Angler snags rare ‘fish of a lifetime’ at end of day in TN


“I saw that white tail come out of the water and I was like…’I cannot lose this fish,’” the man told media outlets.

Screengrab from Victor Siwik’s post on Tennessee Snake Identification and Education’s public Facebook page

Tennessee angler Victor Siwik was about to call it a day and head to shore when he told himself, “one more cast.”

His final fish turned out to be unlike anything he had ever seen before, he told Field & Stream about his May 29 catch.

“I saw that white tail come out of the water and I was like ‘daggum, I cannot lose this fish,’” he told Field & Stream.

Siwik reeled out a 41-pound, ghost-white carp from near Reelfoot Lake. He shared the fish in a local outdoors group on Facebook and called the fish a catch of a lifetime.

“Caught and landed this bad boy on rod/reel alone and had to put my arm in its mouth and out its gills to keep it from getting off. It’s been an amazing weekend that I’m super thankful for,” Siwik said.

The white carp had hints of yellow and black on its scales with reddish fin tips. It was about 4 feet long, according to Siwik’s Facebook post.

“It almost took the rod from my hands when I first connected,” he said.

Siwik, a resident of Reagan, was visiting Reelfoot Outdoors with his wife and had woken up to go on a solo fishing trip the morning of May 29, he told Field & Stream. He was hoping to snag a paddlefish and caught the unique carp instead.

The odd coloration could be due to a melanin condition called leucism, which causes lapses in pigmentation, according to Field & Stream.

While it looks similar to albinism, it is a different condition, the outlet reported.

The white carp was a type of invasive species, so Siwik had no choice but to take his trophy home, he told commenters on Facebook. That’s fine with him, though, because he plans to mount a replica of it in his home.

“I was blessed enough to get the fish of a lifetime … this weekend,” he said on Facebook. “I told myself ‘one more cast’ and I’m extremely glad I did!”

Reelfoot Lake is about 75 miles northwest of Jackson.

Alison Cutler is a National Real Time Reporter for the Southeast at McClatchy. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and previously worked for The News Leader in Staunton, VA, a branch of USAToday.

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