The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Angler Lands Rare Blue-Mouth Chain Pickerel

One Caroline County angler couldn’t quite believe his eyes when he reeled in a chain pickerel (Esox niger) recently. As the fish emerged from the water, John Byrd realized its mouth was a shade of vibrant blue. “I’d never seen one that color! And I’ve been fishing in that pond for more than 20 years!” Byrd, of Bowling Green, Virginia, said.

He caught the 11 ½-inch chain pickerel in a 14-acre private pond in Caroline County on a Whopper Plopper lure. Byrd, a retired veteran, kept the fish and contacted Scott Herrmann, a Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) regional fisheries biologist. Herrmann explained that the fish was exhibiting a “wild genetic pigment mutation” but otherwise normal.

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