucky, when they stopped at a local private pond to look for goldfish or koi fish. He says he used a Cashion rod and some pieces of leftover biscuits as bait.
Anderson is no fishing newbie — he learned from his father as soon as he could hold a rod and reel. He works part time at a bait-and-tackle shop, competes in fishing tournaments and was on a college bass fishing team. Even so, he calls the fish he caught over the weekend the strangest he's ever seen. He thinks it could even set a record.
"It was one of the hardest fighting fish I've ever fought," Anderson told CBS News. "I was screaming and jumping up and down as I had never seen anything like it."
Anderson's sister Cassie shared a photo of him with the fish on Facebook, joking that it could be the pet goldfish they flushed down the toilet as kids.
After posing with his catch, Anderson released it back into the pond. "What am I going to do with it really?" he said. "I thought it deserved to swim another day." He says he quickly put the fish back in the water and watched it swim away.
"Maybe somebody else will catch it," he said. "Maybe a kid will catch it and be as happy as I was. I was jumping for joy."