Tyler Bell is no stranger to Fox River in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It’s one of his regular spots to go out in search of fish.
He’s caught a lot of fish in Fox River, so when he saw one he couldn’t quite describe last Spring, he knew he had to catch it.
“At first I thought it was a goldfish somebody released,” Bell said. “But then it followed my lure.”
He spotted the fish near the Waukesha dam and was able to see it more clearly as he lured it near shore. He could see the fish was over 2 feet long and was white. It looked torpedo-shaped.
Despite multiple lure changes, the fish just wouldn’t bite. Bell made trip after trip to the river to catch his elusive fish, but nothing ever happened- until last Sunday.
On this attempt, Bell used a large minnow on a treble hook with a bobber. He spotted the fish, but it hadn’t taken the bait yet. It wasn’t until the third cast that the fish flew to the bait, and he was hooked.
“My heart was beating so fast I couldn’t believe it,” Bell said. “It’s easily the rarest fish I’ve every caught.”
Even though Bell spent many months in search of this fish, he released it after getting a quick photo in. The whitish yellow fish had black eyes and is what’s known as leucistic, which is a light coloring that occurs rarely.
Bell doesn’t regret his decision to release the fish at all. To him, the thrill of trying to catch the fish and finally succeeding is all he needs.
“I finally was able to catch it,” Bell said. “It was haunting me. Now I’m most happy to know it’s still out there, living in the river.”
The fish is thought to be a northern pike, and if it is, it would be just the second leucistic in Wisconsin. The other was 1 51-inch musky caught four years aho in the Flambeau River.