‘Striking tournament gold’ took on new meaning when this golden largemouth bass was brought to the scales!
A strange ‘gold’ largemouth bass was recently caught during a Quinte Series tournament on the Bay of Quinte, Ontario.
After review, the tournament directors agreed it was a largemouth bass based on its defined features, although the striking gold color certainly had them scratching their heads. The fish was allowed to be weighed-in.
It turns out, the gold color is a result of a rare genetic mutation.
Dr. Robert Montgomerie, a Professor and Research Chair in Biology at Queen’s University, explains: “Normally, the fish scales receive incoming white light and different molecular structures convert white light to blue or yellow, which make the fish look green. In the yellow (gold) bass, it is likely that some spontaneous mutation occurred that prevented the scales from making the proper molecular structures to convert white light to blue. Without the structures that convert white light to blue, the fish looks yellow (gold) rather than green (which is what you see when blue and yellow combine). It’s not that the bass has gained a yellow pigment but rather lost the ability to produce the blue colours that make its scales look green.”
No word on whether the angler won the tournament, but he certainly has one great fish story to tell!
Photos via Rachael Hornby