Teen angler catches rare white catfish near Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A Tennessee teen now has a fish story for the ages. And it’s a whopper of a tale.

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Edwards Tarumianz, 15, reeled in a white catfish on Tuesday while fishing on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga, WKRN-TV reported.

Capt. Richard Simms of Scenic City Fishing Charters called the fish “a once in a lifetime catch.”

“You can fish your entire life and never catch one of those,” Simms said in a Facebook post.

The all-white catfish, which had pink fins, was also documented on the Scenic City Fishing Charters’ Facebook page.

“I’ve been serious catfishing for 30 years, and that’s the first albino to ever come in my boat,” Simms told Tarumianz.

The Facebook post admitted the fish was not actually an albino “because it lacks the pink eye,” adding that it is likely a piebald or could be leucistic, which is an abnormal condition of reduced pigmentation. According to Field and Stream, biologists from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency could not verify it one way or the other.

“Regardless, we all agree that it is a great and rare catch,” a TWRA spokesperson told the magazine.

After taking a photograph with the rare fish, Tarumianz released it back into the Tennessee River.

“There he goes. Back to the depths so another person can catch him, Tarumianz said on Facebook, calling it an “amazing” catch.

Tarumianz was not finished. He also caught a personal-best smallmouth bass, several largemouth bass and a couple of gar, USA Today reported.

“Edwards is one of the most polite young men I’ve ever had in the boat,” Simms told the newspaper. “And one of the most accomplished 15-year-old anglers I’ve ever been around. It was a very special morning, capped off by a catfish unlike any I’ve ever seen before -- and may never see again!”

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