Extremely rare bright-orange largemouth bass caught in Florida

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Jeff Puckett poses with rare orange bass. Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

A Florida angler recently caught a largemouth bass that didn’t set any size records, but turned plenty of heads.

That’s because the exotic-looking fish Jeff Puckett reeled from Fox Lake in Titusville was a brilliant orange, instead of the typical mottled-green. (Puckett released the bass after the photograph was taken.)

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What most largemouth bass look like. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The extraordinary catch was featured recently on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Facebook page, explaining that the bizarre coloration is a result of a genetic anomaly called xanthism, which causes pigments to turn orange.

“To put its rarity into perspective,” the Research Institute continued, “our Freshwater Fisheries Research Long-Term Monitoring Program has sampled 255,632 largemouth bass from 175 different water bodies over a 10-year period, and have no reported sightings of this genetic phenomenon.”

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Gold largemouth bass caught this month in Canada. Photo: : Rachael Hornsby/Tufts Lab

The only record Florida has of an orange bass being caught is 30 years old.

And it’s not the only odd-colored bass to have been caught recently.

A gold largemouth bass, also very rare, was landed earlier this month during a tournament on Canada’s Lake Ontario.

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