koi or goldfish

Koi or Goldfish? Kentucky Angler's Big Catch Sparks Debate

This photo has thrown the internet into a complete frenzy.

Not many people can say they've pulled an orange fish out of a pond before. But, those who have probably didn't land a fish that looked like this.

Hunter Anderson, of Danville, Kentucky, was driving back from Frankfort with his girlfriend when he suggested stopping at a private pond where he'd heard there were once some goldfish or koi fish.

"I had one Cashion rod with me and all I had for bait was a piece of a Lee's Famous Recipe biscuit," he said. "I've heard people catching carp on bread, so I put a piece of it on the hook the best I could. I cast out there and the fight was on."

Anderson, who regularly fishes in tournaments, has fought his fair share of different fish species. And still, he says this was one of the hardest-fighting fish he'd faced off with.

"It never wanted to give up," he said. "I'm lucky I got it in."

While he didn't have a scale to weigh the fish, he estimated it to be around 20 pounds, which would be an impressive catch for a koi or a goldfish.

The debate, though, boils down to what kind of fish it actually was. Various reports claim it's a koi, while just as many are adamant it's a goldfish.

The two species are pretty hard to tell apart, but one of the most telling signs is the barbels, which koi have and goldfish don't.

Unfortunately, it's tough to tell in this photo, as Anderson's hand is covering up the fish's mouth. It looks like there might be a barbel tucked up in his hand, but he's pretty confident he remembers there being no barbels.

There's one way to find out for sure, though, as he released the fish back into the pond.

"I quickly got it back and it swam off just fine," he said. "So maybe a kid can catch it someday and be as happy as I was. That's what it's all about."

So what is it, a koi or a goldfish? My vote is koi, Anderson's is goldfish, and everyone else seems split. What do you think? Let us know!