When a South Carolina teenager embarked on his inaugural catfish fishing expedition, he encountered more than he had bargained for. Logan Overholt, a 13-year-old from Abbeyville, had chosen to stay with his grandparents while certain members of his family ventured to Georgia for a baseball tournament.
Seizing the moment, he decided to cast his line into the lake adjacent to his grandparents’ residence, opting for a change from the usual bass he pursued, as he informed Fox News Digital.
The date in question was July 7th, a day marked by the presence of looming thunderclouds, as a storm gradually made its way towards Lake Russell near Blue Hole.
Overholt’s company included his two sisters and his grandparents, all of whom were eager witnesses to his inaugural endeavor to reel in a catfish.
On his maiden attempt, employing a bluegill as bait, he successfully reeled in a catfish of moderate size, as recounted by Overholt. Subsequently, he affixed a minnow to his line and, after nearly five minutes, successfully hauled in another catfish.
However, this catch differed in appearance from the preceding one—revealing itself to be an albino catfish. While Overholt accurately identified his unique find, he remained unaware of the exceptional rarity of his accomplishment.
“Albino catfish are extremely rare compared to the total catfish population in a lake or river,” William Wood, fisheries biologist from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, told Fox News Digital.
“In order for an albino fish to be created, the individual has to inherit the correct genes from not one but both parents, and then still has to survive to adulthood.”
Albino catfish are scarce not just due to the genetic inheritance required, but also because they lack the camouflage necessary to evade predators.
The rarity of albino catfish arises from the necessity for both parents to possess a particular combination of genes.
“The lack of camouflage also allows prey fish to see the albino fish coming and to escape forcing albino fish to expend more energy hunting for prey, which reduces the albino fish’s growth rate and decreases its chances of survival,” Wood added.
As the storm surrounding Overholt continued to intensify, lightning began to illuminate the sky. Consequently, the young teen’s fishing excursion was brought to an abrupt end.
Once safely back in the car with his family, he embarked on a research quest to identify his day’s catch where he came to the realization that he had hauled in an exceptionally rare specimen.
“I was kind of mad at myself,” Overholt said. “ I wish I had gotten it mounted.”
The albino catfish remains elusive, prompting Overholt’s hopes to try to capture the uncommon fish once more, potentially marking his second (and possibly final) encounter.